# linking-together

Jack Rusher

10/18/2023, 1:47 PM
Mathematical notation has serious deficiencies. In particular, it lacks universality, and must be interpreted differently according to the topic, according to the author, and even according to the immediate context. Programming languages, because they were designed for the purpose of directing computers, offer important advantages as tools of thought. Not only are they universal (general-purpose), but they are also executable and unambiguous. Executability makes it possible to use computers to perform extensive experiments on ideas expressed in a programming language, and the lack of ambiguity makes possible precise thought experiments. In other respects, however, most programming languages are decidedly inferior to mathematical notation and are little used as tools of thought in ways that would be considered significant by, say, an applied mathematician.
The thesis of the present paper is that the advantages of executability and universality found in programming languages can be effectively combined, in a single coherent language, with the advantages offered by mathematical notation.
— from Iverson’s Turing lecture, still a banger 50+ years later: