[Chicago] Question about Machine Language.

Naomi Ceder naomi.ceder at gmail.com
Mon Dec 7 15:10:32 EST 2015

On 7 December 2015 at 13:57, Lewit, Douglas <d-lewit at neiu.edu> wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> I was reading an article on the web about how all programming languages
> are "Turing complete".  I believe that basically means that all programming
> languages are able to communicate with the computer's CPU using the binary
> codes of machine language.

Uh, that's not actually what "Turing Complete" means...  It doesn't  have
anything to do with binary or machine language... from Wikipedia (

"To show that something is Turing complete, it is enough to show that it
can be used to simulate some Turing complete system. For example, an imperative
language <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperative_language> is Turing
complete if it has conditional branching
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conditional_branching> (*e.g.*, "if" and
"goto" statements, or a "branch if zero" instruction. See OISC
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_instruction_set_computer>) and the
ability to change an arbitrary amount ofmemory
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_memory> locations (*e.g.*, the
ability to maintain an arbitrary number of variables). Since this is almost
always the case, most (if not all) imperative languages are Turing complete
if the limitations of finite memory are ignored."


Okay then.... so why don't we get rid of C, C++, Java, Python, Ruby, Perl,
> Ocaml, Haskell, C#, F#, etc, etc and why don't we call just code in machine
> language?  Bear in mind that I'm asking this question from the point of
> view of the Devil's Advocate because I know almost nothing about machine
> language.  But it's an interesting question.  It's related to the question,
> "Why don't we have one universal natural language?  Let's get rid of
> English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic,
> Hebrew, etc, etc, and replace them all with one universal language that
> everyone understands".
> I'm interested in reading your thoughts and ideas.  Thanks.
> Best,
> Douglas.
> P.S.  Sorry to hear about the Django Study Group.  I thought Mark Graves
> was very friendly and did a great job of demonstrating various web
> applications using Python.
> _______________________________________________
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Naomi Ceder
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