Is programming "technical"?

Daniel Lemire, Weblog, Mar 02, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Here's an interesting thought: "If you understand an idea, you can implement it in software." Is this true? If so, we would also have to assert: all ideas can be implemented in software. Which seems false on the face of it ('growing wheat' would be an obvious counterexample) unless you allow the implementation to be a simulation. The way to make sense of the assertion is to think of writing software as a form of writing. And mathematics as a form of writing. The expressive, combined with the syntactical and the grammatical. So, is the thought then true? "If you understand an idea, you can implement it in software, write it, or describe it mathematically." Is it even still the same question?
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