Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 788. Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London Hosted by King's Digital Lab www.dhhumanist.org Submit to: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: 2020-04-20 08:39:24+00:00 From: Willard McCarty
Subject: evidence for the linguistic relativity of programming languages It seems that in 2017 the Alfred Sloan Foundation funded the Knowledge Lab at Chicago and Psychology at Wisconsin-Madison to study "the way in which computer languages can both expand and limit how individual and collective minds work... [that is] how human minds respond to different functions and different domains, both in programming languages and in popular data science environments"*. As far as I can tell, conclusions from this project have not yet been published, but I'd love to stand corrected. The fact of such funding from such a source supports my suspicions, based on prowling the Internet for the past several days, that there's not been much beyond emotive handwaving in response to this question and studies of peripheral relevance (e.g. Fedorenko et al). My primary findings include the following: 1980. Kenneth E. Iverson, "Notation as a tool of thought". 1979 ACM Turing Award Lecture. 1982. Edsgar Dijkstra, "How Do We Tell Truths that Might Hurt?" (EWD498). 1985. John Dalbey and Marcia C. Linn, "The demands and requirements of computer programming: A literature review". Journal of Educational Computing Research 1.3. 1993. Diana E. Forsythe, "Engineering Knowledge: The Construction of Knowledge Artificial Intelligence". Social Studies of Science 23. 2002. Garry L White and Marcos P. Sivitanides, "A Theory of the Relationships between Cognitive Requirements of Computer Programming Languages and Programmers' Cognitive Characteristics". Journal of Information Systems Education 13.1. 2014. Sebastian Nanz and Carlo A. Furia, "A Comparative Study of Programming Languages in Rosetta Code" 2016. Jiahao Chen, "Linguistic Relativity and Programming Languages". Proceedings of the Joint Statistical Meetings, Chicago, Illinois. 2019. Evelina Fedorenko et al, "The Language of Programming: A Cognitive Perspective". Trends in Cognitive Sciences 23. 7 Add to the above list -- or swipe it away and replace it with something more promising? Yours, WM ----- *https://news.uchicago.edu/story/computer-programming-languages-can-impact- science-and-thought -- see also https://voices.uchicago.edu/compinst/press-releases/mind-tools-how-computer- programming-languages-impact-science-and-thought/ -- Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor emeritus, Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London; Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews (www.tandfonline.com/loi/yisr20) and Humanist (www.dhhumanist.org) _______________________________________________ Unsubscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted List posts to: email@example.com List info and archives at at: http://dhhumanist.org Listmember interface at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted/ Subscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/membership_form.php
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