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Why is Computer Science so complicated

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Published on May 9, 2012

Computer Science is complicated because over 100 years ago, smart people began working on mechanical computing devices. And then people after them have been adding layer after layer of abstraction on top of that device in order to increase the functionality of the device. And computers went from using mechanical movement to using electrons... to using light...

But anyway, programming used to be a lot more tedious than it is today. 50 years ago, programmers had to actually write code that told machines to read and write variables to and from specific cubby holes of memory. The programming languages they used to do this are lower level programming languages. Lower level languages are closer to how the hardware actually operates.. Programming languages like python and java and c++ are higher level languages that are a lot more abstract. So when you run python code, your computer translates one line of python code into like 20 lines of assembly language code, which is then translated to many many more lines of machine language code (zeros and ones, which are two abstract symbols of on and off). This machine code is then manipulated with the logic operands (and, or, and invert). And your computer probably performs like a billion of these simple operations every second.

Computers are also complicated because the clock rate of a computer is determined by an oscillating crystal.

:-) I hope you learned something that you didn't know that you didn't know.

main source: THE PATTERN ON THE STONE by W. Daniel Hillis

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