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Microprogramming, emulators and programming languages

The problem we have been concerned with is that of converting language to action—or intellectual energy to mechanical energy. The medium that we use for this purpose is language and therefore we are preoccupied with the subject of language. In the areas of language investigation we have concentrated first on formalizing syntax and then on semantics. I believe semantics has received an unfair share of the energy of too many people—mainly misdirected to trying to reduce semantics to an algebraic manipulation of symbols, without enough attention to reality. By reality I mean the devices or mechanisms which are going to use these symbols. We have been overly concerned with what the symbols mean to one class of users, namely, the human or the senders of the symbols, without sufficient concern about the receivers of the symbols, in this case the machines.


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