Turing Tales

front cover of Turing Tales, first editionThis is the landing page of the eponymous book. The publisher also has a page about the book where you can find a very concise summary, some endorsements (forthcoming), and technical details. Feel free to leave feedback on the book by contacting egdaylight "at" dijkstrascry "dot" com.

From the Back Cover


Are you receptive to the multitude of answers to this seemingly simple question? Historical and philosophical reflections in this book will reveal that a computer program always had, and still has, several different meanings. Such epistemic pluralism is a feature of emerging fields, and computer science is still too young a field to be any different.

Even before the advent of Twitter, the wide dissemination of an idea in our Western world required a compact and attractive formulation. Examples in contemporary computer science are:

  • Turing invented the computer.
  • Full formal verification is possible.

Unfortunately, computer scientists promote, and some believe, these over-simplified statements themselves. Technically inaccurate accounts have been written about Turing's purported legacy and about allegedly important topics that carry his name (such as `Turing completeness' and `Turing universality'). Much needed rectifications are provided here for the sake of obtaining conceptual clarity and making computer science a slightly more mature discipline.