An Explanation of Computation Theory for Lawyers

“Lawyers and judges know about modern electronics in general and
computers in particular. They know about code and the compilation
process that turns source code into binary executable code.
Computation theory is something different. It is an area of
mathematics that overlaps with philosophy. Computation theory
provides the mathematical foundations that make it possible to
build computers and write programs. Without this knowledge several
of the fundamental principles of computer science are simply off
the radar and never taken into consideration.

“The fundamentals of computation theory are not obvious. A group
of the greatest mathematicians of the twentieth century needed
decades to figure them out. If this information is not communicated
to lawyers and judges they have no chance to understand what is
going on and mistakes are sure to happen. All the errors I have
found result from this omission. The purpose of this text is to
help fill the gap. I try to explain all the key concepts in a
language most everyone will understand. I will underline the key
legal questions they raise or help answer as they are encountered.
I will conclude the article with examples of common mistakes and
how the knowledge of computation theory helps avoid them.”


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