One time in a conversation, a person who is very knowledgeable about computers off hand mentioned that it would have been difficult, maybe even impossible, to have developed computational technology in a culture where the language had a complex writing system. Writing systems such as Chinese, Japanese, early Korean, maybe Arabic, and I suppose we could even suppose something like ancient Egyptian with its hieroglyphics.
Note that by "computational technology", I'm including pretty much all the concepts involved, from the kind of machinery and electronics involved up to the programming languages that one can utilize those machines with.
That conversation was a long time ago, but the question remained with me: Would it have been impossible, or extremely unlikely that computational technology could have developed in a culture with a complex writing system? Since computing involved a lot of transference of human concept to a recorded form usable by a computer by way of textual input, is an extended alphabet a hindrance?
I guess at issue is that you can't make a keyboard unless you have a way of breaking down the input of a language into a limited number of keys. Which is sort of symptomatic of a broader issue that to express commands, especially with limited computing power, you need a certain simplicity.
Or, put another way, is the fact that English, or European, languages have a simpler writing system, that contributed to why computational technology took off there?
Or is computing so based on mathematics that the language of the developers is irrelevant?
Did Babbage and Lovelace have to have been speaking English to do what they did, or could they just have likely been speaking Chinese?