A programmable story

Maybe before man learned to speak they used body language. But eventually speech was developed and we were able to share ideas without even being able to see one another. Then marking symbols allowed us to leave a message for people that we might never meet.
But all this communication was a tool to allow us to get the things we wanted for ourselves. Whether it’s spiritual expression or practical necessities, we used communication as a lever to move ourselves and other people.
Then someone built a machine where you can use this language to directly change reality, no humans necessary. Suddenly language transcended being a medium between two objects, to an object itself.
Before people would use letters to form stories and essays and declarations of independence. Now people use the same letters to form programs that drive people out into space.
If we live long enough as a species. We will soon come upon a world where programming skills are the measurement of “literacy.” Programs will be analyzed for their structure and meaning just like great works of literature is examined in schools today. Programmers will be in text books like Shakespeare is in now.
Right now is the first decade of the first form of organized system of programming. Object oriented design patterns allow us to write stories of beautiful machines that are all unique from one another and with a soul much like a character in a book. There are large lumbering characters that are the bane of the existence of all the other characters in a particular play. Always causing trouble and being stubborn and slow in it’s refusal to operate properly. And then there are elegant beautiful characters that perform like magic and are the heros and heroines of the show.
Programmers live in this incredible world where they form and tweak these characters and then a story is played out that has practical results directly in reality. Whether planes fly or people get entertained, the characters a programmer creates, are doing the deed. They’re not just characters in the imagination of the reader, they are sprites out in the real world right now.
These characters that we programmers create, they are playing out the parts in this story we create for them. And these stories are playing with each other and also playing with you.
When you move your mouse to hit the ‘like’ button for this post, thousands of signals are being processed by a mouse driver software that someone wrote sometime long ago. This driver is a play with multiple characters but is itself a character in a larger play between mouse input and graphics output and all the plays and characters that take place in between. And once the click on the button is detected, scores and scores of other actors and plays transmit your click through hundreds of miles to more actors, who’s final result will be to move a few particles of electrons into a a few bins indicating that you, this particular user, has liked this particular person’s post.
If someone can count all the electrons you’ve moved in just that action, I bet it would be very insignificant. But the size doesn’t matter, what matters is that we human beings have just moved reality with nothing but the power of our minds.


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