Computer code frees us to think in new ways: BBC News – Viewpoint

January 16, 2013 at 6:00 am 1 comment

A nice piece describing reasons to learn code.  What makes this one particularly noteworthy is how it talks about art, architecture, and aesthetic — learning to code as a way of connecting to our world.

Both aesthetic and rooted in physics, sturdy yet beautiful, containing both purpose and artistic intent. Code is now a core part of the architecture of the world we live in.

It both powers and shapes finance, business, and entertainment; it is embedded in our homes and in our pockets. And so “architecture” feels like the appropriate metaphor for the skills needed to master it: for architecture both shapes its inhabitants and is shaped by them.

Computer programs can make people more efficient in day to day life

It can’t really exist without people inside it. And we can’t separate code from people; from the people who write it; from the people who are shaped by it.

via BBC News – Viewpoint: Computer code frees us to think in new ways.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Dennis J Frailey  |  January 16, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    I think it goes well beyond what’s discussed in this essay. I find that programming the computer gives me incredible insights about other things. For example, consider the fact that with computers we can create incredibly complex artifacts and, once we let them loose on the world, we have little or no control over how they are used or what happens to them. We cannot stop them once they are out. Even if we own them in some legal sense, we can’t usually predict all the effects they will have much less control them. The internet is an astounding example of this. Its creators have virtually no control over it, despite its gigantic impact. Nor did they predict its impact when they invented it. I apply this concept to other things, such as theology (if there is a creator, is it necessarily almighty? Probably not.); literature (I may write a book, but I don’t control that book’s impact on the world); politics (the founding fathers of any nation certainly neither predicted nor have much control over the results of their efforts).

    Other examples abound where coding/programming gives insights. Computing is a fundamental aspect of nature that we have only discovered in any widespread sense within the last century. We’re discovering that DNA is, essentially, a program for a living being; we’re gaining many insights in physics, biology, chemistry, and non-scientific arenas because of computing.


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