Code to me

There are three reasons I am learning to code. 1) Effective communication with your surroundings is central to the creative process. 2) Control of machines liberates one in a small form from consumerism. 3) Don’t let the computers win.

The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them”
~Genesis 11:6

Communication is the most basic requirement for civilization. When people can not communicate or have a difficult time communicating with one another conflict arises. Cultural heritage and background is difficult and requires time and careful language to discuss and research someone else’s background. Civilization is based on trust and understanding between people. Empathetic communication is a skill that is central and required for civilization. In fact it is so central we can see many countries polarizing in their beliefs and violence ensues.

What does this have to do with code?

More and more our lives are encapsulated online. For some of us screens become our best friends, confidants, and source of loving acceptance. Digital worlds are created by people. I grew up in Orange County California. I grew up in the middle of a massive suburb.

Map of Orange County and LA showing Suburban Sprawl

It was crazy because everyday I would go to school or work and look around and think to myself, there is no tree or bush that naturally would grow here. There are blueprints somewhere for this road detailing the placement of this tree. Those blueprints were drafted then approved and the type of tree was decided on and then planted. Pretty much every piece of shrubbery I saw was planned. I felt like I was living in an environment that was created for me to be comfortable. A book that struck extremely close to home for me was the Time Machine by H.G. Wells. *Spoiler Alert* In that book there are people who live underground building machines. There are another group of people who get to lounge around all day and enjoy their lives, in my eyes these are a metaphor for consumerism. The catch is that they are the fuel for creators who prey on their desires.

Sacrificial Temple to the Underground Kingdom

Another film example of this is Zardoz. A group of overlords tries to keep people fighting and not procreating so that they could live forever in safety. So they keep them busy. This film is an in depth investigation to the unchecked desire for security of a small group, and the effect it has on the rest of the world. Best film quote in my opinion possibly not safe for work so I tried to bleep out some of the words:

The P*** is evil! The P**** shoots Seeds, and makes new Life to poison the Earth with a plague of men, as once it was. But the Gun shoots Death and purifies the Earth of the filth of Brutals. Go forth, and kill!
~Zardoz
A floating head statue that dispenses guns and propaganda

The point I am trying to make is that philosophically I do not want to be the one who enslaved by a desire for violence and luxury. At the same time I believe that the way to utopia is through access to global understanding. The keyword there is the access to global understanding. In my opinion a lot of information and knowledge are too difficult to reach. It requires developers to be able to create lower barriers to information and thus hopefully empathy.

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