Software as Literature

I continue to study Software Development as a hobby – and I continue to be amazed at what is going on there.

At the same time, my understanding of what software is has evolved. At first, it was just a series of instructions to the computer – do this, then this – and so on.

Now, somewhat to my amazement, I see it as literature – what is happening in a program. Similar to a description of something that is happening in the larger world. A computer program is a tiny part of the larger world – but it is part of it.

I must say that again – the Computer World is part of the larger World that we are all part of. It is not something entirely separate from it – as some people like to think.

We are all religious beings – and a fundamental religious belief is – that there is a supernatural world that is more important than the natural world – and somehow controls it.

In our world now, the Computer has merged with Business to form a new religion that we all serve. And we are strongly encouraged to not think about this.

I am doing the unthinkable – I am thinking about it. And I am thinking about how Software Development can help the larger world. How a description of a software program is similar to a description of events in the larger world. And how Software techniques could be used in the larger world of Human Affairs.

There is a huge resistance to this idea – probably because people do not want to fix their world – despite what they say. Their world is in bad shape – but they do not want to change it in any substantial way. Especially the way the way they deal with it.

They are helpless pawns in forces beyond their control – and they want it to stay that way. Which means turning the clock back five hundred years, or so – before the Modern World took hold.

I think we ought to proceed in the other direction – into what we refer to as the Post-Industrial era. A new world we are not familiar with – but gives us more control of our lives.

We need to think of how Software is similar to the larger world. And how it could be of benefit to it.

I am not naive here – I spend 20 years, in the Eighties and Nineties, in the Computer Industry. And a worse experience I cannot imagine. And the Computer Industry continues to produce defective products – I have two of them I spent hundreds of dollars on right next to me, as I speak.

The industry is plagued with dishonesty of all kinds – and new kinds are invented every day. And everyone says “We can’t help it, that’s just the way it is!”

They don’t say that in the Computer World – they have lots of control there.

Why not make it the same in the larger world?


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