Thoughts While Learning To Code

Three Robots in Outer Space

Prim­i­tive Man viewed magic as a child­ish approx­i­ma­tion of sci­ence. Magi­cians, sor­cer­ers, shamans and the like, used people’s intu­itive under­stand­ing of cause and effect plus sim­ple incredulity to claim con­trol over the  work­ings of the world with charms, spells and potions. Even­tu­ally, even sav­ages real­ized that the tricks of the magi­cians didn’t work. How­ever, if the super­nat­ural forces which con­trolled the world around him could not be com­manded, prim­i­tive man rea­soned, per­haps they could be pla­cated or amused.  Magic evolved into worship.

Today we lives in the era of sci­ence, but I won­der if the atti­tude of the aver­age man is not so dif­fer­ent from what it was in those ear­lier times.  He might under­stand the lit­tle pieces of the world that he encoun­ters daily, but the sys­tem, how it all fits together, that’s too large and com­plex for him. There’s the king­dom of the keep­ers of secret knowl­edge and it’s as obscure to him as it has ever been.

Con­sider the pow­ers granted to him; the abil­ity to fly through the air, col­lapse time, freeze it, com­mu­ni­cate instantly at a dis­tance, heal the body etc. They allow him to gid­dily glimpse omnipo­tence but then befud­dle the deep­est part of him­self.  And does he not sense, behind it all,  some dimly per­ceived con­scious­ness, per­haps just now awak­en­ing. Where is it com­ing from?

So, in the wee hours of a sup­pos­edly new age he holds  two trains of thought in his mind at once. One the one hand, he’s con­fi­dent that if he knows how to talk to this thing that gives him power, then he can con­trol it. That it will do pre­cisely what he wants it to do when he uses the cor­rect com­mands in the cor­rect order.  But also, like the Athe­ni­ans in the Aere­opa­gus, he prays to an unknown God that the whole thing doesn’t break down, or die, or worst of all, become angry with him.