It is obvious how technology has transformed our lives and continues to evolve at break-neck speeds. It has opened new vehicles of communication that many of science fiction’s greatest, did and couldn’t predict. And inside these magnificent machines, is code. It is code that under-pins the technologies that have connected our social lives. It is code that under-pins every industry that seeks out efficiency, quality and profit. It is code that is pushing the experience of life to it’s greatest achievements. So what is code, but a form of communication between man and machine. Yet code, is a relatively new form of communication. In the context of human history, it is by all means in it’s primordial forms. With a multitude of various species, known as languages, some beautiful, some ugly, some young, some old, and some bred for specific tasks.
Code by itself has not transformed our world, but with the machine it has paired with, we have passed a point of no return. Now if we look back to how we got here, we can see the progress of communication, that brought us to this point. From stone tablets to the printing press, ideas were spread, from person to person. And with this progress, math, science and the arts were born. But during this march of progress, we can see with perfect clarity the advantages a society and it’s people had with being able to participate in the communication with the ability to read and write. For much of the progress could no longer be maintained by word of mouth alone, but rather needed to be written down, duplicated and distributed. So today, much of our progress can no longer be written down, petabytes of data, multitudes of small and inexpensive machines embedding into every crevice of our lives. Is it possible that we are at another transition point where learning to communicate with machines, by way of code will give clear advantages to the individual and their society? I would argue so, whether directly authoring code or working with code-smiths, knowledge of code and the paradigm of thinking it introduces will be the advantage for future generations. Just like literacy in humanity’s past created clear advantages, so will Code-Literacy.
Historical look at Literacy