Nautilus

Civilization Is Built on Code

How did we humans manage to build a global civilization on the cusp of colonizing other planets? It seems like such an unlikely outcome. After all, we were prone to cycles of war and famine for millennia, and have a meager capacity for society-wide planning and coordination—among other problems.

Maybe it’s our unique capacity for complex language and story-telling, which allow us to learn in groups; or our ability to extend our capabilities through technology; or political and religious institutions we have created. However, perhaps the most significant answer is something else entirely: code. Humanity has survived, and thrived, by developing productive activities that evolve into regular routines and standardized platforms—which is to say we have survived, and thrived, by creating and advancing code. 

The word “code” derives from the Latin codex, meaning “a system of laws.” Today “code” is used in various

Stai leggendo un'anteprima, registrati per continuare a leggere.

Interessi correlati

Altro da Nautilus

Nautilus5 min letti
The Psychic Toll of Severing the Hunter-Prey Relationship
A productive hunt is a violent act—success requiring as it does the dismemberment of a living creature. Yet, to focus alone on the concluding moment, the bloody brutality of the killing itself, risks obscuring a more subtle and significant meaning to
Nautilus12 min lettiBiology
Why Physics Can’t Tell Us What Life Is: The origin of life can’t be explained by first principles.
There is just something obviously reasonable about the following notion: If all life is built from atoms that obey precise equations we know—which seems to be true—then the existence of life might just be some downstream consequence of these laws tha
Nautilus9 min lettiPersonal Growth
How to Stop Feeling Crushed for Time: Quit worrying whether time is money. Start appreciating time’s true value.
Sparingly these days do I find myself thinking I’ve got some time to kill. Time has a way of making itself scarce. I’m like some Pleistocene hunter-gatherer, always scavenging for more. For that matter, isn’t “killing time” a rather misleading phrase