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

Anda sedang membaca pratinjau, daftarlah untuk membaca selengkapnya.

Lainnya dari Nautilus

Nautilus7 mnt membacaScience
If Only 19th-Century America Had Listened to a Woman Scientist: Where might the US be if it heeded her discovery of global warming’s source?
Human-induced climate change may seem a purely modern phenomenon. Even in ancient Greece, however, people understood that human activities can change climate. Later the early United States was a lab for observing this as its settlers altered nature.
Nautilus8 mnt membacaScience
What Quantum Gravity Needs Is More Experiments: Math won’t solve quantum gravity. Experimentation will.
In the mid-1990s, I studied mathematics. I wasn’t really sure just what I wanted to do with my life, but I was awed by the power of mathematics to describe the natural world. After classes on differential geometry and Lie algebras, I attended a semin
Nautilus10 mnt membaca
A Lexicon of Light: Since the universe formed, photons have affected everything.
The 20 words defined in this lexicon reflect the ways in which light irradiates the atmosphere, the universe, and our perception of the world. Because no single system—scientific, religious, philosophical, or cultural—can possibly encompass every mea