Matthew Chen answers “What is programming?” and infuses art into science in his own special way, by finding truth in metaphor:
We tend to think that only children play pretend, but everyone does it, all the time. We are creatures of meaning. […]
In the audience’s mind, the actor IS a prince, and that bit of paper IS the moon. That’s what matters — that one thing transforms into another in our minds. The lie becomes the truth.[…]
Programming is much the same. It is an elaborate exercise in imposing meaning, usually onto small electrical charges or flashes of light. A programmer builds elaborate fantasies, but she too has to remember not to tear the moon.
Read his course notes here. This was part of a brown bag series at FiftyThree.