You can tinker with the world.

… and that is why learning to code is important. In part because the money is there, sure. In part because it’s a hook into the bleeding edge of human development.

But mostly because the world is malleable, and I don’t care how you learn that, but code can help.

But this is not about code.

When I was a small thing, I was terrified of the unnatural. Barney, and — more broadly — televisions. My parents would put a sheet over the hotel room TV, a ward against it coming alive in the night.

My mother is an illumination. (And oh my goodness I love her dearly…) A couple of years ago, over a very emotional lunch in Chicago, she told me that she and Dad were always careful to praise us kids not for what we did, but for who we were. They loved on us hard, and while our accomplishments were cause for celebration, they were not point of it all, at all.

This is because they aren’t. There is a fundamental truth of life, here: the accomplishments aren’t the sustainable thing — you are. The grades and the medals and the instruments and whatnot, they aren’t alive and won’t be made new tomorrow — but you will.

And I think that’s why she was able to help me with that TVs-shouldn’t-be-alive-why-are-they-alive thing.

She cured my terror-of-the-unnatural by showing me stop-motion animation, under the hood. Tools: the family VHS camcorder, some wooden blocks, and the kitchen floor. We made the blocks assemble themselves into towers, walk themselves back down again, and march in step on the floor.

A simple thing, just pulling the curtain of illusion back to see the process behind, but in adulthood I chalk up most of my current worldview to this idea. For just as a childhood soccer win is an artifact of me being me (not that that happened, I was terrible), she demonstrated that visual effects are just an artifact of very real, very sane, very natural processes. The unnatural was just a combination of the natural that I had not yet understood.

There is no magic: everything has an order. Everything has its own physics, if you will, and if you can understand the physics, you can play with them.

You are subject to few absolutes. The systems you are a part of, the laws, the schools, the paychecks, the way we eat, the way we love, all of them are patterns that existed yesterday and have carried into today, but it does not mean they cannot change, and you being within them does not mean you cannot change them.

Pull back the curtain, of all of it. When I do so, I see love reverberating through the universe — energy, beating and vacillating and living and dying and being reborn on the other side, because energy is a constant. That’s the root of it all, at the very core.

Everything else can be rewritten.

And if you care to join, you have the invitation. ❤️