TITLE: Code as a Form of Expression, Even Spreadsheets AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: March 04, 2015 3:28 PM DESC: ----- BODY: Even formulas in spreadsheets, even back in the early 1980s:
Spreadsheet models have become a form of expression, and the very act of creating them seem to yield a pleasure unrelated to their utility. Unusual models are duplicated and passed around; these templates are sometimes used by other modelers and sometimes only admired for their elegance.
People love to make and share things. Computation has given us another medium in which to work, and the things people make with it are often very cool. The above passage comes from Stephen Levy's A Spreadsheet Way of Knowledge, which appeared originally in Harper's magazine in November 1984. He re-published it on Medium this week in belated honor of Spreadsheet Day last October 17, which was the 35th anniversary of VisiCalc, "the Apple II program that started it all". It's a great read, both as history and as a look at how new technologies create unexpected benefits and dangers. -----