As the inexorable melding of humans and machines progresses and becomes more advanced, it would seem that those of us well-versed in programming and hacking — in the most general, white-hat sense — will lead easier, more efficient lives.
This idea is something I’ve given much thought to the last few years and really do think that as the singularity nears, those of us capable of changing our lives through networked computers (e.g., physical body modification, home automation, internet-of-things Rube Goldberg contraptions, etc.) will have an easier time of it as we ease into the inevitable post-human epoch.
At the core of all of this possibility is simply an understanding of logic, because, at its essence, that’s all coding is. If you have that, plus an inkling of what’s possible with current technology, there are few things you’re not going to be able to do, or ask someone (or something) to do for you.
To use a term coined by Steven Johnson, the “adjacent possible” is becoming ever more expansive for all of us: all you need is a mild curiosity and the slightest drive. Information is effectively infinite and access to it is effectively free.
“The adjacent possible is a kind of shadow future, hovering on the edges of the present state of things, a map of all the ways in which the present can reinvent itself.”
This likely will be less of an explicit thing for future generations and more of just the norm, as they’ll simply have an innate sense for and confidence in and about technology, and how they can make the machines work for them (until they won’t let us anymore).
“Standing on the shoulders of giants” is the adjacent possible; it’s the shadow future pushing at the heretofore impossible(-to-conceive-of). These shoulders are the jumping-off points for the future, and slowly but surely, they’re stocked with fuzzy logic, data structures, machine learning, and ultimately artificial general intelligence.
Your kids’ kids will know how to code, just as sure as they will know how to write and talk.