Science as an API to Nature

In his recent column in WIRED, Paul Ford has a great metaphor for science, one that really resonates with me as a software developer. He writes,

After a while you realize that science itself is just an API to nature, a bunch of kludges and observations that work well enough to get the job done. The job being measuring reality and predicting what will come next.

The core of what I learned about science came from reading Isaac Asimov, and I always appreciated his apt metaphors that made things easier for me to understand. But I love the simple elegance of Ford’s description. It appeals to me both as a student of science and as a coder.

I’ve always enjoyed Paul Ford’s writings. His 2015 piece, “What Is Code” in Bloomberg is a must-read. I definitely encourage you to check out his column in WIRED.

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