A book about the command line for humans.
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  1. time-binding animals =======================

When I was a kid, I read pretty much all of Robert A. Heinlein's Science Fiction (the short stories, the early novels, the late novels, everything). Heinlein was something of a disciple of a guy named Alfred Korzybski, who had built up one of those elaborate intellectual systems where the whole thing may be kind of cracked, but there are some interesting ideas in there. You can get a sense of the flavor of his work from the fact that he wrote a book called Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics.

I've never read Korzybski's book, though maybe one day I'll make an attempt. One of the bits that stuck for me, via Heinlein's fiction, was the notion that humans, unique in the animal kingdom, are "time binders": Creatures capable of accumulating knowledge and retaining it between generations, so that one set of us can pick up where another set of us left off, not only learning things within an individual lifetime, but benefiting from the learning of previous lives and transmitting our own progress well beyond the temporal boundaries of a single existence.

There's a useful sense in which the history of civilization is the history of technology, broadly understood. And a good deal of the history of technology is bound up in the ways that technology augments and amplifies memory.

the computer as an extension of memory

There's an important

To cover:

  • scripting
  • makefiles
  • memory
  • command history
  • Ctrl-R
  • version control and that sorta stuff