What Is A Tool?

Is software first-order creation or a second-order creation?

In an essay titled, Software is not epic, Scott Berkun, argues that Software is only a tool, a second-order creation, which is used by others to create first-order creations. So, he concludes, the Software is not an epic - a first-order creation - by itself.

While making that point, he defines a tool as

something you make so someone else can make something.

I agree with this definition of a tool. But I disagree that the creations are static in their type. Consider the below sequence of creation:

A hammer is a tool to create a table.
A table is a tool to create a novel.
A novel is a tool to spark ideas.
Ideas are a tool to create a revolution.
A revolution is a tool to bring in change.

So the first-order creation of one becomes a second-order creation on someone’s hand. That is the way the world progresses. And it is true of software too.

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Under: #tools