Joseph Jude

What Is A Tool?

2012.04.08 / opinion /

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, 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 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 tool to create a revolution; and a revolution is a tool to bring in change.

So a 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 a software too.


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