To shed light on the software that has tilted the world on its axis, the editors of Slate polled computer scientists, software developers, historians, policymakers, and journalists. They were asked to pick: Which pieces of code had a huge influence? Which ones warped our lives? About 75 responded with all sorts of ideas, and Slate has selected 36. It’s not a comprehensive list—it couldn’t be, given the massive welter of influential code that’s been written. Like all lists, it’s meant to provoke thought—to help us ponder anew how code undergirds our lives and how decisions made by programmers ripple into the future.
Slate, Oct. 14