"I etch a pattern of geometric shapes onto a stone. To the uninitiated, the shapes look mysterious and complex, but I know that when arranged correctly they will give the stone a special power, enabling it to respond to incantations in a language no human being has ever spoken. I will ask the stone questions in this language, and it will answer by showing me a vision: a world created by my spell, a world imagined within the pattern on the stone. A few hundred years ago in my native New England, an accurate description of my occupation would have gotten me burned at the stake...I design and program computers."
Danny Hillis, "The Pattern On The Stone"