Three Little Words


About once every eighteen months — on average — someone teaches me how to use the command line to make deposits of code changes into a repository.

And even though every time the lesson is a bit more familiar — and the commands themselves haven’t changed — that interlude when I haven’t needed or wanted to make any kind of code-level effort leaves everything so forgotten and incomprehensible, a jumbled mess of half-knowledge.

He teaches me this again, and I tremble silently typing the words in the proper order , once guided, and then again later on my own. There’s a strange wielding of a language — someone both foreign and familiar and technical in its precision and incomplete sentence structure — that first instrument drawn in battle like a weapon.

To talk to the computer, to read and write in its metaphorical sensibility, like a magician sorcerer conjuring control from the infinite black unspooling veil, brings about the horror and fear of breaking everything, with a spell-like push origin master — as if that’s how the universe could have begun again, from three little words, or ended.


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