Is Our Civilization Built on Code?

Is Our Civilization Built on Code?

Scientist are telling us that through the discovery of DNA humans today can be linked back in time by our genetic footprints to those first explorers that “successfully” migrated out of the lands of Eastern Africa about 50-60,000 years ago, and have since colonized the whole world!

How did humans get from these eastern lands of Africa to today’s “global civilization which is perched on the cusp of colonizing other planets”(Auerswald, P)?

I recently picked up an article written by Philip Auerswald where he claims civilization has been built on code. I had to keep reading as I found this intriging. But once I understood that code basically means “systems of laws”, it began to make a bit more sense.

The modern world seems to have many types of code; computer code, ethical code, medical code, building code, dress code, behaviour code, political code and on and on and on.

Apparently one of the oldest codes known is recipe code. This dates back as far as 2,000.000 years ago. Humans discovered that by pounding food, such as yams, and slicing meats, this released nutrients beneficial to the body. Hence, one of those benefits, an expanded brain!

Since that time humanity has evolved in leaps and bounds, and advances in the medical field, agriculture and hygiene have resulted in humans living longer and healthier with a population that has exploded.

50-60,000 years ago we were still living in the modern day caveman era. Anthropologists tell us that one of the oldest tribes still practising their original culture from as far back as 20-30,000 years ago are the Bushmen of Southern Africa, preferably known as the San.

I’m starting at this point in history, as we have a living museum here, to try to understand how coding systems have helped form civilizations.

20 – 30,000 years ago, modern day cave-man codes.

Survival code:

  • The san are hunter/gathers, the men hunt, the women gather.
  • They have deep connections and sustainable relationships with their land and the animals they live with.
  • They work together as a unit relying on each other for survival. This is their survival code.

Science Code:

  • They have vast knowledge and have categorised the plants they use and rely on, such as medical, poisonous, nutritional, recreational, and mystical/spiritual. This is their science code.

Community Code:

  • There is no hierarchy or chiefs within their communities.
  • Women are equal to men in all aspects.
  • Communities are generally about 50 people.
  • Disputes are dealt with by the community.
  • Children are never left alone and are nurtured and raised by the community.
  • Elders are highly respected and play an important role in guiding their community with their knowledge and wisdom.
  • Loneliness and separation have no place in the community. This is their community code.

Marriage Code:

  • Women are free to choose their husbands and vise a versa.
  • Divorce is not classed as taboo, and is easily obtained.
  • Adultery is classed as taboo, but is not an issue as it’s easy to get a divorce.
  • Rape is unheard of. This is their marriage code.

Their code is unwritten and simple.

From modern day cave-man – m0dern day civilization

From 30,000 years ago to-day Mother Earth has witnessed vast changes and growth. Civilizations have risen up, lands and people have been conquered, new codes have been introduced before civilizations disintergrated and disappeared.

There have been many different eras that have passed through history. Such as the Medieval period where farming, artisans, serfs and merchants were ruled by the coding systems of that time.

With the discovery of steam, the industrial revolution brought new waves of change and new codying systems. Job descriptions changed; women joined the work force; transportation became motorized, and the coding system expanded and grew more complicated.

Today’s modern world accommodates larger governments and corporations, job descriptions have become specialized requiring degrees and certifications.

Today we are in the space era where technology is advancing so fast it’s hard to keep up with.

  • We hop from country to country through the air.
  • We have instant connection to humans anywhere in the world.
  • We socialize without being in the presence of our family and friends.
  • We have contraptions in the kitchen to help us create delicious food.
  • We have robots to keep us company, clean for us, speak to us.
  • We have surgery where the right hand man is a computer.
  • We have cars, trains, planes and ships moving us without human intervention.
  • We are creating a new currency based solely on code.

And it’s all done through code, a complex and intricate “system of laws”.

It’s been noted that two broad categories of change have arisen since those simple days of long ago to today’s modern civilization.


Now a days people seem content to live independently, either with their nuclear families or on their own, rather than living within a community support unit.

I would say Maslows hierarch of needs scale shows how humanities’ journey has evolved. We have moved up the scale from simple, basic survival coding methods to a more comfortable, secure and life style.

Secondly, it seems from to-days complex and advanced coding system which requires us to obey many rules, we have forsaken much of our control. This has resulted in loosing much of our freedom.

With our “global civilization on the cusp of colonizing other planets” (Auerswald, P), I wonder what our coding systems will look like then.




















2 thoughts on “Is Our Civilization Built on Code?

  1. Interesting perspective. Maybe the movie The Matrix was on to something! Soon we’ll be living in our own little pods, hooked up to a computer to “enjoy” the universe! Scary!

    1. With the world ticking away built on more and more complex and larger coding systems to keep order and control. Sounds like fun!! Thanks for your response. Much appreciated.

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