Programming Languages for a Programmable World (what's on those tablets in Westworld, anyway?)

It occurs to me that, as our world becomes more programmable - we need better languages for programming the world around us. Perhaps we can start discussing what those languages, and the run-time environments behind them, might look like.

We're in the Anthropocene, human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment. We shape the face of the planet, and with almost 7 billion of our 8 billion carrying smartphones - we have reached the "singularity" - we have become globally connected rendering engines of an increasingly plastic reality. In a world of complex, self-organizing & adaptive systems - our dreams emerge into our collective subconsciousness (Facebook, Twitter, the Evening News), and we proceed to make those dreams real through our speech & actions. And so far, we've been letting our Ids rule the show - perhaps, because we simply don't have the language, or the processes, to be more deliberate about negotiating the world we want to live in.

The notion of a Holodeck has been expanded greatly in recent years - "Westworld," "Ready Player 1," "Free Guy" - we get closer and closer to the notion of designing & scripting the world around us. Theme Parks, "Reality TV," LARPs, CONs built around fictional universes, large-scale LVC (Live, Virtual, Constructive) military exercises ... bring us closer and closer to the point where we can deliberately design & script the world around us, at the stroke of a key.

But we're still living in a world where the pen rules. Westworld shows us engineers reprogramming the world from their tablets. Parzival & Blue Shirt Guy pull up virtual consoles, with super-user privileges. But, so far, the designs are conceptual - the GUIs are fictional, as is the code behind them. It's time that we start developing those interfaces & the run-time environments behind them. The Internet is increasingly the SCADA system for our planetary systems - it's time to start developing a new generation of protocols & languages.

Shakespeare wrote, "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players." John wrote, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." In the introduction to the "Whole Earth Catalog" - Stewart Brand wrote "We are as gods and might as well get good at it." Learning to be better gods, starts with improving our vocabulary, grammer, and diction. We need better design & scripting languages for shaping the world around us. And then we can talk about Design & Engineering Processes.

We have MATLAB for systems modeling. We have have business plans, program plans, contracts, budgets & schedules for building systems. We have "mission orders" for military campaigns. But, the closer we get to the daily experience of life, the more nebulous our language becomes - we're back to natural languages that are not particularly useful for defining scenes, scenarios, characters, behaviors - for describing or scripting the stuff of reality. We use natural languages to write course catalogs & syllabi for universities; to write conference programs for events. We write shooting scripts for movies. Unity is simply not up to real-world tasks, like setting up an improv scene to be played out by avatars.

Playing Game Master is still an art, practiced by individuals. If we are to truly master our reality, to write our own scripts, and to live together as cast & crew in each others' games, we need better language for discussing & negotiating our roles & lines - rules of engagement & order for "reality jamming" if you will - ideally ones that let us all "Live Long & Prosper" in a sustainable world of "Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combination." We seem to have gotten pretty good at setting up for a "Forever War" (or perhaps one ending in Mutually Assured Destruction). Now we need to get good at setting up for a "Million Year Picnic."

The question is... what do those languages look like? What's the computational model behind them? What's the run-time bridge between thought, rendering the scenery, setting up the action?

This is a community of language designers - perhaps we can start the discussion here. Your thoughts, please!