There is the code and then there is the running program. The genotype and the phenotype. The instructions and the product.
But instructions are not sufficient. Bytecode is useless without a runtime, DNA is just molecules outside of a cell, and music is a series of vibrations until my brain turns the notes into song.
Our brain is the runtime that changes patterns into meaning. Into what? Emotions, whole states of mind. When the notes vibrate the air, your brain and my brain each interpret them differently. I hear You Are My Sunshine, and my Aunt Cheri comes to mind. You hear it, recognize it by the agreed-upon name as well, but think of… whom? Your mother or grandmother?
Every time we hear the song, not only are we interpreting it, we are also programming our brains. What if a processor was influenced by every piece of code it ran? What if the more times it ran a particular group of instructions, they got faster? Skipped right to the result it got those other times, or something close to it? What if every PC ran a program diffently, depending on previous experience?
If we are like git, then git config rerere is turned on.
When my girls were toddlers, I sang to them each her special song while rocking her, holding her, nursing her. I charged up that song. When she hurt, I sang that song again calling up that state of comfort and safety. Leveraging her previous experience.
With code the runtime is the runtime, the same every time. With people not so. Either way, the instructions are meaningful only within an environment. The same DNA has different output in different cells. We have multiple ways to influence the output, the final execution. And when these also influence each other – when the input pattern changes our brain while it executes – things get really interesting.