This is my understanding of (some of) the common threads through Bret Victor's talks and writings:
the author sees and manipulates indirect symbolic representations, and must imagine how they give rise to dynamic behavior
a software system is an instance of a more general class of systems, so it's possible to write about "programming" using ideas that aren't actually specific to programming
Right now, today, we can't see the thing, at all, that's going to be the most important 100 years from now.
It certainly won't be software. Today, software is the dominant field of systems engineering. But before that, there were integrated circuits, and before that, discrete transistor circuits, and before that, vacuum tubes, and relays, and mechanical gears of all sorts, and on and on, back to the hand-axes. Vannevar Bush's differential analyzer was a mechanical masterpiece which no longer matters.
(...) Any concept, technique, or tool that is specific to software engineering is guaranteed to have a short shelf life, at least on any time scale that I personally care about.
(Which is totally fine if you're into that, but this is my ill-advised personal note, not yours, and I personally care about mattering 100 years from now.)
— An Ill-Advised Personal Note about "Media for Thinking the Unthinkable" - Bret Victor