I found this very interesting quote in an article on Information Software and the Graphical Interface:
A computational process is indeed much like a sorcerer’s idea of a spirit. It cannot be seen or touched. It is not composed of matter at all. However, it is very real. It can perform intellectual work. It can answer questions. It can affect the world by disbursing money at a bank or by controlling a robot arm in a factory. The programs we use to conjure processes are like a sorcerer’s spells.
—Abelson and Sussman, Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (1984)
How very true!