They didn't have computers yet (this is pre WW2) so the whole idea of "cranking through a script" (ala some player piano) was not yet clearly envisioned.
Ada, daughter of the poet Lord Byron, had done some speculations, about what programming could be like, and more recently (relative to Bertrand Russell) we had young Alan Turning, up and coming.
"Cranking through" back then meant something more like "following the rules of logic". Euclidean geometry supplied the paradigm example.
The idea of a machine behind it all "running the numbers" seemed remote, like science fiction, far fetched, too deus ex machina.
"Computers" were all human beings back then.
Fast forward a hundred plus years, and we do have many calculi for modeling. They're called "programming languages".
Some of the more mainstream ones use a notation known as "dot notation":
car.color = "green" shows the noun.adjective = value form of this grammar, while dog.bark(5) suggests noun.verb(arguments).
Note the "dot" between the noun and the adjective, the noun and the verb.
"Dog, bark five times!" is roughly what dog.bark(5) means. Perhaps a result is returned meaning a new name (noun) for the namepace:
results = worker.job(inputs) shows a new 'thing', results, deriving from a worker, agent, actor.
A script or "programme" is like what you have in theater, a sequence of instructions controlling a performance, as a musical score informs an orchestra.
The "dot" itself signifies "going within" i.e. has the connotation of "containment". The thing "contains" these properties, these capabilities.
A noun (thing) is told to do some job (some work) by activating its innate abilities, its internalized "verbs" (we often say "methods" in STEM).
Retroactively, with the benefit of hindsight, it's easy to see the focus on propositional calculus as one of the many puzzle pieces needed for our digital age to take shape.
Today, pre-college students have such text books as 'Mathematics for the Digital Age and Programming in Python', equally suitable as a math or computer science book (STEM makes no strong distinctions between these).
They called it the "dot com bomb" for a reason.
"Bomb" because it represented the failure of lawyer-capitalism (Fuller's LAWCAP) to really "get it" about the engineering of the future, but also "dot", because of "dot notation" ("com" was short for "commercial" when the top level domains were first invented i.e. com, net, org, mil, gov, edu, nation codes).
Most people already know to say "dot" when reading off email addresses. That's common parlance. They don't say "period".
It follows that STEM courses which reveal the mysteries of "dot notation" are not rubbing junior's nose in highfalutin esoterica of only academic importance.
On the contrary, to teach "dot notation" is to help explain "how things work" on many levels.
So are only the most privileged 1% entitled to this information? Should knowledge of "dot notation" be withheld from the 99%?
That's a good question to be asking on "Occupy Day" (October 6) when Portland gave birth to OPDX.