For a way cool, interactive, 38K word essay on code, that even Bill Gates likes, check out...
Apparently, an editor of Bloomberg Businessweek realized that although he had been working in digital journalism for a couple decades, there was a lot he didn't know. So he asked Paul Ford - a programmer and author, to explain it to him.
The result is "What is Code?", one of Bloomberg's most popular stories ever, that non-programmers might even understand. maybe.