I think it has something to do with human psychology. Your brain is a really excellent parsing engine – children learn to parse sentences spontaneously and unconsciously. So if your computing environment isn’t taking advantage of languages and parsing then it’s not really using all of your brain.
The other side of the coin is visual tools, which are also using an extremely powerful part of your brain. Xerox PARC/Apple/Microsoft made computing ubiquitous with this paradigm.
I think the difference is that language is inherently, almost infinitely compositional (recursive), while visual tools have higher bandwidth but don’t compose or automate well. The latter can be very powerful, but also tend to fall down a hole pretty quickly if you’re trying to do something that the creator of the tool didn’t envision.
Makes sense—I’m sure you did a lot of parsing in your interpreter too :-)
Some interesting higher value tools I’ve found for problems that don’t quite justify a program from me to pull off:
I’ve also gotten a lot of use out of databases and the other things mentioned in the post.