Take some time (or your Instapaper) and read this great article
on Ruby programmer _why
. Even if you have no interest in programming, no interest in "celebrity" within the world of programmers or any such semi-related thing I still think you're enjoy it. Author Annie Lowrey approaches the topic from a completely ignorant place; no experience with programming or even the lexicon of programming. So, from that standpoint, she can take a step back and express just how it is that _why is as important as he is (or, was, depending on your viewpoint).
The article also points towards this great introduction to programming & Ruby - Try Ruby
. It's as basic as it can get but, honestly, that's the best way to dive right in.