[Humanist] 23.143 programming

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Thu Jul 9 07:23:31 CEST 2009

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 23, No. 143.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Wed, 8 Jul 2009 09:24:51 -0400
        From: James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 23.139 programming
        In-Reply-To: <20090708053146.C13AD1D634 at woodward.joyent.us>

Yes, it may refuse to commit, but is it still fun on a date?  I think
the language we use to talk about code in itself creates idea about
the code that are extrinsic to the code.  And our choice of language
is a -choice-: a choice we may not be aware we're making, but still a

Does code functionally exist until it's been embedded in a single,
particular processing system?

Jim R

> It becomes more like code (more like Fortran, Basic or XSLT) and less
> like human language (English, Latin or Chinese), if it ever does,
> only provisionally, when it is embedded in a single particular
> processing system -- a particular operational context.
> And its refusal to commit to any single such system -- its capacity
> to be recontextualized, with its significances adjusted or altered
> accordingly -- is intrinsic to its value and usefulness.
> Cheers,
> Wendell

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