[-empyre-] code

Dirk Wrote:
Digital "meaning" is *not* the same as analog (= socio-cultural) "meaning". It's important for digital writers - particulary those who don't write their own interpreter programs - to recognize that any analogy goes through a semantic ADDA conversion, which was done by at least one program written by at least one programmer who /has/ to use a hierachy at the core of any program, just to make it work on a digital machine. A programmer's use for heterarchies of any kind (including heterarchies of meaning) is very limited, and making good programmatical use of heterarchies - e.g. in parallel computing - is considered to be in the realm of High Art among programmers.


Digital meaning arises in relation to a social/cultural frame. Code is also social and cultural because the person writing it can not escape his embodied knowing mechanisms (especially if they are shared approaches). These can not be separated out from his social knowing --- in fact these abstraction methodologies and mathematical procedures are extensions of linguistic potentialities.

Hamilton and Bonk provide this perspective:

A computer language is a notation for the unambiguous description of computer programmes. Such languages are synthetic in their vocabulary; punctuation, grammar, syntax and semantics are precisely defined in the context of a particular operating system. They suffer from an inability to cope with autonomous expression - an essential attribute of an organic language. The poetic of computers lies in the genius of individual programmers to express the beauty of their thought using such an inexorable medium. (Hamilton & Bonk, 1997, p.309)
HAMILTON, R. and BONK, E. 1997. The Typosophic Texture. Politics/Poetics: Das Burch Zur Documenta X. Ostfildern-Ruit: Cantz Verlag.

Professor Bill Seaman, Ph.D.
Department  Head
Digital+ Media Department (Graduate Division)
Rhode Island School of Design
Two College St.
Providence, R.I. 02903-4956
401 277 4956
fax 401 277 4966


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