¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 In addition to the wide-ranging and approachable explanation on the scope of code and software, the persona employed by Paul Ford in the What is Code? article conveys something worth noting: the corporate context that much characterizes the world of software development. And as Ford briefly notes, code/software and data are like the chicken and egg in the planetary computational environment that we are witnessing. Kitchin’s observation that the definition and delimination of data is not independent of the thought system and the instruments underpinning their production holds for code as well.
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 The abundance of data and its importance in social and personal functioning means that we cannot see data just as representation; it is very much substantial, and performs an ontological role that levels with real objects and the human subject, in a Latourian sense. As Kitchin quotes from Gitelman and Jackson, “if data are somehow subject to us, we are also subject to data.” I think one way to rephrase this is that the locus of human (computational) activity is flesh and data at the same time; different layers of physicality and abstraction operating concurrently. Same goes with code. Code is less something written by a developer that exists separately on a machine, than a channel through which humans perform their activities more and more. Then a bigger urgency is given to observing the context within which such code is created and propagated; corporate culture in the case of Ford’s article.
¶ 4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 On a separate but loosely related note, Around DH in 80 Days‘ self-curatorial approach (it is a DH project on DH projects) was interesting and pleasant to follow. The focus on a humanities context and people’s activities around the world seemed like a celebration of the field, and of diversity within it. I tend to think of DH in a Western higher education context, but this project comes across me as an effort to testify that DH is more than a regional trend. There is something here that feels valuable and hopeful.
Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0
Ford, Paul. “What is code.” Bloomberg Businessweek 11 (2015).
Kitchin, Rob. The data revolution: Big data, open data, data infrastructures and their consequences. Sage, 2014.
Around DH in 80 Days. http://www.arounddh.org/