Download The Philosophy of Software: Code and Mediation in the by David M. Berry (auth.) PDF

By David M. Berry (auth.)

This ebook is a serious creation to code and software program that develops an realizing of its social and philosophical implications within the electronic age. Written particularly for individuals drawn to the topic from a non-technical heritage, the e-book offers a full of life and fascinating research of those new media forms.

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Example text

Indeed, Humboldt proposed the founding of a new university, the University of Berlin, as a mediator between national culture and the nation-state. Under the project of ‘culture’, the university would be required to undertake both research and teaching, respectively the production and dissemination of knowledge. The modern idea of a university, therefore, allowed it to become the preeminent institution that unified ethnic tradition and statist rationality by the production of an educated cultured individual.

This doesn’t have to be dehumanising. Latour and others have rightly identified the domestication of the human mind that took place with pen and paper (Latour 1986). This is because computers, like pen and paper, help to stabilise meaning, by cascading and visualising encoded knowledge that allows it to be continually ‘drawn, written, [and] recoded’ (Latour 1986: 16). Computational techniques could give us greater powers of thinking, larger reach for our imaginations, and, possibly, allow us to reconnect to political notions of equality and redistribution based on the potential of computation to give to each according The Idea of Code 23 to their need and to each according to their ability.

This is what Hardt and Negri (2000) named ‘immaterial labour’, pointing to the way in which contemporary capital increasingly requires that our intellectual labour is alienated into machines. However, that is not to ignore the attempts by owners and managers to move software development from a craft-like method to an industrial processing model of creating software by using Taylorist techniques, like time-and-motion studies, peer review programming, software libraries, modularity, and so forth.

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