Future of Coding

65 • Interpreting the Rule(s) of Code by Laurence Diver


Listen in your podcast player by searching for Future of Coding, or via Apple Podcasts | Overcast | RSS

The execution of code, by its very nature, creates the conditions of a “strong legalism” in which you must unquestioningly obey laws produced without your say, invisibly, with no chance for appeal. This is a wild idea; today’s essay is packed with them. In drawing parallels between law and computing, it gives us a new skepticism about software and the effect it has on the world. It’s also full of challenges and benchmarks and ideas for ways that code can be reimagined. The conclusion of the essay is flush with inspiration, and the references are stellar. So while it might not look it at first, this is one of the most powerful works of FoC we’ve read: Interpreting the Rule(s) of Code: Performance, Performativity, and Production by Laurence Diver, 2001.

Next episode, we’re having an open-ended discussion about end-user programming. The reading is Bonnie Nardi’s 1993 classic, A Small Matter of Programming, with the referenced articles from the 1991 Scientific American special issue Communications, Computers and Networks as extra background.

Get in touch, ask us questions, DON’T send us the sound of your knuckles cracking: