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.
Very Bad Wizards and If Books Could Kill are podcasts that talk through a work from beginning to end sprinkling in reflections as they go, rather than jumping around randomly or separating recap from reflection.