Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Person or the Code? (Again)

Codes seem to be embedded everywhere.  Codes are in our computers, language is a code, our DNA is a code, and even chemical structures for atoms could be looked at as a form of code.  As we dissect our world into smaller and smaller bits, we seek to somehow encode these tiny chunks to make them more understandable.  But what truly exists beneath all these layers and layers of code.  If codes make up our DNA do they define who we are? Can our lives be written out as some enormous mathematical equation.  Where does code end and I began?  It is possible to control whole universes with code (as in Utopia).  I guess I just wonder if codes are how we understand and define things and also how we are defined, which came first the man or the code.

Every day news articles, bank transactions, and even political debates are being put into code.  All our information on the internet accessible only through what Pold described as "dynamic" interfaces, the changing canvas through which we glimpse digital culture.  Its funny how though computers are becoming more powerful, they are doing little to resemble the cyberspace of "The Matrix" or "Nueromancer".   Instead we have the same (though now more brightly colored, and aesthetically pleasing) windows as we have always had to navigate through our computers.  I don't really have a problem with sticking to what works, but I feel some of the predictions we have read about how much the computer interface will change will be far from hitting the mark.

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