Prompts: Theoretical Discussion || Code Critique

Comments: Theoretical Discussion || Code Critique

Promotional material (including promotional email)

Host and guest twitter handles

Clarissa Lee @normasalim
Max Feinstein @crimestein
Jarah Moesch @jarahmoesch
Jean Bauer @jean_bauer
Peter Likarish
Richard Mehlinger
Matt Kirschenbaum - @Mkirschenbaum
Mark Marino - @Markcmarino
Dave Berry - @Berrydm
Mark Sample - @Samplereality
Tara McPherson - @Tmcphers
Jeremy Douglass - @jeremydouglass

Critical Code Studies resources:
IML Videos from CCS @ USC lots of great presentations on a variety of topics within CCS (includes a methodology page)
Mark Marino's 2006 introductory essay on CCS
First week of discussion from the CCS online working group
Stephen Ramsay's video Algorithms are Thoughts, Chainsaws are Tools
[Link to CCS Working Group bibliography? or move that to the blog and link to it? I'll look into this soon -Max]

invited and confirmed guests:
Mark Marino (founder of Critical Code Studies)
Mark Sample (spoke at the CCS@USC conference last summer -Max)
Tara McPherson (also spoke at CCS@USC -Max)
Matt Kirschenbaum (confirmed)
Todd Millstein
Wendy Chun
Stephanie August
David M. Berry
Jeremy Douglass

potential invited guests:
Jeremy Douglass (sent out an invitation, waiting for reply -Max)
David Shepard (declined -- too busy)
Stephen Ramsay (declined -- too busy)
N Katherine Hayles (She has declined to participate as she feels unqualified to do so. But she suggested that we have Mark Marino
(already here)/Wendy Chun instead. Clarissa)

images: (link to them here):
small matrix


ccs_hastac_image_2.jpg (early punch card) (humor - good code) (humor - code talkers)

initial interests:
  • What tools can we use to read code? I took up this issue in a paper I presented at the 2010 CCS@USC conference. Specifically, I discussed software debuggers as useful tools for looking at programs in action. Here's the full text of the paper. -Max
    • Debuggers are very helpful tools. On a simpler level, though, we can talk about the environments in which we read and write code. In terms of tools, I'd say that you want a decent IDE: something with syntax highlighting, parentheses matching, which displays all the related files in a project, and which gives you a strong search feature with regex support. On the other hand, a number of "purists" prefer a command-line environment like vim or emacs (incidentally, there's something of a religious war between adherents of each) to IDEs like Visual Studio or Eclipse. These more "primitive" editors often offer many similar features to an IDE, but with no or limited mouse support. So how does one's choice of environment influence the coding/reading experiences? ~Richard
  • Analyzing obfuscated code. See my example on code snippets. I'll deobfuscate it when I get a chance. So you can look at the result of the code execution as well. I'm hoping some theory buffs can help me with a theoretical framing for this portion of the discussion. - Peter Likarish (UIowa)

individual 1st comments:

Some initial thoughts:

For question 3, I think hands down Foucault belongs on any reading list for CCS. His understanding of knowledge-power offers a very powerful framework for a critical examination of code.
I would like to bring "A Thousand Plateaus" into the picture, especially in terms of territoriality, deterritorialization, the rhizome and faciality. When I think about faciality as described by Delezue and Guattari, I am also thinking in terms of face recognition and the use of biometric and recognition devices by Homeland security - the codification and decodification of organic bodies. Codes can be said to fall under the category of bodies without organs- BwO as a field of immanence desire, where the desire is a process of production without reference to any exterior agency. Can we consider the code to be "formal multiplicity of substantial attributes that...constitutes the ontological unity of substance (Deleuze and Guattari, 1987, A Thousand Plateaus 170) - Clarissa
For question 4, one subquestion that I think might be worth asking is whether CCS can help computer scientists write better code.