Friday, December 3, 2010

The Politics of Computer Programming

Even techniques involving computer programming have an ethical aesthetic and this aesthetic is basically reducible to a dialectic of an alphabetic language meant to reveal and a priestly language of Mystery meant to obscure information so that it can be controlled and is only decipherable by an elect group.

When an alphabetic language was invented by the Phoenicians it marked the first time in history that the power of the written word was available to those outside of clergy. In computer programming, obfuscated code is the direct correlary of the priest caste's attempt to hide information. Obfuscated code is created by creating macros (supplements) in place of the actual language's built in commands.

If the code is written using the compiler's native commands it's easy to read and therefore to understand and reduplicate. The macro supplement divorces the reader one step from the native commands and therefore requires a concerted effort to reduplicate.

So what you have in Object Oriented Programming is a style imperative that demands the writer make his code easy to read and therefore to understand, as opposed to a code which is meant to obfuscate the operations of the code.

The alchemists were on the opposite end of this imperative. Theirs was a code meant to be understood only by practitioners of the Craft, an imperative despised by Blake. Blake understood the priest cast as withholding the mysteries of faith from its practioners, and they do this in order to create a dependency, because if everyone knew what they knew, they would become dispensable.

No comments:

Post a Comment