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55

Software Studies Methods

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notes

Fuller, M. (2017). Software Studies Methods. In Fuller, M. How to Be a Geek: Essays on the Culture of Software. Polity Press, pp. 55-68

56

[...] a scan of the literature shows that it is entirely possible to have a social or literary theorist discourse on 'algorithms' without any references other than to others of their ilk. This kind of elective solipsism of disciplines is familiar to those navigating interdisciplinary terrains, and is also articulated through the kinds of citation politics that other fields, such as feminist research, have become all too familiar with. We are in the amusing position where the emphasis on materiality in recent theory results in what is technical and important sounding being elevated to the same kind of generalizations that, say, the more banal pronouncements of postmodernity suffered from in their heyday. Social theory too often beings along its upstairs/downstairs split between high theory and empiricism.

—p.56 by Matthew Fuller 10 months, 1 week ago

[...] a scan of the literature shows that it is entirely possible to have a social or literary theorist discourse on 'algorithms' without any references other than to others of their ilk. This kind of elective solipsism of disciplines is familiar to those navigating interdisciplinary terrains, and is also articulated through the kinds of citation politics that other fields, such as feminist research, have become all too familiar with. We are in the amusing position where the emphasis on materiality in recent theory results in what is technical and important sounding being elevated to the same kind of generalizations that, say, the more banal pronouncements of postmodernity suffered from in their heyday. Social theory too often beings along its upstairs/downstairs split between high theory and empiricism.

—p.56 by Matthew Fuller 10 months, 1 week ago
61

[...] Friedrich Kittler neatly boiled down the condition of media as being those mechanisms to do with the production, storage and dissemination of information. The systems in the last paragraph added analysis to this triad. Analysis here is the breaking down of complex entities into what, at a certain scale, can be read as nominally fundamental units, and working out their immanent, potential or emergent relationships. [...]

possibly a useful definition to know. (the systems in the last paragraph being PageRank of OpenGraph etc)

—p.61 by Matthew Fuller 10 months, 1 week ago

[...] Friedrich Kittler neatly boiled down the condition of media as being those mechanisms to do with the production, storage and dissemination of information. The systems in the last paragraph added analysis to this triad. Analysis here is the breaking down of complex entities into what, at a certain scale, can be read as nominally fundamental units, and working out their immanent, potential or emergent relationships. [...]

possibly a useful definition to know. (the systems in the last paragraph being PageRank of OpenGraph etc)

—p.61 by Matthew Fuller 10 months, 1 week ago