Working notes from the Scandinavian Institute for Computational Vandalism

Algorithms before computers

Algorithms before computers

“The only way you could formulate a complete rule (in premodern sensibility): you had to foresee the exceptions, it is both specific and supple. The habit doesn’t simply enforce the rule, it embodies it, just like this spearbearer statue embodies the canon of male beauty. More than that the habit’s discretion is not supplementary to the rule, it is part of the rule. It is the leaden ruler that adjusts the straight iron ruler to the curves of the individual case.”

Watch Lorraine Daston on Algorithms before Computers

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