Working notes from the Scandinavian Institute for Computational Vandalism

Category Archives: Snippets

Database populism

Although early users of database technology were predominantly large institutions, the database was also a key technology in the populist vision of personal computing generated by microcomputer fans, researchers, hobbyists, and entrepreneurs in the 1970s and 1980s. Informed by science fiction sensitive to the authoritarian use of database technology, these personal computing advocates hoped that […]

The screen is looking at you in the eyes

Computer vision syndrome (CVS) is a condition resulting from focusing the eyes on a computer or other display device for protracted, uninterrupted periods of time. Some symptoms of CVS include headaches, blurred vision, neck pain, fatigue, eye strain, dry eyes, irritated eyes, double vision, vertigo/dizziness, polyopia, and difficulty refocusing the eyes. In CVS, the screen […]

Escape from the monochrome room

“Imagine a girl called Mary. She is a brilliant neuroscientist and a world expert on colour vision. But because she grew up entirely in a black and white room, she has never actually seen any colours. Many black and white books and TV programmes have taught her all there is to know about colour vision. […]

all sieves are shadows of the substances they sort

[…] we apperceive through our sieves as much as we sieve through our apperception. We appersieve, if you will. Or, if you go back to Kant ([1781] 1965), who defined the ego as the transcendental unity of apperception (whatever that means), we are our sieves. Indeed, crucially, sieves have to take on (and not just […]

The importance of punctuation

The typesetters at Sytin’s print-works in Moscow struck on September 19. They demanded a shorter working day and a higher piecework rate per 1,000 letters set, not excluding punctuation marks. This small event set off nothing more nor less than the all-Russian political strike – the strike which started over punctuation marks and ended by […]

this third eye extracted from the abdomen

‘I feel a very sincere admiration for all those people who march around Spain and Italy laden with bags, cases, telemeters, extra lenses, pose—meters, thermocolorimeters (“for taking the temperature of colour”) and who, never losing the smallest clasp from their bags, or the tiniest roll of film, advance with great strides into the ‘Leican era’. […]

The Variability of Vision

LATE IN 1967 a book was published in England which is as charming as it must be fascinating to all who are interested in the theory and practice of interpretation. Its principal author is the Dutch naturalist and ethologist Niko Tinbergen, who combined with a friend and artist to photograph the tracks left in the […]

Every contact leaves a trace.

Both questioned document examination and computer forensics belong to a branch of forensic science known as “trace evidence,” which owes its existence to the work of the French investigator Edmond Locard. Locard’s famous Exchange Principle may be glossed as follows: “a cross-transfer of evidence takes place whenever a criminal comes into contact with a victim, […]

Deep addressability

[…] deep addressability would allow for the identification not only of things with mass but also of relations between things. Once again, each letter in the sentence you are reading right now could have an address, but your act of reading of each one of them, those immaterial relations between two things, it and you, […]

If all you have is duct tape, everything starts to look like a duct

From Perl, the first postmodern computer language, by the Practical Extraction and Reporting Language (Perl)‘s creator, Larry Wall. “Or think about shell programming, and reductionism. How many times have we heard the mantra that a program should do one thing and do it well? Well…Perl does one thing, and does it well. What it does […]