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Written By: daveski on November 20, 2008 9 Comments

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<?like WordPress says(Code_is_Poetry(‘!!’)){{{ ?>Can you find the words(); ??}}
<but the kind of code we love=”language“>&thatcode;</spans beyond the computer screen>
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<h2 class=”now_its_time_for”>Discussion</h2>

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9 Responses to “< ? the_last_post (); ? >”

  1. Youki on: 21 November 2008 at 2:04 am

    function comment()




    if (the_first_post=NULL) then

    if (this_post!=NULL) then

    if (the_first_post=NULL and the_last_post=NULL and exists(FIT)=true) then

    end function

  2. Usree Bhattacharya on: 21 November 2008 at 8:35 am

    PRE, brilliant. AH, another stroke of brilliance.

  3. Rick Kern on: 21 November 2008 at 11:07 am

    I see you speak the same language… see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VS_s2NaEoU

  4. chigaijin on: 21 November 2008 at 8:26 pm

    As a software developer, I can see code as poetry…and this does not capture it. As when I try to translate something from English to Japanese, I get in trouble when I try to use the Japanese words I’ve learned in an English context/structure. There’s a lot of shared metaphors, but even more that are not shared at all.

    I can’t really see why I have such a strong negative reaction to this. Perhaps it’s my form of Panda Express. To some of my friends, Panda Express is a perversion of Chinese food. The thing is, I don’t care if it’s Chinese or not — it’s tasty fast food. In this case, I can’t seem to work past the fact that this isn’t poetic code, it’s poetic English with semi-random bits of code scattered throughout. (The code is used for its meaning less than half of the time.) “Can you find the words?” In real code, the symbols and functions aren’t just noise — they’re words as well.

    Wow. Such a strong reaction…I wasn’t expecting that of myself. Makes me think I should post something once more, here.

    I voted. *grin*

  5. Youki on: 22 November 2008 at 12:20 am

    hmm I had a totally different interpretation; I thought of a machine that becomes self-aware and begins to merge 2 languages (php and English) to create something new, approaching human but not quite. I didn’t think of it as “the php code behind the human text” as some people may think Dave’s post is. The code itself has human elements to it, the same way humans use language in new and creative, and often ambiguous ways.


    makes me think of computer code as fully enclosed, a bounded set of statements and procedures with no room for interpretation. Human language, on the other hand, is unbounded, and open to infinite possibility. Somewhere in-between lies the narrator of the post, a computer entity that somehow, whether through a glitch or corrupt piece of code, has come to realize that it doesn’t need to be imprisoned by the language it uses.

  6. Youki on: 22 November 2008 at 12:26 am

    hmm i can’t edit my comment, where it says “&thatcode;” in my post I was quoting the line:

    but the kind of code we love=”language“ &thatcode spans beyond the computer screen

    without the extra code.

  7. chigaijin on: 23 November 2008 at 1:14 am

    That’s kinda my point, though…I read “&thatcode;” and I don’t think it semantically means “and that code”. Eh.

  8. daveski on: 23 November 2008 at 8:06 pm

    I see your point, chigaijin (good to see you here again!). I hadn’t thought that this might be read as a sort of orientalizing of code, a kind of decoration that doesn’t consider the meaning of the code itself.

    In fact, as you can probably tell, I don’t understand code well. But I’ve found myself living in it, hunting for clues within it, in order to make the few changes I could to page templates, to add a few functions, and otherwise keep this blog going in the absence of an ‘expert’ tech FIT-ter.

    The sentiment I was going for here is a synthesis of entrapment and revelation in/of code, an exposure of the processes of blogging that had gone so far beyond just ‘writing posts’ and ‘commenting’ that I felt were expected of the blogging scholarship competition that ended 10 minutes after I posted this.

    A few small points:
    * The original code for the post is the template file for a single-post (permalinked) page on this blog
    * The “Can you find the words?” was actually referring to the “Code is poetry” mantra on the wordpress page that’s linked in my post, and not to the words in my own post per se, though I see how you could have read that.

    Got any time to help re-code FIT? *grin*

  9. katie_k on: 23 December 2008 at 1:25 pm

    I don’t read code at all, so I just treated this as an e e cummings poem where I had to find the words that I understood.

    It also reminds me of how we mixed French and English on EAP last year. For example, “Are you going to lire the devoir? I want du fromage!” We understood ourselves of course, and had a lot of fun talking this way, but anyone who didn’t speak both languages would probably be lost. A “poetry” all its own.

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