In this essay Kittler frames the argument that software ultimately serves to conceal what is important in a computer system. The most clear way of using this seems to be in the manner in which software restrains and restricts the capacities of the user. Programmability is seen as a force that enables this concealment, and is, instead of an advantage, considered an indictment. While software is limiting and restrictive, so too is hardware, so it is difficult to tell exactly where and what the problem is. I would say that ultimately the restrictions of software are the the same as the restrictions of using any system of abstracting models.

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Summary: Kittler looks at the origins of software and its evolution. He also goes on to question whether or not our notions of software, its identity, and its use are correct. It is still up to the user to perfect the words. This is important because Kittler is challenging the existing notions of software. I found this quote to be important because it reminded me of words on a page. Words usually have some sort of meaning in which the reader must find such as a theme in a story.

This was confusing because I was not sure what Kittler was referring to. I did not see how this excerpt was tied to the rest of the article and the argument about software as a whole. I feel like this quote is there for the purpose of being here. The allusion to ancient Greece makes the article even more confusing because Kittler does not elaborate on it. Instead of following his argument, I was caught up on trying to connect it with ancient Greece.

I noticed a connection with One-way functions and words written or printed on a page. Do you think there are any other connections between software and print? Rather, there would be no software if computer systems were not surrounded by an environment of everyday languages. Discussion Question: I noticed a connection with One-way functions and words written or printed on a page.


Reading Response 9 on Kittler’s “There is No Software”

Key concepts:. Related theorists:. Mistakenly originally saved as these is no software. The basic question is if there is no software why proceed working code? The problem in era beyond literacy is that writing is hidden in computer memory cells that are able to read and write autonomously. It also seems to hide the very act of writing.


File:Kittler Friedrich 1992 1997 There Is No Software.pdf

Grammatologies of the present time have to start with a rather sad statement. The bulk of written texts - including this text - do not exist anymore in perceivable time and space but in a computer memory's transistor cells. And since these cells in the last three decades have shrunk to spatial extensions below one micrometer, our writing may well be defined by a self-similarity of letters over some six decades. This state of affairs makes not only a difference to history when, at its alphabetical beginning, a camel and its Hebraic letter gemel were just 2.


I'm slowly developing this notion of transmateriality ; in this post, some media theory and a nice example from computer science. In the next I'll try to connect all this with some current art work, and back to the notion of the transmaterial. Thanks to a prod from my friend Brogan Bunt , I've been reading Friedrich Kittler, a literary and media theorist who has made some striking forays into computational media. In a paper from he grapples, like Kirschenbaum , with the grounding of computation in matter, distilling this position to a wonderful aphorism: "there is no software. This miniaturisation, in which writing escapes the bounds of human perception, is facilitated by Turing's core principle of computing, which sets out minimal conditions for computation and proves its independence from hardware - the ability for any number of different physical machines to implement a universal computer.



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