Updating to remain the same

9780262034494_0Le nouveau livre de Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, après Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics et Programmed Visions: Software and Memory, également parus au MIT Press.


New media—we are told—exist at the bleeding edge of obsolescence. We thus forever try to catch up, updating to remain the same. Meanwhile, analytic, creative, and commercial efforts focus exclusively on the next big thing: figuring out what will spread and who will spread it the fastest. But what do we miss in this constant push to the future? In Updating to Remain the Same, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun suggests another approach, arguing that our media matter most when they seem not to matter at all—when they have moved from “new” to habitual. Smart phones, for example, no longer amaze, but they increasingly structure and monitor our lives. Through habits, Chun says, new media become embedded in our lives—indeed, we become our machines: we stream, update, capture, upload, link, save, trash, and troll.

Chun links habits to the rise of networks as the defining concept of our era. Networks have been central to the emergence of neoliberalism, replacing “society” with groupings of individuals and connectable “YOUS.” (For isn’t “new media” actually “NYOU media”?) Habit is central to the inversion of privacy and publicity that drives neoliberalism and networks. Why do we view our networked devices as “personal” when they are so chatty and promiscuous? What would happen, Chun asks, if, rather than pushing for privacy that is no privacy, we demanded public rights—the right to be exposed, to take risks and to be in public and not be attacked?

Exploratory Programming for the Arts and Humanities

This book introduces programming to readers with a background in the arts and humanities; there are no prerequisites, and no knowledge of computation is assumed. In it, Nick Montfort reveals programming to be not merely a technical exercise within given constraints but a tool for sketching, brainstorming, and inquiring about important topics. He emphasizes programming’s exploratory potential—its facility to create new kinds of artworks and to probe data for new ideas.

Nick Montfort is Associate Professor of Digital Media at MIT. He is the coauthor of 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10 and Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System, the coeditor of The New Media Reader, and the author of Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction, all published by the MIT Press.

Nick Montfort, Exploratory Programming for the Arts and Humanities, The MIT Press, Avril 2016.


Jake Feinler (SRI)

Voir notamment le témoignage de Jake Feinler – recueilli par Marc Weber (p. 52), qui oeuvra au SRI avec Engelbart au développement d’Arpanet et d’Internet (notamment du Whois).

Sur Jake Feinler voir également

ELIZABETH JOCELYN FEINLER: An Interview Conducted by Janet Abbate for the IEEE History Center, 8 July 2002. Interview # 597 for the IEEE History Center, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.

In this interview, Feinler describes her work with FORTRAN, her initial interest in Chemistry, and her work at SRI. At SRI, she was involved in several projects including developing an Resource Handbook. She describes in great detail her time and her involvement in these projects at SRI and the transition of the Internet from military use to commercial use. She highlights the ongoing learning process involved in working with computers and programming. Feinler also described her time at NASA at the Ames Research Center after leaving her long career at SRI.

Nous signalons également le billet sur le blog du national Air and Space Museum dédié à Margaret Hamilton.

Séminaire Codes sources

L’objectif du séminaire Codes sources est de présenter la pensée informatique là où elle s’exprime le plus concrètement : dans les textes
que sont les codes sources.


Portrait de E. Dijkstra Source manuscripts of Edsger W. Dijkstra, University Texas at Austin Author Hamilton Richards CC BY-SA 3.0

Portrait de E. Dijkstra
Source manuscripts of Edsger W. Dijkstra, University Texas at Austin
Author Hamilton Richards
CC BY-SA 3.0

Séance du mercredi 23 mars 2016 (14h-15h30) :

Yann Régis-Gianas (PPS, IRIF, Université Paris-Diderot, Pi.R2, INRIA) : « CallCC, un coup d’état sur le contrôle »

Lorsque Dijkstra publie son article « Go To Statement Considered  Harmful », une fronde de programmeurs – dont Knuth – s’est élevée contre les restrictions d’expressivité proposées par l’informaticien néerlandais : en effet, la structuration du flot de contrôle par les seules procédures et boucles while interdisait certains idiomes de programmation fort utiles et répandus.

Cependant, les motivations de Dijkstra étaient légitimes : puisque  l’on ne peut pas prédire les prédécesseurs d’un point de contrôle en présence du « goto », on ne peut pas raisonner localement sur les instructions d’un programme et cela interdit toute ambition de passage à l’échelle de la preuve de programme.

Seulement, l’expressivité du « goto » peut être retrouvée à l’aide d’opérateurs de contrôle inventés par Peter Landin plusieurs années auparavant : en présence de ces opérateurs, les points de contrôle deviennent des objets de première classe appelés continuations. En
tant qu’objet du calcul, les points de contrôle du programme sont alors l’affaire du programmeur. Grâce à l’abstraction de type, il peut alors choisir de légiférer comme bon lui semble pour spécifier leur bon usage.

Lieu : Salle 24-25/405 du LIP6 (rotonde 24 ou 25, 4e étage)
4 place Jussieu, 75005 Paris
métro Jussieu (lignes 7 et 10)

Prochaines séances du séminaire Codes sources
Lire la suite

Because of the pixels …

My own rage comic, about a dog, Wout 159 CC BY SA 3.0

My own rage comic, about a dog, Wout 159
CC BY SA 3.0

Découvrir ou redécouvrir l’article

Davison P., Because of the Pixels: On the History, Form and Influence of MS Paint, Journal of Visual Culture, Journal of Visual Culture, December 2014, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 275-297. 


This article focuses on the history, formal properties, and cultural role played by MS Paint, a widely available graphics program that has been used to make countless internet memes. The author examines the technical limitations of the program, and the visible consequences produced by a mouse-driven bitmap-based graphics program. He uses MS Paint as a context to discuss two new pieces of graphics software – Fresh Paint and Rage Maker – each of which embody radically different orientations to the concept of remediation. These three approaches to understanding MS Paint help us to reconsider the culturally suppressed media that have nonetheless had significant effects on the visual culture of the contemporary participatory internet.




This is a collection of curated Windows 3.x software, meant to show the range of software products available for the 3.x Operating System in the early 1990s.

Une collection Internet Archive à découvrir 

Lire le billet de Jason Scott sur la collection: Internet Archive Does Windows: Hundreds of Windows 3.1 Programs Join the Collection

ENIAC in action

Conceived in 1943, completed in 1945, and decommissioned in 1955, ENIAC (the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) was the first general-purpose programmable electronic computer. But ENIAC was more than just a milestone on the road to the modern computer. During its decade of operational life, ENIAC calculated sines and cosines and tested for statistical outliers, plotted the trajectories of bombs and shells, and ran the first numerical weather simulations. ENIAC in Action tells the whole story for the first time, from ENIAC’s design, construction, testing, and use to its afterlife as part of computing folklore. It highlights the complex relationship of ENIAC and its designers to the revolutionary approaches to computer architecture and coding first documented by John von Neumann in 1945.

Within this broad sweep, the authors emphasize the crucial but previously neglected years of 1947 to 1948, when ENIAC was reconfigured to run what the authors claim was the first modern computer program to be executed: a simulation of atomic fission for Los Alamos researchers. The authors view ENIAC from diverse perspectives—as a machine of war, as the “first computer,” as a material artifact constantly remade by its users, and as a subject of (contradictory) historical narratives. They integrate the history of the machine and its applications, describing the mathematicians, scientists, and engineers who proposed and designed ENIAC as well as the men—and particularly the women who—built, programmed, and operated it.