All posts by elci.a

On Database Populism, Data Literacy

Data Literacy versus Algorithm Literacy (6)

Against the claim of Elective-C, I assert that prioritizing literacy in data over literacy of algorithms would would merely engender an inchoate prudence -which merely would be the delusion of retaining a profound and vigilant perspective on digital exploitations.

The abundance of memory is an evident premise in our contemporaneity. Therein, data is apt to be stored in protean and highly inefficient forms (hence is the big data, as we had discussed in the first several classes). These attributes of data storage forms are in severe contrast with these of early computation wherein, rather than the processing speed, space was the limiting factor. The stored data, hence, was in precomputed thus efficient forms that retained the traces of the algorithmic processing. In early data forms, literacy in data would be apt, for such literacy would also comprise discerning the algorithm hence the ends and the priorities that the data structure serves.

In our day, data forms no longer necessarily retain the vestiges of precomputation hence the algorithms. Moreover, with the increasing demand for the coarse data (per its versatility), traces of precomputation can be conceived to have extinct. Therefore, a discrete literacy of algorithms is now imperative, because the speculations on handling of data is no longer evident on the data itself.



Further explanation on how algorithmic traces evanesced from databases:

The extinction of algorthmic traces is mostly about the evolution of programming paradigms rather than the evolution of data retention forms.

To clarify this evolution, on earlier years, programming was not yet utilized for extracting social patterns or construction complex relational observations and suggestions (as, for instance, Google does). Therefore, the uses of algorithms consisted solely of the fundamental algorithmic operations (such as sorting, altering and conveying data); these types of fundamental algorithms were ultimately in strong correspondence with the data form that was elected for use. Hence, scrutiny of the database -data literacy- would reveal the algorithm itself.*

The contemporary programming mostly revolves around the paradigm, object oriented programming (OOP). The utilized database structures in OOP is mostly in parity with these utilized in before, hence -as a corollary- the databases do no longer display the pertaining algorithms’ characteristics. This is due to two reasons: (1) OOP mostly consists of encapsulating and exchanging code so that a programmer is as the end user of another programmer’s code, and (2) OOP enables greatly high level programming wherein code may seem to be as an idiosyncratic discourse with the computer.

(1) Encapsulation is a primary thus rampantly utilized characteristic of OOP, and due to encapsulation, programmers generally do not have access to deeper levels of code. The deeper levels handle construction of data through generic, fundamental database forms (as these of preliminary practices), and programmers merely write codes to access these data structures.

This aspect also further emphasizes how data literacy would be incomplete without algorithmic literacy. In our time, data and algorithms are further segregated -the definition of algorithmic identity is further refuted. Therefore, an individual must be perspicacious of how the code is executing under the generically formed data bases.

(2) With OOP is the paradigm of highest-level languages, which denotes code that grandly imitates human language. Moreover, this imitation is not as in COBOL; with OOP, programmers get to define their own concepts, teach -with code- how these concepts are handled, and then code using these concepts.** Due to proliferation of these arbitrary concepts, establishment of a standard database, tailored specifically to serve a large set of algorithms, is impractical.

This aspect, too, emphasizes the imperative of algorithmic literacy. Algorithms no longer consist of solely mathematical steps -they comprise also steps that are defined in accord with the whims of the programmers. The ability to distinguish when the mathematical process is interrupted by the whimsical code is the quintessence of establishing true prudence to be vigilant against digital exploitation.


* Theoretical example: A client, in much earlier times, has been using a database that was capable of swiftly retrieving maximum number of several attributes from a large set of the recorded individuals. The client has also noticed that this attribute can be increased or decreased -again with great speed- for a set of consecutive records. With data literacy, this client can fathom that the used data format is a segment tree. Since segment tree is largely inefficient for addition of new data, the client may then deduce that this set of records is not lenient to change and hence that this set of records may actually be constructed for the purpose of a sociological investigation of a pre-determined cohort size.

** Theoretical example: As a programmer, I can define an object of a class named Human. I can then define methods (concepts) named isANuisance() and delete(). After these definitions are done, I can just tell the code to: foreach(human in Humans) if(human.isANuisance()) human.delete(). With this code, I would then be conducting an esoteric, whimsical discourse with the computer; no one else knows what I mean by “isANuisance”.

On Computer Boys

Stereotype Construction (149)

The stereotypes constructed for winnowing of adept programmers are in much parity with the contemporary stereotypes. Therein, I surmise that the commercial dissemination of these winnowing stereotypes were the incunabula of all further preconceptions on programmers.

My inquiry: Why were these stereotypes established?

Programming can be conceived as an intellectual occupation that endeavors for empirical output. As the precedent intellectual occupations have been -as an elite sect- devising abstract conjectures on the general community of human, programming was received as a perversion (per the empirical, tangible output). Such reception of programming was aggravated by two, in-tandem aspects: (1) the empirical output, yield, purveyed potency over the abstract yield of the precedents and (2) per this tangible yield, the act of programming was integrated swiftly into economics (aptly explored throughout the excerpt).

Interim for clarifying on the potency of the empirical yield:

This claim is based on my previous responses (initially on Foucault) wherein I stated that human mind inherently seeks to achieve a solipsist state. In accord, in utter (impossible) solipsist state, the empirical information would completely acquiesce to the devisings of the mind. Programming is an occupation that approached this state through computers that were, with the intellectual input of code, able to interact with the empirical world. Therefore, this interaction with the empirical world bestowed an extent of power to programmers within the scope of the shared, solipsist motive.

Conclusively, the programmers were an unforeseen potency against other intellectual occupations hence had to be debilitated. The means for debilitation were the stereotypes.

Stereotypes debilitated through ascribing impotency in social level to the programmers. As stated within the article, the stereotypes were mainly revolving around how the programmers were unable to interact with the community -with human. Since social interactions and garnering of a community -as I have stated in the class- is another means of power for human, the stereotypes were imposing impotency in social level to overshadow the potency of empirical yield.

Dissemination of these stereotypes was lucrative per these intricate dynamics of power (potency) situated within. People adopted conceptions, these stereotypes, that would provide means to deprecate other individuals hence emphasize self’s power -even if by a miniscule extent.

On Memex Revisited

1) Overarching reiteration

This part comprises a diagnosis on the cause of humans’ “ineptitude in getting at the record”. The diagnoiss will be rooted on my previous responses.

As Bush denotes, human mind intrinsically works by association. This corroborates the term I have defined as puerile cognizance*: associative processing of data that is the internal dynamics of learning. Therefore, puerile cognizance is handled as the only basis through which human mind interacts with external world.

Bush conclusively denotes that current means of ordering are constructed artificially and are not compatible with associative thinking (hence puerile cognizance). Though, it still was the human mind which devised such inefficient taxonomies, and -per definition- these taxonomies were outputs of data acquired by puerile cognizance. Thus, if puerile cognizance is the default basis of learning and inefficient taxonomies are default outcomes of this learning process, why is human mind internally working against itself?

I have provided a speculation to answer this in my second Foucault response, which did not delineate any practical utilities of the conjectured answer. To reiterate the answer, human mind seeks a static state of cerebral potency, and for this stasis, new information -captured by puerile cognizance- would be detrimental as it would debunk the presumed state of solipsism. (For more information on how this was deduced, the response can be read.) To achieve this state of solipsist cerebral potency, human mind seeks to formulate taxonomies which comprise possible form of data that may be gleaned in a further time. If the mind then abides by these taxonomies, it can assert itself to be in a state of (pseudo-)omniscience, by noting how the new data was already considered previous by its (the mind’s) taxonomy hence itself.

These taxonomies of pseudo-omniscience, then, as explained above, used to stifle and unconsidered association, or input, puerile cognizance would convey to the mind.

Therefore, the reason of what Bush calls as artificial taxonomies is this aim of cerebral potency. The inefficiency of most of human processing is this aim of power in mind which has the ultimate goal of reaching omniscience. Hence, the practical utility that I ascribe to this speculation of mine is that human must, collectively, seek to transcend this notion of power.

2) Memex to override omniscience

Among his utterly accurate prognoses, Bush denotes how human is not seeking to promote utilities for human mind, as memex, and is merely endeavoring for absolute explication of universe (given with the example of investigation on moon in text). I correlate this to the previously explained cause of seeking cerebral potency. Human, with the aim of absolute explication seeks, seeks omniscience, and such has been the proclivity of erudites in previous eras, as with the aim of becoming polymath that we discussed in first classes. I also posit that, in sharp contrast, this aim has been mitigated in our era, and the sole cause of this is introduction of memex (general term; computers for intellectual aid). Hence, memex overrides this aim of omniscience.

The means through which memex overrides (aim of) omniscience is that it promotes the pragmatic utility of even the most trifling information. In applicable ordering and associative access, known and disregarded information -as the traits of bows given in the text- can be compiled or induced into theories that conclusively can be immersed into daily discourses of analytic investigations. Then, for both of these aims, the absolute explication of universe becomes discarded by default as the larger community accedes with the reutilization of information in minute accessibility. Absolute explication, omniscience, hence, is reduced into triviality by memex.

Since this promotion of previously trivial information could have been adopted by community, why has the aim of omniscience, then, been permitted to overshadow reutilization of trivial information in the first place -to an extent which conclusively required the introduction of memex for amendment? The answer to this would be the lack of the applicable community to consolidate the pragmatic reutilizations. The ones who successfully progressed in satisfying cerebral potency, omniscience, had not met the opposition of the ones who failed to acquire this potency. Therefore, due to lack of hindrance, these artificial systems of indexing proliferated and immersed themselves into self-perpetuation.

On Five Dollar Day, Conversion from Notes

This response was again converted from an excerpt of notes and extended.

96 – Managerial Traditions, Extending Reach beyond Technical Realm

Premise of the approach is in parity with Taylor’s -handling of hedonistic satisfaction as currency permissive to investments.

Motives of the management -conclusively the iteration of hedonistic yields*- are derived from a class that has already established stasis within the system hence are granted means of retaining and leveraging their potency. Such class is likely to conceive objective empirical betterment as aim of improvement as their competitors, too, have fulfilled the satisfaction of cerebral dominance** over other individuals. With objective betterment, the competitors’ conceived power is to be debunked as subjective whims. Hence, per this basis, empirical betterment provides absolute yield as satisfaction solely if it retains means to empower dominion by mind.

If workers are to be handled, they retain no individuals through whom they can leverage cerebral dominance. Hence, the only power they have is in material realm. I assert that the sole means to affirm any power is putting it in stasis***, it is the utmost motive of workers -especially if bereft of any other instances of power- to place their material competency in stasis. The aggregate of subconscious yearnings in work would convey worker to slackening (or soldiering), and in this image of mediocre state of material effort, workers would tend to attribute stasis to their material power.

To elucidate, if any form of improvement via efficiency is suggested, such improvement would be stifled with steps:
1) Improvement would be demanding for body hence disapproved by the subconscious.
2) The conscious is motivated for retaining material power in stasis. Improvement hence presumed empowerment of material potency would denounce the stasis. Hence conscious would probably disapprove.
3) Overall, there is a resistance to improvement.

Such was the account against Taylor’s conception of improvement. As to conflate this with impracticality of extending beyond technical realm to enforce manager’s motives, managers on this case would be attempting to impose self’s motives upon workers, and managers’ motives bestow satisfaction not in such proclaimed objectivity. Premises of management are imperative for extracting satisfaction from these motives.

Thus, application of sole Taylorist efficiency via integrating non-technical levels of communication is impractical. That is, unless such integration retains expedient reprogramming of subconscious.


* Hedonistic yield is defined as overall betterment which ultimately would provide some satisfaction for any given individual.
** Human’s innate yearning for cerebral dominance is discussed in my previous responses, most viably to Foucault.
*** Stasis is defined as eternal retention of a given state. This has the corollary that a state in stasis is in perfect position in its preliminary form, since any instance of change would evince the fact that the state is susceptible to external parameters hence does not comprise potency in itself. Still, this perfect initial state may be subject to alteration, if this alteration occurs through subconscious motives.

102-104 Shift in Rewarding and Castigation

Rewarding: Arbitrary -> Systematical
Castigation: Systematical -> Arbitrary (through no eminent institutions)

System is the epitome of potency for these workers (this case is stasis of impotence). Thus, adoption of systematical rewarding was greatly expedient.

For means of castigation, the salutary outcome is ascribed to be due to bolstering of self-discipline among the workers. I posit that it rather was due to indulgence for workers to define their impotence without having to integrate any definitions from higher institutions. Therein, this is solely driven again by satisfaction -not by a romantically advanced sense of integrity as self discipline.

To explicate the efficiency, when these two means -systematical rewarding and arbitrary castigation- converge, they form a miniscule effigy of empowerment (in worker’s perception) in the system. Within the system, the potenates are these who do adhere by the system, and conclusively, subordinate individuals can be rendered impotent merely by whims of these potenates (thus is the similitude in arbitrary castigation). Thus, in Lee’s system, worker is granted both a likeness of potentates’ power and ability to contrive impotence. This, I assert, would be the cause of the plan’s projected outcome.

Brief Prate on “Industrial Revolution and the Crisis of Control”

This response is again based on my notes for the first several pages of the text – before I would begin to digress.


The imperative of the alteration of the current system along with economical shifts is a prime premise of Marxist theory. Here, the second premise of control being the crux of such evolution is an arbitrary delimitation of superstructure* within its pro-capitalist from that hence coerces intransigence into the basestructure**. If Marxist theory is to be challenged, a consummate induction upon the applications of control (well depicted further within the piece) to suppress economical shifts would be apt -rather than romantically proclaiming the current system to retain absolute immutability hence self-defined victory.


Further into the piece, in “Control Crisis in Transportation”, the term crisis is contorted into a dual meaning – crisis in conversion of commodity*** into profit and crisis in application of means of production in their nascent state. As the dual meaning can lead into false analogies, it would have been applicable if this segregation was elucidated (or aim, viably subconscious, could have been to establish romantic, false analogies).


On Application of Control, “Control Crisis in Transportation”

What captured my attention was the control application that mitigated the effect of economical alteration to purvey an extent of stasis to the current potentates of the system and, in corollary, formed the denoted segregation of work area that utilized “objective capacity of their [workers’] brains to store and process information”. My conception of this application of control within transportation:

  • There is an overflow of production; hence outright distribution of goods would be detrimental for the current potentates.
  • Thus, the distribution is suppressed to found a quasi-stasis, the preservation of which would bleed the stock funds of the potentates in a much slower rate than the bleed of unsuppressed distribution. Therein, a tolerance span is attained.
  • In this tolerance span, the appropriation of nascent production means would be facilitated. The improvement of means without a tantamount aggrandizement of the market would expedite the bleeding of potentates if such improvements are micro-simulacra of the grand-scale improvements.
  • Thus, private improvements are deliberately deviated from the objective progression that the means would naturally purvey. To explicate, the transition into nascent means is not done blandly; they are severely overseen by the potentates to prevent perforation of system shift in their private zones. As a corollary, re-induction of such micro-scale alterations of adopted improvements into the collective scale would supplant the natural progression (dialectical materialism, as in Marxist theory) of the improvement with the progression that is derived to sustain the superstructure.
  • As the crucial point, the oversight of potentates is consolidated first through objective implementation of the nascent means.
  • For this cause, as the means’ implementation is achieved, the stringent oversight -now consolidated- is converted into oversight for appropriating individuals into the maintenance of the means (as both the generic and the insinuated, new worker class). Therein, collectively, these individuals become bound to the market (later on via alienation****, etc.) thus create means to relegate quasi-stasis into antecedent system.

Through this way of appropriation of new means of production, oversight -application of control- is utilized expediently to preserve the current positions of power. Above, the term “consolidation” is vague. The term is utilized as probably insinuated in my previous responses -existential self-actualization through action within defined medium.

* Superstructure, in Marxist theory, is the aggregate set of social establishments (daily interrelations, cultures, politics, arts…) that stem from the basestructure.
** Basestructure, in Marxist theory, is the set of economical foundations from which the superstructure stems.
*** Commodity is utilized as defined within Marxist theory.
**** Alienation, in Marxist theory, is conversion of the immersion of worker’s private life into work time hence conclusive conversion of self into commodity, an alienated version of self.

Brief Rumination on Discontinuities, “the Order of Things”

50, Establishing Discontinuities, on Iteration Order

Segregating any given set of data is denoted to be capricious -for per the yearning of omniscience (which is a robust drive for preserving integrity of mind for practicality) human coronates perceived pattern as the finest structure of existence, rather than dissecting data into its quantum units.

What captured my attention was: in the text, the basis of segregation (of data) is iterated after the presence of the aspects of segregation (segregated span’s end points) along with an idealistic “right” for conceiving such segregation. If basis is presumed to be subsidiary, then it can be stated that absolutization** of patterns extracted from puerile cognizance*** precedes inferring from these extracted patterns.

A corollary would be that yearning of omniscience drives individual into absolutization rather than inference -and since the latter (inference) is the salutary action for molding pattern into practical application, it can be presumed that yearning of omniscience contradicts with iself. To elucidate, yearning of omniscience, which is derived for practicality of survival, may take the course of absolutizing a pattern that is detrimental (or not optimal) for the end of survival. This seeming contradiction can be solved by the synthesis: cerebral omnipotence is the primary aim -material practicality is merely ancillary to preserve the host of the thought in equanimity. Conclusively, sufficiency in itself, as sufficiency by the act of thinking -solipsism- is the culminating point. Per utility, motive for solipsism can be utilized to analyze underlying causes in cerebral decisions.

* Segregation of data is induced form of discussed delimiting of history.
** “absolutization” is rendering a concepting into absolute truth within self’s conception. Absolutization of patterns is achieved through ascribing a self-sufficient validity to these patterns wherein any form of arbitrary evidence that can interact with the pattern is presumed to accede with the pattern per default. Hence, pattern requires no deliberation on validity, is present by itself. Conclusively, it is rendered into an empirical fact and conveyed into a concrete analysis, as empirically measuring its end points, rather than an abstract analysis.
*** defined on the previous response

Response for “The Order of Things”

As the book was replete with information to could be discussed, I wanted to focus on a single aspect before I would begin to ramble in the endeavor of creating a response for the whole piece. Hence I just converted some notes I had taken while reading the preface into this response before delving further.


XVI – “Narrowness of Separation”, An Irrelevant Interpretation

The cognized pattern -presence of demarcations due to the empirically observed or contrived discrepancies (hence the separation)- is tautology. A point of inquiry that occurred to me: The reason for Foucault to denote this tautology is its dominance over puerile cognizance*. To unravel this dominance, investigating the lack of the reverse approach would be of use, as why data is sought to be separated into categories rather than be induced into more general entities.

The reasons for relative lack of induction can be designated as (1) accommodation for utility, (2) accommodation for processing in human mind or (3) cerebral orientation for separation.

(1) Utility is the pre-determined pragmatic action for the pre-determined betterment of the community. Here, betterment is bound to be a derived from survival and given an artifical form to transcend the notion of being bound to primal needs. I assert that this aim of transcendence inhibits the efficiency of utility (utility then becomes bound to satisfy both the needs of survival and the needs of artificial devising). Hence, the information that is separated for means of utility can be induced if a set of betterment notions undergo parallel conflation.

(2) Human mind needs shortcuts for efficiency. Hence separations are created for efficient processing of data. This case of separation does not need optimization (unlike for the first case).

(3) If separation of data into arbitrary groups occurs during a lack of both utility and ease of process, then it can be stated that human mind has an inherent orientation to separate data. Since inherent orientations originate from the same basis of survival**, it can be stated that separation of data is actually controlled by the means of controlling actions to accede with survival. I assume that satisfaction is the simplest recurring piece of the control structure for an individual to act in accord with the survival. Thus attaining data in self’s demarcations is satisfactory.

(3 continued) To briefly speculate on this sense of cerebral satisfaction, separation of data forms an exclusivity for the informed -whereas, to juxtapose, the opposite case of inducing the data into general terms disseminates this exclusivity. Hence, it can be stated that satisfaction that aims to ensure survival (material dominance) also exhorts individuals for intellectual dominance. Henceforth, in accord with this train of thought, separation of data, which seems to be a solely intellectual process, is actually a primal urge for human.

* A term of mine that I use for animals’ [can be further generalized], inherent associative pattern recognition as the basis of learning

** It would be utterly arbitrary to state that human, in the midst of its evolution, formed an instinct that was devised to somehow apply only to the term “data” I currently defined within this response.


XVI – “Narrowness of Separation”, My Speculation on the Lingual Aspect

On this section of the foreword, what Foucault calls as transgressing boundaries of imagination is the use of language for denotation. Words, without forming a vicarious empirical image in the mind, are still linked with conceptions.* This case debunks the premise of empirical senses being imperative for any process of human cognizance. I found no basis for the presence of such a premise; moreover, this case depicts the capability of human mind to process abstract concepts through associations.

To further unravel this topic, a baby just learning to use language can be examined.

* To clarify this point, I will provide an example through the word “siren”. When the word “siren” is thought, imagination musters a picture of the mythical creature that can be perceived with senses. It is clear that the recalled image is correlated with the conception “siren”. When only the word “siren” is considered, though -without linking the word to a vicarious image- human mind can still understand that the conception of “siren” is being meant.