Human reality resides in machines
(Traces of human activity revealed on a building encountered in Malaga, Spain)
An interesting excerpt from Gilbert Simondon's On The Mode Of Existence of Technical Objects:
"He is among the machines that work with him. The presence of man in regard to machines is a perpetual invention. Human reality resides in machines as human actions fixed and crystalized in functioning structures. These structures need to be maintained in the course of their functioning, and their maximum perfection coincides with their maximum openness, that is, with their greatest possible freedom in functioning. Modern calculating machines are not pure automata; they are technical beings which, over and above their automatic adding ability (or decision-making ability, which depends on the working of elementary switches) possess a very great range of circuit- commutations which make it possible to program the working of the machine by limiting its margin of indetermination. It is because of this primitive margin of indetermination that the same machine is able to work out cubic roots or to translate from one language to another a simple text composed of a small number of words and turns of phrase."
Why do I blog this? This reminds me of this quote by Howard Becker: "It makes more sense to see artifact as the frozen remains of collective action, brought to life whenever someones uses them" that Basile pointed me few months ago (which is very close to Madeleine Akrich's notion of script described here).