Week 9 Journal

Late again by miles. Every time I take a digital studies-designated class, I have to remind myself just how bad I am at blogging. Anyway: this was for the week following Spring Break, during which we finished discussing Blatt’s book and began to learn programming. The initial experience of reading Exploratory Programming was somewhat frustrating, initially, partly I think due to my overall approach to instructional texts. I recognize the need to receive instruction, but I’m resistant to authors trying to guide me through something in ways they think I’ll find compelling or relatable, or putting lots of effort into convincing me of a position I’m already convinced of. (In a way it reminded me of having to read How to Read Literature Like A Professor in senior year of high school, and the author putting hundreds of words into convincing me that “sometimes symbols in books mean things.” I realize not everyone can know their audience universally, but I wish that authors would assume more often that, if I’m reading their book, I’ve already accepted their premise! (In this case, “Programming can be used in the arts and humanities.”) )

That is to say: I think I admire the general tone of Exploratory Programming and think it works for most people. I might also just think that, paradoxically, even as it collapses the arts/humanities binary through its act, it reinforces the idea that no humanities-oriented individual has ever possibly been capable of enjoying STEM fields. And even though I’m very new to programming (aside from the scratch.mit.edu experiences I mentioned briefly in class, which aside from using it for games and storytelling, my friends and I definitely primarily used as a social network) I did find myself, at the end of this week, excited to learn its basics.

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