Tuesday, June 26, 2001

This quote has annoyed me for a couple of days: I think that Joyce and Gutenberg were both artists, but only Gutenberg was an engineer, Joyce was a writer. However, I have a problem with the definition of engineer, would you consider a programmer an engineer? I consider a programmer - a programmer, and a type of writer, one who writes programs.

This is the annoying quote:
You couldn't see it at the time, but Joyce was a highly skilled technician, tinkering around with the book-machine, making it do things it had never done before. His contemporaries saw him as an artist (or a pornographer, depending on who you talked to), but from our vantage point, he could just as easily be a programmer, writing for the printing press platform. Joyce wrote software for hardware originally conjured up by Gutenberg. (cut by me) Gutenberg built a machine that Joyce souped up with some innovative programming, and Joyce hollered out a variation on a theme originally penned by Gutenberg himself. They were both artists. They were both engineers. (1997:2-3)

from: Johnson, Steven (1997): Interface Culture; How New Technology Transforms the Way we Create and Communicate, Basic Books, San Fransisco

No comments: