McPherson’s article “U.S. Operating Systems at Mid-Century: The Intertwining of Race and UNIX” addresses the relationship between computer coding and race in the world today. As the article develops, it describes the parallel events that took place between landmark discoveries coding and relevant historical events. McPherson really hones in on the overall point of the article near the end. She writes, “We must remember that computers are themselves the encoders of culture….Code and race are deeply intertwined, even as the structures of code work to disavow these very connections” (36). As she specifically focuses on the relationship between coding and race, she always touches on the idea that code is intertwined with life and culture. Media and technology affect us from the smallest aspects of life (receiving “likes” on social media accounts) to the largest aspects of it (receiving crucial world news). It is intertwined with our emotions, our relationships, our perceptions of what is happening in the world, etc.
The Bug by Ellen Ullman also incorporates the theme of technology’s intertwining with the core of life itself. As Ethan’s career takes over his life within the plotline, the book physically displays the strange mixture of code and culture in his life. While some pages of the novel display distinct spaces between coding and the actual narration, others blend the two together more discretely. As coding is intermingled with Ethan’s life, the connection between the two is displayed on certain pages as well. Just as computer code helps humans function a computer, coding as helps humans to live functional lives. McPherson’s article does a good job of displaying the direct correlation of this type of technology throughout history, and how it is silently grown during incredibly trying times.
This image is an example of how coding and human life are intertwined. The man is viewing a computer screen, but the coding is radiating from it. It fills the physical space between the computer screen and his face. There is no barrier between the human mind, life, or coding.