Bookmarked Programming as translation – Increment: Internationalization (

Converting the real world into digital abstractions requires distillation. And, like literary translators, developers must understand their biases.

Alvaro Videla uses the frame of translation to understand the biases and choices inherent in capturing the world in code. Discussing the work of Umberto Eco, Videla suggests that we need to focus on ‘almost the same thing’. This act of negotiation recognises the bias and interpretation inherent in the act of coding, as well as impact this then has on the thing being described.

via Adactio


A translation not only alters and augments the language in which it arrives, writes Judith Butler in her introduction to Jacques Derrida’s Of Grammatology, it also affects the language in which the original was written. In his essay “Simulacra and Simulations,” Jean Baudrillard reminds us that “abstraction today is no longer that of the map, the double, the mirror, or the concept.” He expands: “The territory no longer precedes the map.” Instead, “it is the map that engenders the territory.”