The Idea of Code and the Metaphor of Legality



Bradley Bryan

From biotechnology to computer programming, the notion of a “code” is used to describe a latent command that operates to produce actions and outcomes. However the metaphorical character of the vocabulary of code obscures the way a juridical understanding of beings, virtual or otherwise, comes to occupy our thinking of them. In this piece I aim to disambiguate the metaphor of code, look at its sense and play in digital, analog, bodily, and fleshy deployments, with an eye for the drive to legality, technique, and nihilism that the language of code holds.



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