Rhymes With Structure

In the question and answer session to a talk by Astrid Ensslin (“Towards Relational Posthumanism: Writing new body worlds in digital fiction”) in the Spectrums of Digital Humanities series hosted by McGill University Digital Humanities, Dene Grigar remarking on the structuring aspects of writing of code rhymed “structure” with “stricture”. Echoes perhaps of the commonplace that coding enforces rigour.

There may be another route from “structure” away from the “restriction” of “stricture” towards “armature” i.e. a perspective dwelling on the more fungible aspects of code and structure.

I have in mind Terrence Hawkes summary of structure via Piaget [Terence Hawkes Structuralism and Semiotics (1977) p. 16.]. Hawkes summarizes Piaget thus

Structure, he argues, can be served in an arrangement of entities which embodies the following fundamental ideas:

(a) the idea of wholeness
(b) the idea of transformation
(c) the idea of self-regulation


By wholeness is meant the sense of internal coherence. […] The structure is not static. The laws which govern it act so as to make it not only structured, but structuring. […] Finally, the structure is self-regulating in the sense that it makes no appeals beyond itself in order to validate its transformational procedures.

Rigour leads not always to rigidity; it can be the basis of flexibility.

And so for day 2929

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