# Guide Description:
As part of the Techno-Galactic Software Observatory, we will collectively produce a Software Observation Guide [[so, not survival ... Software REVIVAL Guide -- think important to insist on observation]]. The guide will lay out ways to achieve critical distances from the seemingly endless software systems that surround us and will offer practical tools for the tactical (mis)use of software, empowering/enabling users to resist embedded paradigms and assumptions. The guide will include a description of the myths and realities of software, a list of currently available methods for approaching software including their risks and benefits, and a glossary of terms. Participants will contribute to the guide by naming and describing methods of observing software, by nominating and defining terms for the glossary, and by sharing personal stories of close encounters with software.
A document that can support the clinic with the work we have been doing so that you can know where the exercises came from
People are interested in what we have done
For Group 0
For Monday - how will we get this produced? ie. naming convention or protocol for getting contributions from groups
[[falling apart while/through being observed]]
#include as way to copy/paste from pads for output
sub-typing of .chapter.md or .section.md
What do you want to do during the clinic? (searches through system for vocabulary?)
What tools they know about, want to use, what they want to include
## Introduction on Observation will be transcription of conversation tomorrow morning [which maybe then gets a light edit]]
## Definitions of Software (collected from last few days, from online searches, relation betweens, from software studies)
## On Expertise?
## Intake - How to you address/approach observation
### Different relationship to expertise
### Reflexivity (how will we observe ourselves)
## Menu of Services
### Elevator Performance
### reverse engineering to flow chart
### Agile Yoga
### Zenit interface analysis
<!-- this is an example of how an include might work -->
### Time conversion
## Bestiary of Tools
--- look at etherbox.md - look for apt-get install
## Deeper questions/conversations that produced the exercises and that will be carried forward
### Time Essay, written and visual essay
### What is Software/Becoming Software discussion notes
### Research report from Flow Chart Ideology-what is it like to be an elevator?
## Materials from the reader (or elsewhere) that have been touchstones
### Kittler: There is no software
## Close Encounters
### Jean Heuns
### Selection of pictures from Computer Museum in Namur with captions
### Removal of Vocabulary
1-reverse engineering of flow chart
1-cultural symbol analisis?
2-sitting in the middle of a room
3- time converter? synchronizations?
4-vocabolary operations.. as a service?
aquinas man page
# Friday afternoon proposal for Guide structure and contributions
## Table of Contents
### Reflecting on/performing observation and frameworks
### Related Readings
## Bare Necessities
### Related Readings
## Becoming Software, different ways of doing software history
### Definitions of software: Origin stories, multiple births of software (when, where)
* Jean Heuns, Thomas C, ...
### Doing software
* How to transform a sip-well into a fountain
* Files http://etherbox.local/home/pi/etherdump/files.md
* Time http://etherbox.local/home/pi/etherdump/xxxxxx
##Techniques of Observation
* em probes
* something in the middle maybe (luis' tool, which could observe the software making requests instead of observing the people?)
## Close Encounters with Software
### Personal Stories, Anecdotes, Journals, written Reports from Clinic
### Related Readings
## Test Environments
### Negotiating Time - Sundial Time Computer
### Related Readings
[[notes and reflections on friday afternoon work on structure of guide. it feels a little rigid right now. in the desire to leave things open for what will happen in the next few days and to be responsive to what is currently emerging, we are letting go of many references to the survival guide, which is in turn leaving things a little general. what are the qualifying adjectives that we want to use? throughlines that are less obviously topical but have repeatedly emerged are ANIMALS, DIFFERENT TYPES OF TIME, ]]
# Discussion on Thursday afternoon
turning observation sideways
one minute it is about self-tracking, another on knowledge production
attention to the unequal power relation observing software would set up
## why this focus observation? (so what is our agenda / what are our agendas)
* linked to politics of technology and power struggle
* interested in methods for feeling and granting agency and authorization to talk about and engage with software and technology
* stop using software as a user, to be able to annotate, to have a different relation. breaking routine
* interest in the act of observing itself, to debug and its politics
* stopping and observing, time to watch the software unfold
* the no distance: observation without distancing.
[[ two-slit experiment model of observation impacting system being observed ??]]
* ways to understand how the world works and be involved or extend the ways of being involved (not just the guys doing the brilliant work) but all of us
* the guide is important for having a wider range of tools that are available to be able to work with different software with different agencies (not just CS, hackers, programmers)
* different definitions of software providing possibilities for methodologies/techniques for observing
* our methods for observation, like mapping, come with their luggage. output from observation seems to require some relationship to representation...
* tool clinics: using observation as a tool for reflection and transformation. difference to design-crit. Care for not losing playfulness
The idea that this person will not defend is that the propose intimacy and trust. The act of observation has a coincidence.
## observation and
speculation becoming ?
* how do you bring speculation to the present?
* thomas and his references to the real world: claustraphobic, here is where we are, the good guys and bad guys, let's expose these categories
* speculation in the sense of confusing and mixing who speaks who ask and about what
* SOFTWARE IS NOT A READY MADE THING
* becoming, and how, who
* does it help to bring fiction?
* Karen Barad, Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning https://library.memoryoftheworld.org/b/wZAfhaCuiCv_eMO_m8kIKwsUGSxuT4ezhTfaOlEmDaSB0LFf
## ... and what about critique?
* how to make sure it is affirmative critique
* different spectra of critique (so task is to open up the spectrum of critique)
* every community has different norms of critique which come with a set of ground truth assumptions they will not question)
* reparative vs paranoid forms of critique ((Eve Sedgewick - https://www.dropbox.com/personal?preview=Teaching%2FNMRS%2FReadings%2FSedgwick_paranoid+and+reparative+reading.pdf_)
* many channels to give input and feedback in free software but if it doesn't fit into a certain range / template there's no place to send it to
- **paranoid: You re fighting with ideologies, looking at gaps that can be attended to.
- ** empowering and reclaim (Isabelle Stengers)
- *** with critique we think we are empowering people
- *** but we may be reclaiming positions, find another position
- ** reparative: trying to understand, you are not distanced from the system, but you are with it and trying to be generous
## observation and critique:
* affirmative, reparative and not paranoid
* observation becomes a way to formulate the critique from understanding what is put infront of you
* you engage through observation, and not as an aliean coming in
## is it the difference between passive and active observation
* which one is the reperative?
## how about kinds of action:
* actively not doing, passive, is also doing
## who is the audience for this work of observation?
for us, and who are we
keeping the conversation flowing instead of a one-way channel of communication
patience and generosity
respectful and disrespectful accessibility
(depends on what you are looking at)
what are our core values and ground truths? bringing our concerns and issues in the debate
patience and generousity
theory of power
attention and care
take the time, time to observe
situated observation and knowledge http://www.staff.amu.edu.pl/~ewa/Haraway,%20Situated%20Knowledges.pdf
What to do with observations?
- what do observations do with us?
- meta-observation/long duree of observation/impact observation
- relational observations
nice to have:
what are the tools that we currently use
- --> see below techniques of observation
Mapping (?) observations
- atlas - collection of representations
- constellation is map/representation
- compass (ref. speculative design) -- tool of navigation
Observation can be captured by devices
- A collection of software definitions
Is it the scale of the observation?
"to make a system that allows observation only, it seems rather impossible"
Techniques of the observer
- note taking
-browser dev tools
- poking around
distancing \ no distancing
Enactments/Forms of Observations
Reparative Critique (Eve Sedgewick - https://www.dropbox.com/personal?preview=Teaching%2FNMRS%2FReadings%2FSedgwick_paranoid+and+reparative+reading.pdf_)
Table of Contents:
Inspiring section from the SAS survival handbook ;
strategy (strategy to study software...)
camp craft (tools, set up our observatory, finding our research site...)
reading the signs (signs of problems, traces of solutions, hidden paths of inquiry...)
disasters (software breakdowns, reading the ruins, tactical pratices of provoquing a breakdown )
Myths and Realities
## Paradigms and Assumptions (ex: user vs programmer. hardware vs software, ...)
What are the paradigms of software ? Kittler basically said : "there is no software, it is only text manipulation", it is a call to study the materiality of tech.
Software is a construction in this sense. The paradigm is : softwares are intermediaries, interfaces, layers ?
Delegating blame and responsibility to software (how it migrates to the system, the machine, etc)
- Are we blaming the software because we cannot blame somebody else ? vs. specific choices made by developers - where does the responsibilty for systemic racism lie, for ex.
- What is logged by a system? How to read log files?
- How to recognise a software system and what are its boundaries ?
- Manifestos of blaming/ Normativity of software (the many "right ways" to do software)
- * Manifestos as programmers' tools
- agile: process as an outcome
- implementing agile involves one guy reading the book
- building software under the contingencies of a moving target
- Task analysis: starting point software development
- what is a task, how can this become entangled with more playful takes on observations
## Origin Stories - The Multiple Births of Software (and the consequences of each of these definitions, for how they can be observed, the perspectives they produce, with what agendas they are proposed)
Materiality, abstraction and the different axis
- as language, different from data
- division of labor
- in hardware
- personal histories
- as a configuration
- - as individual experience with and feelings about software
- - as data to be sold as product
- - as data to be used in engineering of software
- as a signal
- through tools
## Tools and concepts
* reverse engineering
- * toolchain: not just crafting so ftware from scratch but setting up systems turn into a house of cards of software production
- * repositories:
- * dependencies
- package managers take care of dependencies
* clean room implementation
* follow the money (political economic analysis)
## Translation (and or as conversion)
A list of tools
- oscilloscopes (very cool ones)
- em probes (antennas)
## Recognizing software
### How does software emerge and spread?
### Detecting traces of software (on other surfaces, materials, physical spaces?)
### Exercises for experiencing software (performing it, re-enacting, sensing, making it tangible)
### Close encounters with software (journals for/from walk-in clinic ... or before? after?)
## Methods for interfering with software (recipes ? ), 'tactical (mis)use' (draw it boundaries, count the layers inside)
### Detournement of security tools for observation -- conventional tools for observation used/applied/appropriated in a different way
##On Contexts and Movements Between
- Affordances and limits of different distinctions/drawing lines/making axis for overlap
- - ie. there is/what is the difference between data and execution of data/executability of data
### Reader (= edited/updated/completed reader?) http://etherbox.local:9001/p/reader.md
a map somehow, in time and space, of software observations
- Douglas Adams
- Margaret Atwood
- Eve Sedgewick
- I proposed another text from wendy chun in the reader pad
- PING : Network command to check the identity of a server
- pinging as a way to do observation (and also pong)
- ping as a command, to connect to a server
- pong (& mechanical pong - niklas roy ?)
- ANIMALS (as logos, as observers, as ??)
- * bugreporting / between observation and action
A list of existing tools for observing software
The menagerie of tools including the Zebra and the Giraffe, wearing magnify glasses, software called Zookeeper. Why a giraffe? Because of the big neck? Why not birds?
- * Apache Zookeper
- * O'Reilly media book covers also are animals, one animal = one methods or programming language
Delegating blame and responsibilities to software
"Computer said no"
How to blame software (?) in different situations?
ways to critique systemic issues in software
forms of critique
Some way to discover/see what are the boundaries of the software system?
A list of programming manifestos
-- ways developers re-invent the writing of software
(Luis cringing when agile manifesto comes up. It is too hard to get out of because it never ends!)
what is made agile ... moving targets
Testing and reporting are now included in the software development process, and more difficult to take seperately.
how to (re)define tasks
and other software design process stages: flowcharts, wireframes, scenarios - this may be only applicable on
conventional software, wonder how this way of observation may be applied in experimenatl and conceptual software
(there were some interesting flowchart-"sjabloon" in the museum)
"agile in a narrow space"
Observation methods/tools related to toolchains and pipelines
"the house of cards of software" and "when you update your system, one of the cards might fall"
repositories and where things come from.
Observation methods/tools related to package management
automated process that takes care of everything you need
dependencies, checking dependencies
(so also the opposite boxing/containerization)
multi-platform, a way of putting the program next to your ...
reverse engineering : you have insight into the methods
clean-room implementations: if a company wants to reproduce a product, but the people involved cannot be tainted by having seen the original one
[so: methods for knowing it was really "from scratch". how do you know the room is clean]
- they are put into a "clean room" with the specification to avoid being legally tainted
Lets do an exercise using axis metaphors instead of line metaphors and see when and where things start blurring
MANUAL TO ETHERBOX MOVED HERE http://etherbox.local:9001/p/etherboxmanual.md
NOTES ON WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON SESSION http://etherbox.local:9001/p/files.md !!!!
NOTES ON THURSDAY SESSION http://etherbox.local:9001/p/thursday and on SIDE CHANNEL ANALYSIS http://etherbox.local:9001/p/side-channel-analysis