Monday, May 10, 2010
Bradley Bryan on codifying the law, at CTheory.
The code has a legal provenance. In every sense it is: a rule, a law, a command, an argument, a claim, an ethic, a creed, a protocol, a standard. It is the generalizable statement, the "what is" that lays down a girder for the building of world, as Heidegger continually noted, most presciently in the [Zollikon] seminars he gave later in his life. It is the bridge to the transcendent in the literal sense of trans- and --scend: to "step across" into a world, to bridge the human to its world. The syllogism is the operation that allows the particular, me, to imagine myself as part of the universal, the world: the way an "I" becomes present as something that acts upon the world, and is acted upon as "me." The separation between "I" and "me" is the temporal opening accomplished by code as law (Gesetz) -- by the encoded command that differentiates the moment of commanding and the moment of suffering the command. It will be remarked that we can distinguish kinds of rules and standards and codes and laws, that each "acts" in a different way in different settings -- but this misses the point of grasping the legality that sits at the base of code: the code is the command of the not-yet, and it exists in every entelechy of code. The very idea of the digital relies on the opening of time accomplished by code: the code is thought of as real in the sense of being a res or thing of the world (and as such a being it manifests a presence that endures, that "has" time).
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