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Dokument Type: Book
metadata.dc.title: Defining digitalities I
Title addition: What’s digital about digits?
Authors: Haigh, Thomas 
Institute: DFG-Sonderforschungsbereich 1187 "Medien der Kooperation" 
Free keywords: Digital, Analog, Binary, Differential analyzer, Bell Labs
Dewey Decimal Classification: 302.23 Medien (Kommunikationsmittel), Medienwissenschaft
Issue Date: 2023
Publish Date: 2023
Series/Report no.: Working paper series / SFB 1187 Medien der Kooperation 
Modern discourses emphasizes electronic immateriality as the defining feature of digital technology. The idea that digits might be digital when punched onto cards, or even written on a piece of pa- per, is no longer intuitive. Yet by reconstructing the context in which the categories of digital and analog were first distinguished histori- cally in the 1940s, I argue that the concept of digitality is rooted in the mechanical representation of digits in early computers, which con- temporary observers immediately recognized was shared with earlier technologies such as telephone switching systems, punched cards, and calculating devices. Digitality is not a feature of an object itself, but of the way that object is read (whether by human or by machine) as encoding symbols chosen from a finite set. In conclusion, digitality is constituted through reading practices.
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:467-24526
Appears in Collections:Publikationen aus der Universität Siegen

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