Object-Orientated Ontology and the Computer Hacker
I'm busy burning through Graham Harman's Object Orientated Ontology and reflecting on it in different ways as informing on the phenomenology of computer hacking. This name for the concept "Object Orientated Ontology" needs some breaking down, and building up before we are ready to plug it into the hacking world. "You can prove it top-down and bottom-up" - Reg Dodds.
Object orientation in the programming language sense is a way of encapsulating a list of attributes by reference to a given atomic ultimately number-name. So it basically gives us the ability to stuff concepts of a certain kind into a black box that doesn't require our scrutiny at every second (potentially damaging the accuracy of engineering). We as a result have instead of a "real" or direct representation of that object in memory, we get what is essentially a number with which to refer to it.
In the sense of Harmon's work the "object" in the term "Object Orientation" refers to more of the opposite, something that is not reducible to such a simple list of objects (this is of course if I have read correctly). The way he makes this point is by discussing a genre of theory making that physicists and scientists often fall victim too. To elaborate Harman fairly as someone who has actually stood in a physics lab and did "real" physics: Scientists often are also too aggressive with their simplification of things in the universe; their models if taken too literally fail to hold up with their experiments and are adapted to accommodate this.
For instance nuclear physics says nothing "clear" or about atoms and their parts it is by its own words and strictness-es, just a best guess theory. And by extension then, what it finds out; it finds out in anyway that is no "nu"-er than the pre-Socractic way of deciding the true. Science is not what establishes the nuclear model it is what opens the challenge to the nuclear model.
As another analogy, quantum physics suffers ironically from view point itself being too directly impacting on reality itself. Here we can see a poetic taunt of nature opening our eyes to the fragility of our own perception. And showing us what our own interface to reality is - reflection.
Talking about reflection and our dependence on it paradoxically as a direct informer of reality. Here I like to secretly ponder the words of folks like Sartre:
"Self-consciousness is consciousness reflected on the self"
Sartre exposes here our inability remove the necessity of self-reflection in all modes of thinking about consciousness - basically he catches us out when we try to think about self-consciousness too objectively or with too much of a distance from the "self" part of the "consciousness".
Anyway getting back to it. The "reflection" here also meaning "of light" and light is itself a concept that is an example, its a metaphor of something else that is the real reality of light. So this indicates then that the reflection "of metaphor" and analogy - or a virtual network of possible traces of "events" (which is itself just an analogy) is also a critical mechanism that allows our mind CPU's to construct pointers into the reality of the world.
Many quantum physicists (the real ones) refrain from discussing quantum physics too far removed from their safe vector spaces because the danger is sometimes they can; through bad interpretation,create entire multiverses in peoples heads if they do not directly enough appreciate the uncertainty in their terms. What we learn from extreme unapologetic materialism is that materials are made of virtual concepts (the complete direct opposite of "material") that they do not inform on. We can describe the motion of atoms in some contexts, and in some contexts only certain sub-attributes but it cannot just yet describe the formation of the of the atoms that form our abstract concept of atoms themselves . So there nature is not "getting to know itself" its ignoring what is perhaps the most profound part of its self paradoxically enough.
And so if we are to learn from science in a scientific way; this is to learn about it - at its most fundamental level, where it is its smallest, biggest, tallest and most irreducible - where its real object appears. This is: its force of breaking down reality. The force is nothing more grand than careful self-questioning. I say this because it seems we only ever benefit from science because of its ability introspect reality not its ability to keep reality as it is. I posit that this is exactly the same in software - we only really benefit from our ability to contest the realities of it not assume what they are. And hackers are this unapologetic fundamental scrutinizing force that drains the puss from our wounded sore interfaces to software (now picture Neo waking up in the pod). Not always a comfortable experience but for its loss in beautiful appearance what renders out of it as a process is where it wins its value - in what it leaves behind the pure element of software experience for humanity to interact with at the full potential of the mind*. We need fresh breaths of truth in software for people fairly use and enhance their lives with it. Not a drowning open mouthed and bewildered through the public pool of private opinions.
And so I can conclude that in an object orientated sense, it is software developers who produce no-objects of software and it is then as a necessary contrast; the hackers who produce (in Harman sense) objects of non-software. That which is the reality of software not reflected or appreciated in its upwards or downwards reductions in various expressions of hardware/software languages and cross-compilation frameworks and standards.
*I assume here the mind opposes not non-truth but the inability for itself to oppose non-truth.