The user of a computer-based work operates as a subject under the conditions and restraints of the algorithm which generates and controls that work. The algorithm describes a grammar of possible events open to the interpretations of the user. The user’s responses to and interactions with the algorithm are judged in terms of legal and illegal operations. The algorithm is an act of law that sets forth a structure of potentials only ever realised through action and deed.
These propositions are addressed through a reading of Jewish Law informing an examination of interactivity in terms of personal ethics and signifying practice. The Law is a set of potentials for Jewish life, continually negotiated through one’s daily living, through which one identifies oneself as both subject and proponent. The deeds and festivals of Jewish observance recall, through the re-enactment of Biblical and legal texts, the historical basis of one’s subjectivity. Through one’s actions one is immersed in the Law, one interacts with the Law and realises the Law. Observance of the Law is an interpretative activity conducted in the first-person,
From this context the paper opens the questioning of our living with and within the law of algorithmic construction.
- Simon Yuill (UK), University of Dundee, Scotland