I'm one of those edge cases that thinks encodings & formats are political, bc the act of bounding what and how things should exist just... is... but beyond a few format art pieces I don't know any good way to teach them. do I know anyone that does?

the first thing I reach for is 's vernacular
but I also think it's like music history: technical and aesthetic and also responsive to social history. there are movements and backlashes, cults of personality and cultural divisions.

like there's "what is mp3" and then there's "culture of .flac transcode hunters." in neuro the flat binary backlash. platform ownership from .docx -> markup syntaxes. IETF and w3c drama that plays out over protocols and standards. XML true believers and magnet link doubters

ig I'm wondering if anyone has written a cultural history of formats, but also conflictingly am looking for like flashcards or data sheets for different encodings, protocols, etc. because I feel like it's something I end up explaining from scratch a lot in different contexts.

"how do I teach what on the computer and why" and I guess especially in a cloud era where less and less is on computer and the perceived importance of open standards is dwindling and that too is a political act, SIMULTANEOUSLY with "code is law" protocol religions

sorry philosophy twitter don't get mad at me if you find me but it feels like I'm asking for Foucault to do an archeology of knowledge genealogy for encodings and standards, like you can't reconstruct what a URL *means* without understanding the context in which it was radical

@jonny There is too much work, and not enough working software.

@jonny what? yes. how? basically all of my libraries rely on on the trick of limiting how they are used to simplify the problem. it would be difficult to deliver utility otherwise...

@jonny i speak about libraries because it's most of what i write, but the same thing applies to formats - you are literally imposing order on chaos. you want to be flexible, but you still have to impose some order on the chaos or you don't have a format.

ha, surely. representation of knowledge about the representation of knowledge surely can't escape it

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