Glitches Make Us Human

At first, the thought of trying to write an insightful blog post about Matthew Fuller’s Software Studies: A Lexicon, had me like


So naturally I did what I always do when life is trying to bring me down. I took a nap.

Thankfully after my ever so crucial nap, I came up with a solution.

In order to make a quality post, I would have to use my Intelligence to create Copy that conveyed an Elegant message about these chapters without a Glitch.

All corny attempts at trying to be clever aside. I wanted to talk about these chapters because they were my favorite and they each gave me a new perspective on these ideas.

According to psychologist Steven Pinker “we recognize it when we see it” (pg 134). To put this claim in context Pinker imagines encountering an alien. He argues that we recognize an alien as intelligent if it displays “the ability to attain goals in the face of obstacles by means of decisions based on rational (truth- obeying) rules” (pg 134). In other words we can only judge something’s intelligence by comparing it to human intelligence. Now here’s a gif to sum up my feelings about this definition of intelligence.


This chapter discusses the idea of artificial intelligence or machine intelligence. Before the question was can machines think? Now the question is can machines think autonomously in the real world? Human interaction is completely unpredictable and inconsistent. Nobody has been able to program a robot that can interact with people in a socially acceptable manner. True AI would mean being self-conscious or being able to “project intelligence into a reality outside of itself” (pg 140). Ex Machina is a movie about AI and it basically shows you everything you need to know about the topic. Also it is just an amazing movie, so if you haven’t seen it do that ASAP.

Copy can mean two different things. It can be written content for some media outlet or it can be imitating something. Jussi Parlkka argues that “copying is not merely reproducing the same as discrete objects, but coding cultural products into discrete data and communicating such coded copies across networks: seeding and culturing” (pg 76). I never realized how crucial copying was until reading this chapter. I always associated copying with cheating and not with sharing. Now when I look at other people’s tests I’ll think of it as them sharing their answers with me.

Just kidding!

I have never been one to share or retweet things on Facebook or Twitter, but I’ve always appreciated reading cool articles that my friends copy from other people.

Before reading this chapter I would have never thought of software as elegant. According to Fuller, “elegance is defined by four criteria: the leanness of the code; the clarity with which the problem is defined; sparseness of use of resources such as time and processor cycles; and, implementation in the most suitable language on the most suitable system for its execution” (pg 87). I think elegance is important for anybody interested in media production. People associate elegance with success and professionalism. Nobody wants to see a tasteless website, blog post, or anything really. I try to be elegant with what I post on social media websites because you never know who might see it. I also think people should try to be elegant in all facets of life (he says as he picks his nose and scratches his crotch).

Being the dork that I am, I had to talk about this chapter. I have played video games my whole life and have dealt with my fair share of glitches. For you cool kids who might not know, a glitch “appears as a defect (a voltage-change or signal of the wrong duration—a change of input) in an electrical circuit” (pg 110).


What I found interesting about this reading was how they described machines as being logical, and when they glitch they become human or illogical. This is especially interesting when compared to the chapter about intelligence. In the chapter about intelligence it said machine intelligence meant imitating humans. Glitches are not purposely put into any software, so if we want to create human like AI do we have to purposefully add glitches?

To wrap things up I want to go back the idea of intelligence. I get so upset when humans try to put themselves above all other species. Just because we are the smartest animals on the planet does not mean other creatures are not intelligent or inferior. Recognize that we are far from perfect and,

Glitches Make Us Human



~ by msignorelli7193 on February 22, 2016.

5 Responses to “Glitches Make Us Human”

  1. Overall: Your blog voice, integrated with the content and entertaining (while still relevant) visuals really made the experience of reading your post all around great. You touched upon the software terms in a personable way, allowing for a better understanding of their ideas and meanings.

  2. Style: I love the photos and gifs you included– they fit really well with the content and took advantage of this particular platform. This makes it easier to read and provides a better rhythm and breaks between reading.

  3. Love the style of your blog post! You broke down the chapters that interest you so nicely. The idea that glitches make us (and machines) human is an interesting notion. But I do think that while similar glitches in the human mind can be similar to the glitches that appears in computers (e.g. facial recognition), they’re still very different (especially if you think about the “logic” or lack thereof behind the glitch).

    One of the scariest glitches humans can experience, I’d argue, is sleep paralysis. It’s happened to me numerous times.

    P.S. Because I spent more than half of my life trying (pretending?) to be the most rebellious, “coolest” teen ever, I never really got to play video games. But I bought a gaming console three weeks ago and I love it! I’m so happy that I can recognize the GTA Online GIF.

  4. Overall: This post captured what is means to successfully use a blog voice, touch upon various points and weave them all together in a way that draws the reader in and is entertaining. You also use gifs and photos so well that add to the overall affect of your post. I enjoyed reading it & appreciate the breakdown of the reading!

  5. Style: Your post reassured the fact that we could make this simple. It’s so easy to look at, easy to go to specific sections I wanted to refer to. In a sense, it was broken down like how the lexicon was broken down into chapters. I also like the subtle jokes you add in to lighten up the mood. I literally laughed out loud when I read the first few sentences along with the gif… (totally agree.. hahaah)

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