Coding and Humanism

Digital Pedagogy Institute, University of Toronto - Scarborough

August 20, 2015

Sam Popowich
Discovery Systems Librarian, University of Alberta

More and more, the oppressors are using science and technology as unquestionably powerful instruments for their purpose: the maintenance of the oppressive order through manipulation and repression. The oppressed, as "things," have no purposes except those their oppressors prescribe for them.

Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1968).

St Jerome in his Study, Antonello da Messina, c. 1460-1475.

Machiavelli in his Study, Stefano Ussi, 1894.

  • disciplined informality > defined formality
  • local focus > global focus
  • minimal design and documentation
  • collaborative > imperial management style
  • design based on coordination and cooperation > design based on control
  • rapid prototyping > structured development
  • creative > systematic
  • internal capabilities > external procedures

Photo of Kim Cole by Jennifer Tse, retrieved from

Word cloud by Bernard Lambeau, retrieved from

Ada Lovelace, 1815-1852

Ester Gerston and Gloria Gordon programming
the ENIAC, 1946.

  • #codenewbies
  • #critlib
  • #mashcat

The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his “natural superiors”, and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous “cash payment”.

Marx and Engels, The Manifesto of the Communist Party, 1848.

Thank you.

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