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<nettime> Deconstructing a Liberated Computer Language
pyramid sur la carte on Sat, 20 Aug 2005 13:39:29 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Deconstructing a Liberated Computer Language

--- Alexander Galloway and Eugene Thacker
<galloway {AT} nyu.edu> wrote:

> backdoor TARGET.
> Installs a backdoor in the machine specified in
> TARGET. If no target is
> provided, the backdoor is installed in the local
> machine.

Good start.

> bandwidth AMOUNT.
> Enlarges or reduces bandwidth by AMOUNT.

If we assume an environment (OS) able to execute more
than one application at the same time, this
directive/command could only be implemented as a
request with a priority, but with no certainty of

> bitflip DATA, NUMBER.
> Randomly flips a specified number of bits in the
> data source named by
> Introduce specified NUMBER of bugs into the code of
> the specified
> application.

No certainty that this command will be implemented or
invoked without introducting n number of bugs,
therefore invalidating the 2nd argument (NUMBER).

> crash TIME.
> Crashes the machine after the number of seconds
> provided by TIME by
> interfering with the operating system kernel. If
> TIME is not provided,
> the crash will occur immediately.

> degrade HARDWARE, TIME.
> Introduces wear and tear, specified by number of
> months given in TIME,
> into specified HARDWARE.

Further definition required wrt HARDWARE argument.

> destroy TARGET.
> A quick and effective function for the complete
> destruction of anything
> specified in TARGET.

We assume that TARGET can be passed "Self" and "this."

> disidentify TARGET.
> Removes all unique IDs, profile data, and other
> quantitative identifiers
> for the object specified in TARGET.

Don't think of an elephant, OK?

> emp TIME.
> After the number of seconds provided by TIME, this
> function sends an
> electromagnetic pulse, neutralizing self and all
> machines within range.


> envision.
> A subjective function that helps the user articulate
> unknown future
> realities. Often used in conjunction with rebuild.
> fail FUNCTION.
> Introduces logical fallacies into any other language
> method specified by

fail (fail);

> frees TIME.
> Frees the computer from operating by freezing it for
> the number of
> seconds specified in TIME.

If we assume an environment (OS) able to execute more
than one application at the same time, this
directive/command could only be implemented as a
request with a priority, but with no certainty of

> jam NETWORK.
> Sends jamming signal to the specified NETWORK.

This is not a network. Get it?
Might need a 2nd and 3rd argument and return code.

> lose DEVICE.
> Unlink a random file on the storage medium specified
> by DEVICE.


> mutate SEQUENCE.
> Introduces a mutation into the given informatic

Okay. Might need 2nd argument. 

> netbust TARGET.
> Exposes a network specified in TARGET to extremely
> high voltages,
> thereby fatally damaging any network hardware
> attached to the network.
> TARGET can also be "self" to affect only the local
> interface.

Ok. Will probably fry processor too, so no way to
formaly prove postcondition: { fried & fine }

> Scatters a specific AMOUNT of random noise packets
> into the default
> network interface using the specified PROTOCOL.


> obfuscate SEQUENCE.
> Render any given SEQUENCE (gene, character string,
> etc.) completely
> illegible to all parsing technologies.
> obsolete HARDWARE.
> Renders any given piece of HARDWARE obsolete.
> Opposite of reclaim.


ERROR: function deprecated.

> overclock MULTIPLIER.
> Increase the clock frequency of the central
> processing unit according to
> the value of MULTIPLIER. A negative value will
> decrease the clock
> frequency.
> processKiller.
> Selects a process at random and kills it.

Sounds like Windows 98.
Reciprocally, all Windows versions seemingly select
random commands and executes them.

> processScrambler.
> Randomly renumbers all currently running process
> IDs.


> rebuild TARGET.
> Begins the process of rebuilding the object or
> scenario specified in
> TARGET. Often used to remedy the effects of destroy.

Improbable for reasons stated elsewhere.
And makes destroy() rather tame, non?
More radical would be a destroy without return.

> reclaim HARDWARE.
> Rescues any given piece of HARDWARE from
> obsolescence. Opposite of
> obsolete.

Very nice. 

> reject.
> A subjective function that heightens the user's
> desire to rebuff the
> current state of affairs. Often used as a precursor
> to destroy.

destroy( reject() )

> reverseEngineer TARGET.
> If object specified in TARGET is an application,
> this function
> decompiles the application and returns commented
> source code. If the
> object specified in TARGET is a protocol, this
> function returns an
> RFC-like document describing the protocol.
> rewrite APPLICATION.
> Develop an entire new version upgrade for the piece
> of software
> designated in APPLICATION. The upgrade would be
> optimized for only the
> most startling and utopian developments.

There is already a bug here due to the choice of name
for this function. 
Though compilers rewrite all the time, you will see
that there will be no way to verify that the resulting
rewritten application reproduces what APPLICATION
Given that "upgrade" is an ideological construct, it
remains to be defined what an upgraded APPLICATION
might produce.

> scramble DEVICE.
> Randomly shuffle all filenames on the storage medium
> specified by


> selfDestruct.
> Imposes fatal physical damage on self. Equivalent to
> destroy SELF.

See above but not directly above.
Suicide is painless.

> struggle.
> A subjective function that assists the user in
> agitation and opposition
> to existing exploitation and control.

Nice. But might need an argument.

> zapMemory.
> Clears all RAM on local machine.


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