my head still hurts


This experience was pretty awful. I’m really bad at following both spoken and written directions and have a difficult time parsing meaning in really long sentences. I actually made a first attempt and failed miserably at it because I couldn’t focus past the third line. So I scrapped it when the third line refused to make even the tiniest bit of sense, and started anew. Maryyann and Ralph gave me some pointers about missing “between”‘s and extra “to”‘s, so that was immensely helpful (those are the ones that gave me the most headaches). I ended up writing sort of a pseudo-code in the text editor Sublime Text, which aided me greatly.

So, this is code, but not the code we’re familiar with. The code we’re familiar with has syntax. It has indentations and logical structure. Sol Lewitt’s instruction does not, yet it is code because the instruction is what happens when style rules are broken at every given point. It is completely unintelligible unless you deconstruct the entire paragraph, or rather, the entire program. That’s the case for humans; for machines, it makes no difference if a line is indented or spaced out for readability. I recall a lesson in a CS class: we write code for humans to read.

I remember now why I don’t write code in a single line even though it’s possible to do so in certain languages: because of the horrors like Sol Lewitt.