The fuzzy edges of character encoding is a one-session class on the history, politics, and computational basics of text-based character encoding. We will cover morse code, ASCII, Unicode (including emoji), and alternative text encoding schemes, as well as their social, ethical, and emotional stories.
We will also talk about low-level conceits of text encoding on computers: binary, byte encoding, hex codes, buffers, data formats, and plaintext files. We will discuss how those conceits relate to digital representations of text and allow us to perform operations on digital language with tools like Regex and data bending.
Fundamentally, we will be considering the fuzzy edges of what a character “is” on a computer.