The fuzzy edges of character encoding


On the internet, nobody knows you are a binary numerical argument and not the letter “A”

This interactive essay & workbook talks about the history, politics, and computational basics of text-based character encoding and digital representations of text, from Morse Code to ASCII to Unicode (and emoji), as well as alternative text encoding schemes. 

Use the navigation to the right to jump between chapters. Videos, links, and code samples are embedded directly inside of the text of the essay. Click blue links to receive further information about the linked content, hit play to watch videos, and interact with embedded code as desired. 

Written for Running Dog Magazine, 2020.

Chapter I - Computers were humans.