object octopus

Programming is great for Freudians.

In programming, you’re always trying to determine and test for what is being returned by some functioning of the code: not just what the data itself is but what kind of data it happens to be. Is it a number, a boolean, a string, an object? Is it returning the expected number, boolean, etc.?

Often, ‘nothing’ seems to be returned. Coders talk about ghost variables, signifiers that point to no signified (a deleted or repressed signified).

But like Freudians, knowledgeable coders are aware that there are many kinds of nothing. Depending on the programming language, zero, null, undefined, and empty string (“”) can all mean different things and lead the program to behave differently. An object can be empty and there at the same time. This is, obviously, very comfortable ground for disciples of the psychodynamic school.

On the other hand, Marxist critics would probably make bad coders.

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