One of the things that is exciting to me about composing text procedurally with computers is that it allows us to quickly propose arbitrarily many of these “new languages” for reconceptualizing how reading, writing, and talking work and are understood.
Cindy is not alone in adapting her environment with informal engineering—we know she joins millions of garage tinkerers, household inventors, and, of course, participants in Maker culture. However, Cindy’s story is distinctive. She needed the expertise of clinicians, yes—and the most advanced medical care and technology available (including a $90,000 myoelectric hand). But she also needed to find dozens of ways to make a new life for herself, and for that she needed deceptively simple engineering: a tool to write in her own signature hand, the ability to feed herself, to play cards with friends.
All of these strange features were implemented by Google Maps in order to comply with Chinese laws, laws designed to protect what China refers to as its “territorial integrity.”