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Enabling the future by decoding the past

- Curiosity

The eighth issue of Wits University’s research magazine, Curios.ty is themed: #Code, and is available download or read online.

#Code refers to any systems, letters and symbols that have meaning, are representative and govern behaviour. Today it is also associated with computer coding, big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Curiosity 8: #Code | this issue Wits researchers explore not only these Fourth Industrial manifestations of code, but also our genetic code, cryptic codes in queer conversation, political speak and knitting, and interpreting meaning through words, animation, theatre, and graffiti.

We delve into data surveillance, the 21st Century ‘Big Brothers’ and privacy, and we take a gander at how to win the Lottery by leveraging the universal code of mathematics.


  • Are we just walking data sources for the benefit of giant multinationals? [Page 8]
  • How knitting won a war [Page 18]
  • Gene editing: Designer babies could spell disaster for future generations [Page 24]
  • Gayle – A South African language (or code) of secrets [Page 36]
  • Data domination by Big Tech, such as GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple), has ominous implications for economies and privacy globally [Page 46]
  • How to win the lottery by leveraging the universal code of mathematics [Page 48]

About Curiosity

Curios.ty is a print and digital magazine that aims to make the research at Wits University accessible to multiple publics. Available on the Wits website here:

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