“Since sound, image, text, and their associated media (such as phonography, cinema, and books) can all be converted into digital code, many commentators, including Lev Manovich and Friedrich Kittler, have claimed that there is now only one medium, the digital computer . . . This claim has the effect of flattening into a single causal line-the convergence of all media into one-social and cultural processes that are in fact much more complex.”
I agree that it is impossible to take everything down to one medium. This over simplification is an issue with any form of study. An ebook and a print book are different entities. And to say that one thing is another just because it can take that form is not realistic.
Code is definitely a medium that plays off of other mediums. Without a doubt, code can produce items similar to a movie, book or sound. But coding these things is a different making process than producing a paper book or a film reel movie. They are different arts. To simply everything into code is to lose some of that art. I’m not saying that code is not artful because I think it is, but I would never say that the computer is the only medium.
Rather the computer allows us to host mediums digitally. They are not created completely or exclusively in code, for the most part. An ebook is still a book and a youtube video is still more than code. All of these mediums interact but they are not exclusive.
N. Katherine Hayles. My Mother Was a Computer: Digital Subjects and Literary Texts (p. 31). Kindle Edition.
via Hayles 1b.