Literacy is a socially widespread patterned deployment of skills and capabilities in a context of material support (that is, an exercise of material intelligence) to achieve valued intellectual ends....
Although I wring just a bit more specificity out of our preliminary definition in a moment, there is a fundamental lesson here. We must recognize an inescapable diversity in the phenomenon of literacy. There is no essential, common basis of literacy along any of the dimensions listed or along any other similar ones. There are no fixed basic human skills on which it builds.
DiSessa's point, quite simply, is that we should never forget that the skills we gather under the umbrella term "literacy" are neither firm nor fixed, neither intrinsic nor fundamental to human discourse.
This approach aligns nicely with the critical literacy approach forged by social justice-focused thinkers like Paulo Freire, Howard Zinn, Henry Giroux, Michael Apple, and others. Now, with an increased focus on a new category of literacy that DiSessa Mitchel Resnick, and others have labeled 'computational literacy,' we get to think of the social dimensions and equity issues linked to this new (enhanced?) set of social practices. We get to consider what it might mean to develop critical computational literacy.
And a visualization: Check out this page and this page for my take on a few key readings on computational literacy. And one more, here, that I feel is the best of the bunch.
And below, you can scan my very first custom gadget EVAR. Am I a programmer? Am I now? Now?