File /Humanist.vol22.txt, message 145


Date:         Sun, 27 Jul 2008 08:04:50 +0100
From: Humanist Discussion Group <willard.mccarty-AT-MCCARTY.ORG.UK>
Subject: 22.143 indexing
To: humanist-AT-Princeton.EDU


               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 143.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                        www.princeton.edu/humanist/
                     Submit to: humanist-AT-princeton.edu



         Date: Sun, 27 Jul 2008 07:49:43 +0100
         From: Humanist Discussion Group <willard.mccarty-AT-mccarty.org.uk>
         Subject: RE: 22.141 will better indexing make us dumber?


I have come across this article and some discussions related to it. My
general evaluation is that this reflects the uneven transition to
digitization. Digitization, like print in its time, corresponds to a
quantum leap in access with the result that everything not digitized
tends to be marginalized. Right now, the amount of stuff digitized is
growing fast, but in a very chaotic way. As a result, ease of access
coupled with incomplete, thin corpora and human laziness can temporarily
produce the kinds of consequences that Evans brings forth. However, i do
not believe it will last. On the contrary, I believe that hypertextual
structures inherent to the Web structure will ultimately lead in the
other direction, and perhaps too much so... The fragmentation of
knowledge that John Donne decried (All the world reduced to atomies..)
may well recur on a higher pitch. And exactly as bibliographies
responded to Donne, indexing engines will try to rein in total cognitive
dislocation. But this brings up another problem: the power (including
political power) of an index like Google. As Cliff Lynch rightly argues,
open access is not enough; open computation is also of the essence. And
then the paradox brought to light by Evans will gradually fade away.

Jean-Claude Gu=C3=A9don


-----Original Message-----
From: Humanist Discussion Group on behalf of Humanist Discussion Group
Sent: Sat 7/26/2008 3:08 AM
To: humanist-AT-Princeton.EDU


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 141.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                          www.princeton.edu/humanist/
                       Submit to: humanist-AT-princeton.edu



           Date: Sat, 26 Jul 2008 07:13:58 +0100
           From: Humanist Discussion Group <willard.mccarty-AT-mccarty.org.uk>
           Subject: Will better indexing make us dumber?

Willard,

A colleague pointed out:

Electronic Publication and the Narrowing of Science and Scholarship,
James A. Evans, et. al., Science 321, 395 (2008), DOI:
10.1126/science.1150473

where the author concludes:

> This research ironically intimates that one of
> the chief values of print library research is poor
> indexing. Poor indexing=C3=82=C2=97indexing by titles
> and authors, primarily within core journals=C3=82=C2=97
> likely had unintended consequences that assisted
> the integration of science and scholarship.
> By drawing researchers through unrelated articles,
> print browsing and perusal may have facilitated
> broader comparisons and led researchers
> into the past. Modern graduate education parallels
> this shift in publication=C3=82=C2=97shorter in years, more
> specialized in scope, culminating less frequently
> in a true dissertation than an album of articles
> (19).
Any suggestions building tools that "facilitate broader comparisons" and
lead "researchers into the past?"

Hope you are having a great day!

Patrick

--
Patrick Durusau
patrick-AT-durusau.net
Chair, V1 - US TAG to JTC 1/SC 34
Convener, JTC 1/SC 34/WG 3 (Topic Maps)
Editor, OpenDocument Format TC (OASIS), Project Editor ISO/IEC 26300
Co-Editor, ISO/IEC 13250-1, 13250-5 (Topic Maps)



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