Date: Sat, 24 May 2008 08:22:10 +0100 From: "Humanist Discussion Group \(by way of Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty-AT-kcl.ac.uk>\)" <willard-AT-LISTS.VILLAGE.VIRGINIA.EDU> Subject: 22.036 getting carried away? To: <humanist-AT-Princeton.EDU> Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 36. Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London www.kcl.ac.uk/schools/humanities/cch/research/publications/humanist.html www.princeton.edu/humanist/ Submit to: humanist-AT-princeton.edu Date: Fri, 23 May 2008 18:25:11 +0100 From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty-AT-kcl.ac.uk> Subject: getting carried away? Sometime between 1964 and 1965, in a conference at Purdue University sponsored by IBM, Professor William B. Kehl, then Director of the Computing Centre at Pittsburgh, said the following in a panel discussion: >Ultimately, I hope that somewhere along the way there will be one >man who will become so interested and so involved with the computer >and his own work that he will begin to develop some sort of >structures which may be defined only in terms of a computer; a >research project, in other words, in which the computer is implicit >in the structure that he is trying to analyze. Let me explain: Simon >and Newell (both of whom came from the field of psychology), in >their chess-playing program and their learning programs on the >computer, saw that the existing language was not sufficient for >them. They had more complex things to think about. In chess playing >they had to look ahead many moves, while in learning theory they had >to think of the fact of how things were structured. The same thing >was done with grammar, and so the linguists became so involved that >they designed a language which actually was almost a new computer in >itself. It totally restructured the idea of a computer. Now the same >thing is going to happen at some point in the humanities, at least >this in the area of written communication. I'm not talking about >linguists and the problems of parsing sentences, which are pretty >well simplified and solved, or about generative grammars; I'm >talking about a real structure to deal with problems in literature. >I don't say this is the path for everybody in the humanities, but >hopefully there is going to be one man out of a conference who will >become so involved with the computer that his whole concept, his >whole approach to research, is going to be involved intimately with >defining such a structure of which previously he could not have >conceived. (Edmund A Bowles, ed., Computers in Humanistic Research: >Readings and Perspectives, Prentice-Hall, 1967, p. 252) Any nominations? (Self-nominations accepted!) Yours, WM Willard McCarty | Professor of Humanities Computing | Centre for Computing in the Humanities | King's College London | http://staff.cch.kcl.ac.uk/~wmccarty/. Et sic in infinitum (Fludd 1617, p. 26).
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