File /Humanist.vol22.txt, message 475

From: Humanist Discussion Group <>
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2009 08:33:20 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: [Humanist] 22.486 taming reality or ignoring it

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 486.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to:

        Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2009 07:39:46 -0600
        From: John Laudun <>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 22.485 taming reality or ignoring it?

> But how familiar this sounds now. In our struggles with
> textual encoding, at the depths of interpretation rather than simply
> formatting for publication, have we done any better?

Not when we try to do computationally what we were/are already very  
good at doing on our own. Where we have done better is when the  
introduction of computation changes the nature of the object of study  
-- as Barthes suggested long ago, I believe, in his essay on  
interdisciplinarity ("The Young Researchers"?). Or, as I recently  
suggested to a student, when computational abilities glean patterns  
that our minds already perceive (but dimly, as if on the tip of our  
tongue) but articulates/concretizes them in such a way as to bring  
them to the fore of our attention for our conscious consideration.


John Laudun
Department of English
University of Louisiana – Lafayette
Lafayette, LA 70504-4691
Twitter/Facebook/Flickr: johnlaudun

List posts to:
List info and archives at at:
Listmember interface at:
Subscribe at:


Humanist Main Page


Display software: ArchTracker © Malgosia Askanas, 2000-2005