File /Humanist.vol22.txt, message 622


From: Humanist Discussion Group <willard.mccarty-AT-mccarty.org.uk>
To: humanist-AT-lists.digitalhumanities.org
Date: Sat, 21 Mar 2009 07:51:42 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: [Humanist]  22.637 looking back



                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 637.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist-AT-lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    James Rovira <jamesrovira-AT-gmail.com>                      (20)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 22.635 looking back

  [2]   From:    lachance-AT-chass.utoronto.ca                                (26)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist]  22.635 looking back

  [3]   From:    renata lemos <renata.lemoz-AT-eletrocooperativa.org>        (172)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 22.635 looking back


--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2009 08:31:43 -0400
        From: James Rovira <jamesrovira-AT-gmail.com>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 22.635 looking back
        In-Reply-To: <20090320062947.F1EE72FB57-AT-woodward.joyent.us>

Yes, Siobhan I should have been more careful.  And I think we should
more carefully distinguish between content provider differences and
user differences -- just because content is produced very differently
that doesn't mean it's received that differently by users.  Tag clouds
perform the functions of catalogs and indexes, and all the differences
you mention, really, are still just differences in speed of access.
It's the difference between walking over to a shelf and thumbing
through a book vs. clicking on a link and getting almost the right
content some of the time -- and this difference is primarily time and
availability of content.

Now this doesn't mean there isn't a serious phenomenological
difference between internet vs. print providers, but I have yet to see
anyone provide a coherent explanation of these differences that
seriously accounts for print user attitudes across time.

Jim R

On Fri, Mar 20, 2009 at 2:29 AM, Humanist Discussion Group
>
> "The only real difference here between print and internet production is speed of production."
>
> Funny you should say that, now I think of it, it is odd that I never came across an early modern print version of Google, I couldn't pick out metadata generated by the 1st Earl of Shaftesbury in a tag cloud to save my life and I never did find a copy of "The Fable of the Bees" that allowed me to simply poke the page with my finger and automatically produce before my eyes contemporaneous pamphlets on charity schools but that's probably just my lack of appreciation of history.



--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2009 10:36:41 -0400 (EDT)
        From: lachance-AT-chass.utoronto.ca
        Subject: Re: [Humanist]  22.635 looking back
        In-Reply-To: <20090320062947.F1EE72FB57-AT-woodward.joyent.us>

Willard,

Looking back upon this thread about the persistence/break of/with the
past, I am struck by use of the metaphor of sight and wonder if "looking
back" implies not only a direction but also a distance.

One could substitute an auditive metaphor and consider the relationship
with what has gone on before by way of a listening for echoes.

Another way of approaching the discursive traces of predecessors would be
to suggest that "looking" is as much about schematic traces perceived by
the eyes and then filled out into forms by the mind's eye. A convenient
explanation of such operations that blends art history and cognitive
science is to be found in the Cezanne chapter of <title>Proust Was a
Neuroscientist</title> by <author>Jonah Lehrer</author>.

BTW a search of the Humanist archive using the keyword "looking" yields
the very telling pattern ... "looking for". Using the regular expression
"looking back" one enters other territories where one finds words such as
these from Humanist 11.0238

<quote>
The
value one assigns such experiences relates not only to what stories
one has been told, what one has preserved but also what one wants to
tell. The telological is never far away from the archeological in such
matters. Time bends.
</quote>

Francois Lachance
Scholar-at-large
http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~lachance/



--[3]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2009 12:36:11 -0300
        From: renata lemos <renata.lemoz-AT-eletrocooperativa.org>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 22.635 looking back
        In-Reply-To: <20090320062947.F1EE72FB57-AT-woodward.joyent.us>


"The only sense that is common in the long run, is the sense of change and
we all instinctively avoid it." - E. B. White

On Fri, Mar 20, 2009 at 3:29 AM, Humanist Discussion Group <
willard.mccarty-AT-mccarty.org.uk> wrote:

>
>                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 635.
>         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
>                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                Submit to: humanist-AT-lists.digitalhumanities.org
>
>  [1]   From:    Siobhan King <Siobhan.King-AT-oag.govt.nz>
> (52)
>        >
>  [2]   From:    Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty-AT-mccarty.org.uk>
>  (41)
>        Subject: being reminded of origins
>
>
>
> --[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
>        Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2009 14:38:29 +1300
>        From: Siobhan King <Siobhan.King-AT-oag.govt.nz>
>        Subject: RE: [Humanist]  22.633 looking back
>        In-Reply-To: <20090319064526.B524830651-AT-woodward.joyent.us>
>
> "The only real difference here between print and internet production is
> speed of production."
>
> Funny you should say that, now I think of it, it is odd that I never came
> across an early modern print version of Google, I couldn't pick out metadata
> generated by the 1st Earl of Shaftesbury in a tag cloud to save my life and
> I never did find a copy of "The Fable of the Bees" that allowed me to simply
> poke the page with my finger and automatically produce before my eyes
> contemporaneous pamphlets on charity schools but that's probably just my
> lack of appreciation of history.
>
> Hypertextuality is a fundamental difference between internet production and
> text production. I may have glossed over the nuances of print history for
> the purpose of brevity, but at least I didn't overlook a quintessential
> characteristic of the internet because I was too focussed making an analogy
> with the past.
>
> <eom>
> Siobhan King
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: humanist-bounces-AT-lists.digitalhumanities.org [mailto:
> humanist-bounces-AT-lists.digitalhumanities.org] On Behalf Of Humanist
> Discussion Group
> Sent: Thursday, 19 March 2009 7:45 p.m.
> To: humanist-AT-lists.digitalhumanities.org
>
>                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 633.
>         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
>                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                Submit to: humanist-AT-lists.digitalhumanities.org
>
>        Date: Wed, 18 Mar 2009 08:42:31 -0400
>        From: James Rovira <jamesrovira-AT-gmail.com>
>        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 22.627 looking back
>        In-Reply-To: <20090318060819.B248D2EFA8-AT-woodward.joyent.us>
>
> Siobhan --
>
> Thanks for this response.  I want to make clear, though, that I'm not
> saying that what we can learn from a study of pint culture is
> directly, and without complication, transferable to "text" culture as
> you describe it.  What I am saying is that a detailed awareness of
> print culture makes differences from "text" culture -that much more
> visible-.  It's only possible to move past something when you've come
> to grips with it to begin with.
>
> But your summary of print culture lacks nuance.  There are and almost
> always have been "underground" presses, those which weren't associated
> with the production of authoritative texts, and since the advent of
> moveable type it is possible to change text relatively rapidly
> (compared to manuscript).  I just listened to a conference paper a
> week ago about how print was used for propaganda purposes in 17thC
> Spanish wars.  Broadsides released one day could be substantially
> different from those released the next under the same anonymous or
> pseudonymous author.  The only real difference here between print and
> internet production is speed of production.  Anyone who could gain
> access to a printing press could print.  Authorities feared the
> production of these presses and sought to suppress them.
>
> Furthermore, your distinction between "print" and "text" was first
> developed exclusively within a culture of print -- you are still
> thinking in terms of print culture, but because you're not properly
> considering history you're not aware of it.
>
> Jim R
>
> On Wed, Mar 18, 2009 at 2:08 AM, Humanist Discussion Group
> <willard.mccarty-AT-mccarty.org.uk> wrote:
>
> > I'm saying traditional modes associated with print will not help us in
> this type of environment and forcing it won't work either, not when the
> society holds a completely different ethos. Print culture has had strong
> elements of centralised control. Yes it may be useful to see how that
> control became centralised, but it doesn't help us come to grips with
> decentralised and chaotic text production.
> >
> > Siobhan King
>
>
>
> --[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
>        Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2009 06:26:25 +0000
>        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty-AT-mccarty.org.uk>
>        Subject: being reminded of origins
>        In-Reply-To: <20090319064526.B524830651-AT-woodward.joyent.us>
>
> The following is from the Preface to the English-language edition of
> Jean-Pierre Dupuy, The Mechanization of the Mind: On the Origins of
> Cognitive Science, trans. M. B. DeBevoise (Princeton, 2000), p. x:
>
> > Although the history of science and ideas is not my field, I could
> > not imagine adopting Alfred North Whitehead's opinion that every
> > science, in order to avoid stagnation, must forget its founders. To
> > the contrary, it seems to me that the ignorance displayed by most
> > scientists with regard to the history of their discipline, far from
> > being a source of dynamism, acts as a brake on their creativity. To
> > assign the history of science a role separate from that of research
> > itself therefore seems to me mistaken. Science, like philosophy,
> > needs to look back over its past from time to time, to inquire into
> > its origins and to take a fresh look at models, ideas, and paths of
> > investigation that had previously been explored but then for one
> > reason or another were abandoned, great though the promise was. Many
> > examples could be cited that confirm the usefulness of consulting
> > history and, conversely, the wasted opportunities to which a neglect
> > of history often leads. Thus we have witnessed in recent years, in
> > the form of the theory of deterministic chaos, the rediscovery of
> > Poincare's dazzling intuitions and early results concerning nonlinear
> > dynamics; the retum to macroscopic physics, and the study of fluid
> > dynamics and disordered systems, when previously only the infinitely
> > small and the infinitely large had seemed worthy of the attention of
> > physicists; the revival of interest in embryology, ethology, and
> > ecology, casting off the leaden cloak that molecular biology had
> > placed over the study of living things; the renewed appreciation of
> > Keynes's profound insights into the role of individual and collective
> > expectations in market regulation, buried for almost fifty years by
> > the tide of vidgar Keynesianism; and, last but not least, since it is
> > one of the main themes of this book, the rediscovery by cognitive
> > science of the cybernetic model devised by McCulloch and Pitts, known
> > now by the name of "neoconnectionism" or "neural networks," after
> > several decades of domination by the cognitivist model.
>
> Comments?
>
> Yours,
> WM
>
> --
> Willard McCarty, Professor of Humanities Computing,
> King's College London, staff.cch.kcl.ac.uk/~wmccarty/;
> Editor, Humanist, www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist;
> Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, www.isr-journal.org.
>
>
>
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-- 
renata lemos
http://www.eletrocooperativa.org
http://liquidoespaco.wordpress.com/



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