[Humanist] 22.486 taming reality or ignoring it

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Wed Jan 28 09:33:20 CET 2009

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

        Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2009 07:39:46 -0600
        From: John Laudun <jlaudun at mac.com>
        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
laudun at louisiana.edu
Twitter/Facebook/Flickr: johnlaudun

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