[Humanist] 23.591 the case against digital humanities

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sun Jan 24 09:50:07 CET 2010

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 23, No. 591.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Sat, 23 Jan 2010 09:32:27 -0500
        From: James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 23.587 the case against digital humanities
        In-Reply-To: <20100123093429.AB37548CDD at woodward.joyent.us>

Very funny, and I'm amused at how well and for how many different things
that video clip has been used (anyone know its origin?), but I'm curious if
the people who created it distinguish between being able to get information
online and being able to get an education online?  If there was nothing more
to education than "getting the content," then there is no distinction
between the two, but that's just not the case.  I currently work at an
institution that supports and encourages online learning and makes a great
deal of money from it.  The trajectory that I see for online learning is
that it's only significant from a monetary standpoint: the goal is for one
underpaid professor to create a course shell that can "educate" thousands of
students with a minimum of guidance at the highest possible price that
available financial aid will allow.  The spread of online learning will
therefore lead to an additional tier within US higher ed: online college
will become the slums servicing the great mass of our poorest students while
traditional, seated classes will be reserved for the upper classes with
money.  The name over your degree will become more important than ever in
determining your future possibilities.

I think the first thing that we need to do is separate the two following

-the availability of educational materials online; books, manuscripts, etc.
-the availability of an education online.

The first is an unequivocal good in my opinion, the second varies in good
depending upon kind and content and context.

I see a distinction between the two because I was an autodidact for some
years before I started college, and learned what difference the organization
of knowledge makes for its acquisition, as well as the difference that
personal contact with other and more educated people can make -- not just in
the classroom, but in the lunchroom, around campus, etc.

Jim R

On Sat, Jan 23, 2010 at 4:34 AM, Humanist Discussion Group
> Another view of digital humanities:
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VREJV--VHSw

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