[Humanist] 24.93 knowledge from belief

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Mon Jun 7 09:33:37 CEST 2010


Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 24, No. 93.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

Date: Sun, 6 Jun 2010 15:45:44 -0400 (EDT)
From: Francois Lachance <lachance at chass.utoronto.ca>
Subject: knowledge generation from belief

Willard, 

The protagonist of Ursula K. LeGuin's _The Telling_ comes to realize by
novel's end that "belief is the wound that knowledge heals".

It is a fine saying. It is also an invitation to an exercise.

I wonder what subscribers to Humanist "believe" about Humanities Computing.
And how such beliefs compose the pathways to knowledge.

*****

I pondered for a while what I believe about Humanities Computing. I came to
the realization that I believe that the scholars at work in Humanities
Computing will achieve breakthroughs at the point there is more general
attention played to the topology of textual (both verbal and non-verbal)
representations. As the discipline becomes more conversannt with geometry it
will make truly unique contributions.

The discipline is now able to use computing to demark locations. However as
Leonard Mlodinow writes in _Euclid's Window_ "The real power of a theory of
locations resides in the ability to relate different locations, paths, and
shapes to each other, and to manipulate them employing equations -- in the
unification of geometry and algebra."

I believe that Humanities Computing needs to devote itself to
shape-shifting.

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





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