[Humanist] 25.811 books that surprise

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Tue Mar 13 07:47:56 CET 2012


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 25, No. 811.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org



        Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2012 12:14:05 -0400
        From: "Vallee, Jean-Francois" <jfvallee at cmaisonneuve.qc.ca>
        Subject: RE : [Humanist] 25.808 books that surprise?
        In-Reply-To: <20120312064155.18D91276E60 at woodward.joyent.us>

McLuhan's "Gutenberg Galaxy" (1962), followed closely by his "Understanding Media" (1964), certainly seem to have hit a nerve, and "greatly outstripped expectations", in the early and mid-60s.

Jean-François V.

________________________________________


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 25, No. 808.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2012 10:53:07 +0000
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: books that surprise the author

I am compiling a list of books whose reception greatly outstripped
the expectations of the authors, and so demonstrated (as Pierre de Latil
says in Thinking by Machine, La Pensée Artificielle), something very
significant "in the air... [a] way of thought... so very present
everywhere, though unperceived, that the spark caused by such a book was
sufficient to touch off an explosion" (1956/1953: 17). His example is
Norbert Wiener's Cybernetics (1947). But the same can also be said of
the following:

The Kinsey Report (1948)
C. P. Snow, The Two Cultures (1959)
Thomas S. Kuhn, Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962)

What others should be on my list?

Yours,
WM
--
Professor Willard McCarty, Department of Digital Humanities, King's
College London; Professor (fractional), University of Western Sydney;
Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews (www.isr-journal.org); Editor,
Humanist (www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist/); www.mccarty.org.uk/



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