[Humanist] 26.10 the infancy of our relation to tools

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Thu May 10 22:49:30 CEST 2012

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 26, No. 10.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Fri, 11 May 2012 06:46:11 +1000
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: the infancy of our relation to tools

The following is from David Malouf's autobiographical story, 12 
Edmondstone Street (the address of the house in Brisbane in which he 
grew up):

> Set loose in a world of *things*, we are struck at first by their
> terrible otherness. It drives us to fury. For a time, when we are all
> mouth, we try to swallow them, then to smash them to smithereens --
> little hunters on the track of the ungraspable. Till we perceive at
> last that in naming and handling things we have power over them. If
> they refuse to yield their history to us they may at least, in time,
> become agents of ours. This is the process of our first and deepest
> education. A 'secret machinery' gets to work in us, 'a hidden
> industry of the senses and the spirit' whose busy handling and
> hearing and overhearing is our second birth into the world -- into
> that peculiar embodiment of it that is a household and a house.
 > (pp. 9-10)

Willard McCarty, FRAI / Professor of Humanities Computing & Director of
the Doctoral Programme, Department of Digital Humanities, King's College
London; Professor, 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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