[Humanist] 26.407 weak ties; value of the humanities survey

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Tue Oct 23 09:44:17 CEST 2012


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 26, No. 407.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    Andrew Prescott <andrew.prescott at kcl.ac.uk>               (61)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 26.405 weak ties of social media

  [2]   From:    Geoffrey Rockwell <grockwel at ualberta.ca>                  (13)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 26.404 value of the humanities: the survey


--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2012 09:39:56 +0100
        From: Andrew Prescott <andrew.prescott at kcl.ac.uk>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 26.405 weak ties of social media
        In-Reply-To: <20121022065004.3D9322DF2 at digitalhumanities.org>

Dear Willard,

I wonder how far this is related to the debates around 'slacktivism', on 
which there is a substantial scholarly literature and for which 
Wikipedia is a useful starting point:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slacktivism

Andrew

Professor Andrew Prescott FRHistS
Head of Department
Department of Digital Humanities
King's College London
26-29 Drury Lane
London WC2B 5RL
@ajprescott
www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/depts/ddh
digitalriffs.blogspot.com
+44 (0)20 7848 2651

On 22/10/2012 07:50, Humanist Discussion Group wrote:
>                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 26, No. 405.
>              Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>                         www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                  Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
>
>
>
>          Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2012 13:38:08 +0100
>          From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
>          Subject: the weak ties of social media
>
>
> David Runiman, in "Stiffed", his London Review of Books assessment of
> Janet Byrne's The Occupy Handbook, contrasts the involvement of those
> who are physically present at a protest (such as Occupy Wall Street) and
> the virtual involvement of those others who are involved only online. He
> asks to what degree the online activists "really represent like-minded
> people who have better things to do than protest themselves" and
> comments,
>
>> Social networks have made it much easier for individuals to form
>> shallow connections of shared concern and vicarious experience.
>> Occupy Wall Street has taken advantage of this on websites designed
>> to tap into the affinity between the life stories of the protesters –
>> ordinary people at the end of their tether – and everyone else. At
>> the same time, the protesters talk about their extraordinary
>> experiences at the protests and the bonds they have formed with
>> people they might once have believed they had little in common with:
>> the homeless, the destitute, the afflicted. This is the result of
>> unexpected face to face encounters. Strange things happen when people
>> talk to each other. But that experience is emphatically not being
>> shared by anyone who is Occupying Wall Street from the comfort of
>> their own homes. There are really two different kinds of link being
>> forged here: the transformative interactions of those on the ground
>> and the fleeting connection being made with those looking in. The
>> first have almost nothing in common with the second. Direct democracy
>> and representative democracy remain poles apart.
>
> Comments? The whole article may be read at
> http://www.lrb.co.uk/v34/n20/david-runciman/stiffed.
>
> Yours,
> WM
>



--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2012 23:02:59 -0600
        From: Geoffrey Rockwell <grockwel at ualberta.ca>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 26.404 value of the humanities: the survey
        In-Reply-To: <20121022064728.CDCD82DF2 at digitalhumanities.org>

Dear Andrew and others,

All Our Ideas is itself a research project by some sociologists at Princeton. You can read about it at: http://www.allourideas.org/about and following links.

AOI isn't a survey is the sense of something you need to go through. It throws up two possible answers and you vote. You can vote once or twice or keep on voting. I don't know how it decides which answers to present, but it does return interesting data on how many people voted for each idea. 

Why use it? I was impressed by how the ACH used it before the AGM this past summer and thought it might give us at 4Humanities insight into arguments for the humanities. I also think it is an interesting and lightweight social media tool for openly eliciting ideas. Thank you to all the Humanists who have voted! Perhaps others know more about the underlying algorithm or can suggest alternatives.

For those interested in the issue of how to advocate for the humanities (which is what 4Humanities is trying to do) I recommend a short report titled, Making the Case for the Humanities: 

http://www.cic.net/Home/NewsAndPubs/News/12-09-20/New_Report_Making_a_Case_for_the_Humanities--Advocacy_and_Audience.aspx

Best,

Geoffrey R.

On 2012-10-22, at 12:47 AM, Humanist Discussion Group wrote:

> Even though I went most of the way through the survey, I never did 
> cotton on to how it works. And there is no explanation.
> 
> Andrew





More information about the Humanist mailing list