[Humanist] 26.428 out into the world

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sat Oct 27 10:40:06 CEST 2012


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 26, No. 428.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    lachance at chass.utoronto.ca                                (65)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 26.422 out into the world to try their
                fortune

  [2]   From:    Jascha Kessler <urim1 at verizon.net>                        (91)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 26.422 out into the world to try their
                fortune


--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2012 10:27:39 -0400 (EDT)
        From: lachance at chass.utoronto.ca
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 26.422 out into the world to try their fortune
        In-Reply-To: <20121026054431.DF5602DC0 at digitalhumanities.org>


Willard

Can you expand upon the statement tacked on the end of your post?

3. that the loss of enforced serendipity is not an inconsiderable loss.

Is it indeed the case that there is a loss of serendipity? Search engine
results constantly surprise me with the luck of the draw.

Francois

>
>                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 26, No. 422.
>             Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>                        www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                 Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
>
>
>
>         Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2012 10:54:52 +0100
>         From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
>         Subject: a different way of thinking
>
>
> Thomas Fuller, M.D., begins his preface "To the Reader", in Gnomologia:
> Adagies and Proverbs; Wise Sentences, and Witty Sayings, Ancient and
> Modern, Foreign and British (1732), by imagining, as a parent would of a
> child, the future of his work:
>
>> All of us forget more than we remember, and therefore it hath been my
>> constant Custom to note down and record whatever I thought of my
>> self, or receiv'd from Men, or Books worth preserving.... And having
>> at length collected more than ever any Englishman has before me, I
>> have ventur'd to send them forth, to try their Fortune among the
>> People....
>>
>> All that I take upon me here to do, is only to throw together a vast
>> confus'd heap of unsorted Things, old and new, which you may pick
>> over and make use of, according to your Judgment and Pleasure....
>>
>> I use the alphabetical Order of the initial Words, not as any help to
>> the Reader, but to my self, that I might the better avoid
>> Repetitions, which otherwise would be extreamly difficult to do, in
>> the writing out of so many thousand Sentences, at different times.
>
> The following strikes me:
>
> 1. that the folkloric sending out to try its fortune among the people
> who may chance to read it expresses a far more reasonable act, much more
> likely to fit what happens, than our seeking after accursed Impact;
>
> 2. that the unsorted mass in preference to any sorting he might have
> done differs interestingly though by not all that much from what we do
> (I use an OCR'd pdf, but digitizing this we might attempt to fit
> multiple classifications, perhaps expressing scholarly "added value");
>
> 3. that the loss of enforced serendipity is not an inconsiderable loss.
>
> Comments? If you're charmed by Fuller's Gnomologia, it may be found in
> the Internet Archive, with a pdf from Google Books.
>
> Yours,
> WM
> --
> Willard McCarty, FRAI / Professor of Humanities Computing & Director of
> the Doctoral Programme, Department of Digital Humanities, King's College
> London; Professor, School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics,
> University of Western Sydney; Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews
> (www.isr-journal.org); Editor, Humanist
> (www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist/); www.mccarty.org.uk/


--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2012 11:22:49 -0700
        From: Jascha Kessler <urim1 at verizon.net>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 26.422 out into the world to try their fortune
        In-Reply-To: <20121026054431.DF5602DC0 at digitalhumanities.org>


Is it not possible to consider that a book is a kind of "machine"?  After
all, what, speaking paleographically, is the source of our expression: "He
who runs may read"?  Some thousands, two? three? of years ago, writing went
up on a wall, usually on a fixed papyrus sized sheet, in large letters,
perhaps heiroglypics? or earlier incised cuneiform into a clay brick the
size of a Kindle today? A literate could, even running, not walking or
stopping, make out the writing, even as did Daniel ["Mene, mene, Tekel,
Upharsin"]  The fact that digitized books are now downloadable should not
surprise, though I have no pads or kindles, but prefer a large screen...NOT
to read a book ever.  Hence the new books, as eBooks.

The task, perhaps, is to find a way to imitate that hodgepodge of Fuller's
library, which itself at least had some alphabetization.  So reading an
ebook will likely and soon offer that new form of the old book, even with
margins to make notes in? and a digital hodgepodge of links, like those
alphabetized dust-gatherers, in Fuller's library...and mine too.  There may
be of course the economics of it all to consider.  Still, an editor asked
me if remark of mine about Jeremiah was accurate...?  I had written a
clause in a sentence, but did think to leave my studio for the shelves
within where the JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA stands in a heavy rank in a book case
shelf.  I went in, and fetched the biographical information from a volume,
"J" not opened in the past 30 years.  That is what is needed, because
Wikipedia cannot serve such a need accurately or fully, or well.

Jascha Kessler


-- 
Jascha Kessler
Professor of English & Modern Literature, UCLA
Telephone/Facsimile: 310.393.4648
www.jfkessler.com
www.xlibris.com





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