[Humanist] 27.279 enumeration and modelling

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Tue Aug 13 22:47:21 CEST 2013


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 279.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org



        Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2013 21:39:33 +0100
        From: Arianna Ciula <ariannaciula at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re:  27.278 enumeration and modelling
        In-Reply-To: <20130812201314.94C2F2FE2 at digitalhumanities.org>


My favourite button too. 

The psychiatrist? don't we all? naming, enumariting,  classifying just to reach another turn in the spiral - the problem comes when we are tempted to reify our constructions and forget they're just a leverage in the act of interpreting, scaffolding in fieri, they are to be overcome.

Arianna Ciula

Sent from my iPhone

On 12 Aug 2013, at 21:13, Humanist Discussion Group <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk> wrote:

>                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 278.
>            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
> 
> 
> 
>        Date: Tue, 13 Aug 2013 06:08:12 +1000
>        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
>        Subject: Re:  27.265 enumeration and modelling
>        In-Reply-To: <64c58b616f524d40b3f452fe9eb7218a at AMXPRD0310HT001.eurprd03.prod.outlook.com>
> 
> Dear Paul,
> 
> In the following, Humanist 27.265, you've responded to my note on 
> classification by querying what sort of modelling I had in mind, and 
> what I meant by interpretation. I really meant no more or less than 
> modelling cultural artefacts or expressions computationally, as when one 
> marks up a text or constructs a shape-architecture and produces other 
> shapes from it. I didn't have the distinction between modelling and 
> simulation in mind but would be especially pleased if we went off on 
> that tangent. By interpretation I meant any statement or even momentary 
> thought by which an ambiguity is (partially) resolved -- including, I 
> suppose, by metaphor.
> 
> I hope the above is sufficiently full of holes to allow a breeze of 
> conversation and argument to blow through it :-).
> 
> Yours,
> W
> 
> On 07/08/2013 06:08, Humanist Discussion Group wrote:
>>                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 265.
>>             Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>>                        www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>>                 Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
>> 
>> 
>> 
>>         Date: Mon, 5 Aug 2013 18:19:46 -0500
>>         From: Paul Fishwick<metaphorz at gmail.com>
>>         Subject: Re:  27.264 enumeration and modelling
>>         In-Reply-To:<20130805210917.65D682F93 at digitalhumanities.org>
>> 
>> 
>> Willard
>>   You have pushed my favorite button "modeling" which I  imagine is
>> also the favorite of many others as well. Some comments on your
>> second paragraph:
>> 
>>> My interest here, which I recommend to your attention, is the craze for
>>> classificatory enumeration.
>> 
>> Fermi noted "If I could remember all of these particles, I'd be a botanist."
>> 
>> However, in fairness to botany, and more generally biology, the past 40
>> years or so have seen ever-increasing use of models (e.g., systems
>> biology). And so, I would think the classification you mention is gradually
>> replaced by a deeper understanding, with classifications still serving
>> their purpose higher up the abstraction level of inquiry.
>> 
>>> Isn't it interesting that this should occur
>>> alongside -- I am *not* saying caused by -- the interpenetration of
>>> computing into all aspects of modern life? To me this suggests that one
>>> of the most important of our jobs as digital humanists is to make as
>>> clear as possible what modelling does, what it is for. Not answers but
>>> questions.
>> 
>> What sorts of modeling comes to mind in your questions? I have many
>> in my thoughts, but they may not be a match.
>> 
>>> Not toward the perfect fit but toward the telling misfit.
>>> What an amazingly difficult problem the psychiatrists have, dealing with
>>> a world in which the thing to be classified changes dynamically with the
>>> classificatory scheme. I think we have that problem at root in the
>>> dynamics of interpretation, but one step at a time.
>> 
>> The interpretation of what?
>> 
>> -p
>> 
>> On Aug 5, 2013, at 4:09 PM, Humanist Discussion Group<willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>  wrote:
>> 
>>> 
>>>                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 264.
>>>            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>>>                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>>>                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>>        Date: Tue, 06 Aug 2013 07:02:42 +1000
>>>        From: Willard McCarty<willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
>>>        Subject: enumeration
>>> 
>>> The philosopher Ian Hacking, continuing the work on psychodynamics
>>> published most prominently in Rewriting the Soul, has written an
>>> illuminating review of the 5th edition of DSM-5: Diagnostic and
>>> Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (American Psychiatric
>>> Association), in the London Review of Books 35.18 for 8 August 2013.
>>> See under http://www.lrb.co.uk/ (the review is freely available). His
>>> primary criticism of DSM-5 is that "it is founded on a wrong
>>> appreciation of the nature of things", based on "the long-standing idea
>>> that, in our present state of knowledge, the recognised varieties of
>>> mental illness should neatly sort themselves into tidy blocks, in the
>>> way that plants and animals do". He details what happens when a rigid
>>> scheme is imposed on a reality that does not fit it, not with the
>>> objective of trying out that scheme to learn more about the reality (as
>>> we do in computational modelling) but in order to serve a huge and
>>> expensive bureaucratic enterprise. The grass-roots human consequences of
>>> imposing a scheme that must be used in the funding of mental health-care
>>> in the U.S. are horrendous.
>>> 
>>> My interest here, which I recommend to your attention, is the craze for
>>> classificatory enumeration. Isn't it interesting that this should occur
>>> alongside -- I am *not* saying caused by -- the interpenetration of
>>> computing into all aspects of modern life? To me this suggests that one
>>> of the most important of our jobs as digital humanists is to make as
>>> clear as possible what modelling does, what it is for. Not answers but
>>> questions. Not toward the perfect fit but toward the telling misfit.
>>> What an amazingly difficult problem the psychiatrists have, dealing with
>>> a world in which the thing to be classified changes dynamically with the
>>> classificatory scheme. I think we have that problem at root in the
>>> dynamics of interpretation, but one step at a time.
>>> 
>>> Comments?
>>> 
>>> Yours,
>>> WM
>>> --
>>> Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor, Department of Digital
>>> Humanities, King's College London, and Research Group in Digital
>>> Humanities, University of Western Sydney
>> 
>> 
>> Paul Fishwick, PhD
>> Chair, ACM SIGSIM
>> Distinguished Chair of Arts&  Technology and Professor of Computer Science
>> The University of Texas at Dallas
>> Arts&  Technology
>> 800 West Campbell Road, AT10
>> Richardson, TX 75080-3021

> 
> -- 
> Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor, Department of Digital
> Humanities, King's College London, and Research Group in Digital
> Humanities, University of Western Sydney





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