[Humanist] 27.178 what matters: the inextricable

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Tue Jul 2 22:36:22 CEST 2013


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 178.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org



        Date: Tue, 2 Jul 2013 12:03:00 -0500
        From: Paul Fishwick <metaphorz at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re:  27.174 what matters?
        In-Reply-To: <20130701202920.058073AD1 at digitalhumanities.org>


On Jul 1, 2013, at 3:29 PM, Humanist Discussion Group <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk> wrote:

>         
> 
> Determinism hovers over this situation. Here is Malcolm again
> 
>> Determinism is a painful problem because it creates a severe tension
>> between two viewpoints, each of which is strongly attractive: one is
>> that the concepts of purpose, intention, and desire, of our ordinary
>> language, cannot be rendered void by scientific advance; the other is
>> that those concepts cannot prescribe limits to what it is possible
>> for empirical science to achieve.  (p. 69)
> 
> Is this not our dilemma, though we do not tend to encounter it in such a 
> dramatic form? We want very badly to think that our cultural productions 
> will always escape the net of technology; at the same time we have no 
> evidence that AI, robotics et al will not finally nail everything down. 
> We also have no evidence that it will.
> 
> So what matters in this situation?

Willard:
  When you say that "we want very badly to think that our cultural
productions will always escape the net of technology," we should
analyze this, since I would say that not only can we not easily
escape, but that technology defines our culture as a foundational
component from the beginnings where we beat the bushes with
sticks (the technology) to the computer.

-paul
 
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 




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