[Humanist] 27.523 being romantic

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sat Nov 9 10:34:45 CET 2013

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 523.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Fri, 8 Nov 2013 21:01:43 +0000 (GMT)
        From: joeraben1 at cox.net
        Subject: RE:  27.515 being romantic


Your allusion to the Manhattan Project stirred memories of my own 
involvement in that operation from July to December 1944. With my newly 
minted BA in English, I was told that my chief qualification was a 
presumably legible handwriting and I was assigned as a materials
checker in the unairconditioned warehouse that controled the flow of 
carbon blocks to the (airconditioned) processing shop, where they were 
machined to consitute the atomic piles that refined plutonium. The work 
would not have challenged a high school graduate, but my compensation 
was substantially lower than that of the unionized laborers who actually 
moved the blocks around. When the operation drew near its close I was 
transferred to the civil engineering group, where again I was assigned 
the lowest rank, while the instrument man (a former meat cutter) 
performed with a knowledge of geometry that included a distinction 
between "right angles" and "left angles."

If a collaborative project in digital humanities were ever constructed 
along the lines of the Manhattan Project (despite its success in 
producing what it was designed to produce), I would certainly opt for 
the loneliness of individual effort that I followed in my career.


Joe Raben

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