[Humanist] 27.430 disciplinary contradictions & radical demythologization?

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Tue Oct 15 07:55:14 CEST 2013

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 430.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Mon, 14 Oct 2013 10:18:15 +0200
        From: Victoria Scott <victoriahfscott at gmail.com>
        Subject: The disciplinary contradictions of DH and the radical demythologization of computer programming


I had a question about how digital humanists see the broad aims of their
ever-evolving discipline in relation to a point raised by Evgeny Morozov in
a recent article "Es ist lächerlich, das Internet erklären zu wollen!" (see
link below).

He identifies a self-proclaimed priest class that has formed to explain the
Internet to the lay people, and he thinks--if I understand correctly--that
it has to be challenged.

What I am wondering is how this insight relates to digital humanists, if at
all. Please correct me if I am wrong (I am very new here), but digital
humanists often defend the radical democratic potential or open access
nature of their projects...and yet, there seems to be a deep contradiction
at the heart of their endeavors, insofar as often the only way these
projects can only be realised is by using a series of obscure computer
programs and/or programming languages that only they and their colleagues
understand. Do you see what I am getting at here? Those claims of radical
openness appear to be undermined by the very methods being used. If it
isn't already the case (I think I mentioned I am *really* new here...),
wouldn't it be more effective for digital humanists be campaigning,
nationally and internationally, for the expansion of computer programming
classes at every level of education?...Not just in awesome summer schools
that a few of us happen to be lucky enough to attend? I guess what I am
calling for is a wholesale and comprehensive demythologization of computer
programming...or something.

I am probably just repeating things others have already written about. If
so, please accept my sincerest apologies and direct me to the key readings.

Thank you for your patience.

Victoria H.F. Scott

*Evgeny Morozov* @*evgenymorozov* <https://twitter.com/evgenymorozov> 11
Oct <https://twitter.com/evgenymorozov/status/388964498075176961>

I talk about the emergence of preemptive governance in my FAZ interview (in
German) today http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuill
 …  http://t.co/D0u84rDYLd

***The Art History Guild <https://sites.google.com/site/thearthistoryguild/>

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