[Humanist] 28.254 digital and material?

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Tue Aug 12 06:36:53 CEST 2014

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 28, No. 254.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2014 19:19:38 +0100
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: digital and material

Peter N Miller, in "How Objects Speak", Chronicle of Higher Education
for 11 August, writes that,

> The digital, far from killing the material world, seems only to have
>  intensified our attachment to it.

Is that as odd as might first seem? I question the implicit causality in "to
have intensified"; I wonder whether it would be better, more accurate, to
say that the digital has arisen simultaneously with our intensified
attachment to the material. "Digital", from the fingers (digits) of our
hands, evokes touch and manipulation etymologically. But those here who
stress the centrality of making computational things rather than just using
them will see or feel a connection with ourselves as homo faber. Those in
the physical sciences speak of "Fingerspitzengefühl" to name the intuitive
sense that comes from manipulation of laboratory equipment.

In any case the article is worth reading in its entirely. Seehttp://chronicle.com/article/How-Objects-Speak/148177/?cid=cr&utm_source=cr&utm_medium=en
for it.


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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