[Humanist] 28.279 sketching the future

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sat Aug 23 09:37:19 CEST 2014

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 28, No. 279.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Sat, 23 Aug 2014 08:22:49 +0100
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: sketching hype

Thanks to Joris van Zundert I've just this morning come across Gartner 
Inc's Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, for which see the Forbes 
report for 18 August (URL below)*. According to Gartner big data is 
already on the downward slide into the Trough of Disillusionment (see 
the chart depicting this Cycle) -- which is to be cheered if we take 
dis-illusionment to mean the loss of an illusion, which of course it is. 
What's not to be greeted with uncritical cheer is the implication of the 
chart that hyped technologies move with varying speed from the Trough 
upward along the Slope of Enlightenment to the Plateau of Productivity. 
Which raises the question of how one would depict what actually happens: 
some things simply become part of the furniture of daily life, other 
things assume minor, qualified roles. The vertical axis on this chart as 
well as its singular path is problematic, I would think.

Someone with a better visual imagination is required. Any takers here?

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

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