[Humanist] 27.663 effects? (1) of lower-cost tech; (2) of unsatisfiable curiosity

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Thu Jan 2 10:22:44 CET 2014


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 663.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    "Dave Postles" <davep at davelinux.info>                     (13)
        Subject: lower-cost technology

  [2]   From:    Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>          (21)
        Subject: the inexhaustible pleasures of the Web


--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Wed, 1 Jan 2014 12:03:42 -0000
        From: "Dave Postles" <davep at davelinux.info>
        Subject: lower-cost technology
        In-Reply-To: <20140101112449.04FA8615F at digitalhumanities.org>

What are people's opinions about the potential impact of lower-cost kit on
digital learning?  As they are so inexpensive, I've bought the Mozilla/ZTE
Firefox OS phone and the Datawind Ubislate (the entry-level one which is
currently available) out of pure interest.  Both have been produced for
developing countries, the former for the market and the latter for the
India public education system and now for the market.  I'm particularly
interested in whether the Ubislate could be rolled out in HE - i.e. given
to all undergrads.  There are potential issues in that both are
underpowered (smaller amount of RAM) and the Ubislate pushes
advertisements.  OTOH, they just seem so inexpensive that they could be
distributed gratis.

-- 
http://www.historicalresources.myzen.co.uk (research and pedagogy)



--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Wed, 01 Jan 2014 13:08:23 +0000
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: the inexhaustible pleasures of the Web
        In-Reply-To: <20140101112449.04FA8615F at digitalhumanities.org>


> Again, the pleasure and delight of knowledge and learning surpass all
> others.... In all other pleasures there is a satiety, and after use
> their verdure fades; which shows they are but deceits and fallacies,
> and that it was the novelty which pleased, not the quality; whence
> voluptuous men frequently turn friars, and ambitious princes
> melancholy. But of knowledge there is no satiety, for here
> gratification and appetite are perpetually interchanging, and
> consequently this is good in itself, simply, without fallacy or
> accident.
Francis Bacon, Advancement of Learning, Book I, p. 83 (ed. Davey)

No satiety from the Web, that's for sure. So two questions: (1) in general, 
or in principle, how do we call a halt in any defensible way, and in what 
way(s) precisely? (2) in what direction, with what effects, is this relentless 
desire for more pushing us?

Any ideas?

Yours,
WM

-- 
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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