[Humanist] 27.668 serendipity; or, this weird Perry Mason thing; or, Netflix reverse-engineers Hollywood

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sat Jan 4 07:33:48 CET 2014


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 668.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
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        Date: Sat, 04 Jan 2014 06:15:56 +0000
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: serendipity; or, this weird Perry Mason thing; or, Netflix reverse-engineers Holywood


In my experience serious implications for digital humanities seldom arise
from work that is simultaneously mysterious and delightfully (even
wake-up-the-neighbours-by-laughing-out-loud-at-6am) funny. But thanks to
fellow Humanist Neven Jovanović, I am able to pass on just such a thing for
your contemplation. 

It is described in some detail by Alexis C. Madrigal, in "How Netflix
Reverse Engineered Hollywood", The Atlantic, 2 January, at
http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/01/how-netflix-reverse-engineered-hollywood/282679/.

The (I suspect) very few Perry Mason fans among us will be gratified but
perhaps not as puzzled as the rest of us, unless that puzzle be why we are
not as rapt by Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale as they are. True, the metaphor
of the legal trial is a powerful one, used for the most serious purposes
e.g. throughout the Judeo-Christian Bible ("I know that my Redeemer liveth",
for example). But still, how many years has it been since you watched Perry
Mason, if ever?

To Netflix without delay?

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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