[Humanist] 27.752 digital knowledge

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Wed Jan 29 10:17:03 CET 2014


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 752.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org



        Date: Tue, 28 Jan 2014 06:14:03 -0600
        From: Paul Fishwick <metaphorz at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re:  27.746 digital knowledge; philosophy of algorithms
        In-Reply-To: <20140128062912.1FE39622D at digitalhumanities.org>


On digital knowledge and digital humanities, it seems to me that the enterprise
is a most useful and ambitious one, not to be discouraged. My reason for 
questioning the use of the “digital" qualification was based just as much,
interestingly enough,  on the future of computer science as on the future of 
the humanities.

To explain this line of reasoning for the humanities first, the DH name brings 
welcome developments including:

 * the scientific method within humanities research (e.g., “big text, big data” which
   ultimately lead to empirical methods)

 * the use of computer science methodology (e.g., discrete mathematics—trees,
   graphs and higher level structures such as databases, networks)

 * the critical study of digital technology and its effects on culture and society

 * the use of digital technology to expand humanities research (e.g., virtual environments
   for cultural sensitivity and training, or web-based digital archives)

To my point about computer science, the word “digital” restricts the nature of computing to
digital methods whereas, historically, most computing has been analog. Willard’s mention
of Bush’s DA architecture is a recent example for the 20th century. When we
teach computer science, this analog history and relevance to computing’s foundations 
is diminished or entirely missing.

As to whether analog computing should play a role in the social fabric of DH, this is a
question for everyone on the list. Willard: your reference to the educational importance
of the DA is something I briefly addressed in my blog entry here:

http://creative-automata.com/2014/01/19/the-disappearing-trick-of-hitech/

-p

Paul Fishwick, PhD
Chair, ACM SIGSIM
Distinguished Chair of Arts & Technology 
   and Professor of Computer Science
Director, Creative Automata Laboratory
The University of Texas at Dallas
Arts & Technology
800 West Campbell Road, AT10
Richardson, TX 75080-3021
Home: utdallas.edu/atec/fishwick
Blog: creative-automata.com

On Jan 28, 2014, at 12:29 AM, Humanist Discussion Group <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk> wrote:

>                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 746.
>            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
> 
>  [1]   From:    Alexander O'Connor <Alex.OConnor at scss.tcd.ie>             (47)
>        Subject: Re:  27.742 philosophy of algorithms and searching?
> 
>  [2]   From:    Nathan Kelber <nkelber at ltu.edu>                           (23)
>        Subject: Re:  27.745 digital knowledge
> 
>  [3]   From:    Joris van Zundert <joris.van.zundert at huygens.knaw.nl>     (34)
>        Subject: Re:  27.745 digital knowledge
> 
> 
> --[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
>        Date: Mon, 27 Jan 2014 10:16:02 +0000
>        From: Alexander O'Connor <Alex.OConnor at scss.tcd.ie>
>        Subject: Re:  27.742 philosophy of algorithms and searching?
>        In-Reply-To: <20140127084531.82D2C6122 at digitalhumanities.org>
> 
> 
> The three communities to consider are the recommender systems, adaptive hypermedia and social media communities
> 
> Journals and Conferences (conferences are generally the best source in my personal view)
> 
> http://recsys.acm.org/
> http://www.icwsm.org/2014/index.php
> http://www2014.kr/
> 
> http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/software/deconstructing-recommender-systems
> http://techblog.netflix.com/2012/04/netflix-recommendations-beyond-5-stars.html
> http://www.mlsurveys.com/
> http://www.exp-platform.com/Documents/2012-09%20ACMRecSysNR.pdf
> 
> http://www.umuai.org/
> http://recsyswiki.com/wiki/List_of_RecSys-relevant_Conferences
> 
> Perhaps these links will help?
> 
> On 27 Jan 2014, at 08:45, Humanist Discussion Group <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk> wrote:
> 
>>                Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 742.
>>           Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>>                      www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>>               Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
>> 
>> 
>> 
>>       Date: Sun, 26 Jan 2014 07:49:27 -0500
>>       From: Victoria Scott <victoriahfscott at gmail.com>
>>       Subject: Sources on the philosophy of algorithms and searching
>> 
>> 
>> Hello!
>> 
>> I am very interested in the way algorithms are being used to predict
>> consumer, political, psychological behavior, and I am wondering what the
>> key texts are on the subject. I would like to have a sense of the breadth
>> of the discussion, both pro and con, if poss.
>> 
>> Also it has come to my attention that searching is really the essence of
>> the Internet, in a literal and also philosophical sense, and I would also
>> like know if people have some interesting suggestions for that subject.
>> 
>> Thank you,
>> Victoria H.F. Scott
>> 
>> *Theodore Randall International Chair in Art and DesignAlfred UniversityThe
>> Art History Guild <https://sites.google.com/site/thearthistoryguild/>*
> 
> 
> --
> Dr. Alexander O'Connor
> 
> Knowledge & Data Engineering Group
> Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
> 
> Alex.OConnor at scss.tcd.ie
> 
> 
> 
> --[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
>        Date: Mon, 27 Jan 2014 10:12:14 -0500
>        From: Nathan Kelber <nkelber at ltu.edu>
>        Subject: Re:  27.745 digital knowledge
>        In-Reply-To: <20140127085503.8CB4E6125 at digitalhumanities.org>
> 
> 
> The term "digital humanities" has a specific rhetorical history told in
> brief by Matthew Kirschenbaum in his article: "What Is Digital humanities
> and What's It Doing in English Departments?" (
> http://mkirschenbaum.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/kirschenbaum_ade150.pdf) I
> agree that the term can be misleading for outsiders but it has also been
> incredibly effective for establishing and mobilizing the field.
> 
> Digital humanists, as humanists, are concerned with far more than digital
> things. For me, the word "digital" signals an investment by humanists into
> discrete, mathematical, and technical ways of thinking. It is not an
> attempt to embody or describe everything that computing is or can be (e.g.
> analog, continuous, mechanical, quantum). Rather, it is a disciplinary
> imposition which calls for humanists to account for the technical aspects
> of humanities research. Its rhetorical force comes from its insistence on
> the importance of numeracy alongside literacy; Digital humanities insists
> that the logical processes of numbers (i.e. digits) are a legitimate form
> of humanities engagement and argumentation.
> 
> 
> -- 
> Nathan Kelber
> LTU Lecturer
> College of Arts and Sciences
> http://nkelber.com
> @nkelber on Twitter
> 
> 
> 
> --[3]------------------------------------------------------------------------
>        Date: Tue, 28 Jan 2014 00:33:46 +0100
>        From: Joris van Zundert <joris.van.zundert at huygens.knaw.nl>
>        Subject: Re:  27.745 digital knowledge
>        In-Reply-To: <20140127085503.8CB4E6125 at digitalhumanities.org>
> 
> 
> Dear Willard,
> 
> I agree with your argument, in any case "humanities computing" captures
> more of an essence of the field.
> 
> However, is "humanities computing" inclusive enough? How do we understand
> 'computing' in general? My association is with the mathematics, the way one
> can approach objects to make their properties and behavior
> computable–symbol manipulation as you say indeed.
> 
> On the other hand 'computing' can be understood also simply as "using a
> computer". In that case it would also cover the work of our friends and
> colleagues that are more on the medium-shift side of the business, e.g. the
> ones creating digital resources such as digital editions.
> 
> But would (or should) it also cover that third group of people that are
> studying the use of computers and computing in creating humanistic
> artifacts and the Internet as a new realm of humanistic expression–thus
> computing as the object not as the tool?
> 
> On the larger scale of things: should "humanities computing" or "digital
> humanities" eventually both not just disappear? Once computing and the
> digital (or quantum) medium is pervasive in our history and society, does
> it not follow that a very decent chunk of plain "humanities" will be
> occupied with that ubiquitous computing component as a matter of fact?
> There must come a time–not now yet fairly soon–that "digital humanities" or
> "humanities computing" would sound particularly pleonastic.
> 
> Best
> --Joris
> 
> 
> -- 
> Drs. Joris J. van Zundert
> 
> *Researcher & Developer Digital and Computational Humanities*
> Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands
> 
> *Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences*
> www.huygens.knaw.nl/en/vanzundert/
> 
> -------
> 
> *Jack Sparrow: I thought you were supposed to keep to the code.Mr. Gibbs:
> We figured they were more actual guidelines.*






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