[Humanist] 29.440 ontologizing

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sun Nov 1 09:16:45 CET 2015

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 29, No. 440.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Sat, 31 Oct 2015 14:50:46 +0000
        From: Dominic Oldman <doint at oldman.me.uk>
        Subject: Re:  29.437 ontologizing
        In-Reply-To: <20151031083347.411AF6D33 at digitalhumanities.org>

Dear Willard,

Although it is still the case that we have shrink wrapped products (some
produced by 'humanist' makers) it is also true that efforts are being made
to create 'products' that are highly flexible and expandable (rather than
just 'tweakable'). That seems to me not the problem. The problem seems to
be that until they are completely built people don't believe they are
possible and this makes the whole process of building them far more
difficult than it needs to be. This problem extends to the ability to see
the potential of initial versions (often built using limit resources and
therefore often with initial implementation limitations and flaws) and
having the vision to see how these first versions can develop into more
sophisticated community 'products'. Doesn't this relate to your Margaret
Masterman vision point.

It would be good to have more humanist makers, but good humanist makers
also need to jettison a lot technological legacy that has built up and
exerts too much influence, still allowing technology to determine the
models rather than the subject and the subject experts. Humanists need
understand the ontological world and to be empowered to change the rules
about (and own) representing their information at the same time as
venturing into the maker world. Currently, the former seems to be a
priority, more realistic in the short term, and a pre-requisite for the



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