[Humanist] 31.84 not good enough

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Wed Jun 7 07:06:41 CEST 2017


                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 31, No. 84.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    Alexander Hay <alexander.hay at gmail.com>                   (67)
        Subject: Re:  31.83 not good enough

  [2]   From:    "Cosgrave, Mike" <M.Cosgrave at ucc.ie>                      (43)
        Subject: RE:  31.83 not good enough

  [3]   From:    "Dave Postles" <davep at davelinux.info>                     (69)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 31.83 not good enough

  [4]   From:    maurizio lana <maurizio.lana at gmail.com>                   (79)
        Subject: Re:  31.83 not good enough

  [5]   From:    Domenico Fiormonte <domenico.fiormonte at gmail.com>         (95)
        Subject: Re:  31.83 not good enough

  [6]   From:    Patrick Durusau <patrick at durusau.net>                     (40)
        Subject: Internet Book Burning was Re:  31.83 not good enough


--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2017 10:19:17 +0100
        From: Alexander Hay <alexander.hay at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re:  31.83 not good enough
        In-Reply-To: <20170606090332.A71B01B4B at digitalhumanities.org>


Dear Willard,

Same old, same old. The Restoration Government regulated and ended up
running the press for precisely the same reasons Theresa May wants to do it
now - a toxic mix of self interest, cynicism, and an assumption that people
need to be told what to do and how to think. It didn't succeed in the long
run, but the damage was still done. In the meantime, *Cui bono?*, as we
must always ask ourselves.

Regards,

- Alexander Hay

On 6 June 2017 at 10:03, Humanist Discussion Group <
willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk> wrote:

>
>                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 31, No. 83.
>             Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>                        www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                 Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
>
>
>
>         Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2017 09:49:39 +0100
>         From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
>         Subject: not good enough
>
>
> In the wake of the latest terrorist attack in London, the Scottish novelist
> and editor Andrew O'Hagan spoke on Radio 4 this morning about the Internet.
> He recalled the millenarian hopes for it during his youth and contrasted
> them with what has become of it in the hands of those with evil intentions.
> His conclusion (spoken in sorrow) was that "We are not good enough as
> people
> to have an unrestricted network". We need "a battalion of mindful editors"
> to regulate it, he said.
>
> Perhaps neither seems surprising now; once, as O'Hagan remarked, the
> Internet seemed to many a cure for the world's problems, as indeed the
> telephone did in its early days. But the darkness visible of terrorism
> isn't
> the only sign of the times. I think, for example, of that unmoderated
> online
> forum recently shouted down during a discussion of the word 'motherboard'
> and then shut down to figure out where from here. Yes, professionally we
> live in a sheltered world, but the problems at the root of seemingly minor
> annoyances are very real -- and applicable out there, where people run
> mortal risks.
>
> Consider that the "battalion of mindful editors" requires the recruitment
> and training our universities should be able to give, indeed should be
> giving. But they are crippled, as social anthropologist Marilyn Strathern
> wrote in 1992, by an Enterprise Culture which "like a slick that smothers
> everything in shine" gives us workplaces "where students are supposed to
> mean numbers, public accountability must be interpreted as resource
> management, and education has to appear as a service for customers" [*].
>
> Comments?
>
> Yours,
> WM
>
> [*] Marilyn Strathern, "Introduction: Artificial Life", in Reproducing
> the Future: Anthropology, Kinship and the New Reproductive Technologies
> (Manchester University Press, 1992): 8.
>
> --
> Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor, Department of Digital
> Humanities, King's College London; Adjunct Professor, Western Sydney
> University and North Carolina State University; Editor,
> Interdisciplinary Science Reviews (www.tandfonline.com/loi/yisr20)


--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2017 09:49:28 +0000
        From: "Cosgrave, Mike" <M.Cosgrave at ucc.ie>
        Subject: RE:  31.83 not good enough
        In-Reply-To: <20170606090332.A71B01B4B at digitalhumanities.org>


<Rant>

It's got nothing to do with the internet!

We as a society, and indeed we in the universities, have failed to address the need for new visions of a meaningful life in an post-work society.
This is most critical in the lives of young men facing a future on zero hours contracts and precarious welfare benefits as 'work' and the old models of a life well lived, ebb away.

I don't believe that, this time round, new technology will replace all the old jobs with new jobs. I don't claim to know whether 40% or 70% of jobs will be automated out of existence - but I think we'd be wise to plan on at least 40% going, and start thinking seriously  about how we organise society in that event, and how we deal with people's need for a sense of purpose and worth. What does it mean to be human in the digital age?

I could go on, but that's my 2c

</Rant>


--[3]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2017 11:16:18 +0100
        From: "Dave Postles" <davep at davelinux.info>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 31.83 not good enough
        In-Reply-To: <20170606090332.A71B01B4B at digitalhumanities.org>


The options are out there, but HE has failed to adopt and develop them. 
Why isn't HE sponsoring Diaspora or Mastodon as the alternative to
Facebook and Twitter, at the very least for internal use?
DP


-- 
http://www.historicalresources.myzen.co.uk (research and pedagogy)
I use Lilo web search: no tracking and social good (Firefox add-on)
This machine runs on liquid Linux
Often coming to you via TOR (The Onion Router)
De Havilland Fellow, University of Hertfordshire



--[4]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2017 12:30:04 +0200
        From: maurizio lana <maurizio.lana at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re:  31.83 not good enough
        In-Reply-To: <20170606090332.A71B01B4B at digitalhumanities.org>

i substantially agree, my doubt arise around "We are not good enough as
people to have an unrestricted network", not so dissimilar from an
hypothetical "We are not good enough as people to have a free will". i
understand the troubles connected with free willing people doing evil
things, nevertheless without free will the responsibility wouldn't exist.
and if if no one would be responsible, which would be the meaning of things
which happen?

this said, i see the point when you write "Consider that the "battalion of
mindful editors" requires the recruitment and training our universities
should be able to give, indeed should be giving. But they are crippled they
are crippled as the whole humanities (be they digital ar not) field is
crippled: because it seems that "we" as society want to contrast the crisis
our world is facing by giving up with humanities. and it seems from the
choices which are done everyday that "we" as society really think that a
competent, deep, sensible word on the crisis of our world is coming and will
come from engineers, or biologists, or astrophysicists. "sutor ne ultra
crepidam!" (sorry for the Latin citation but it is in its very place).

it's humanities which have a strategical knowledge about clashes of
civilizations, about collaboration among people, about the interpretation of
history, about the way people represent their troubles, ...

can our society, our world, give up with all this? unfortunately, it seems
that the answer is "yes".

so in my view it's possible that we need "battalion of mindful editors" but
much more we need a strategical view of the present and the near future
which is dramatically lacking in what politicians say be they in UK, Italy,
US, ... a view which is embodied in the whole ensemble of humanities

maurizio

--
lo immagino quando, alla fine, capisce che quella porta non si aprirà  più,
perché lui aveva tutte le chiavi cognitive, linguistiche, e storiche
per capire cosa stava accadendo
Paola Regeni
-------
la biblioteca digitale del latino tardo: www.digiliblt.uniupo.it
-------
Maurizio Lana
Università  del Piemonte Orientale, Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici
piazza Roma 36 - 13100 Vercelli
tel. 0039-347-7370925




--[5]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2017 16:16:14 +0200
        From: Domenico Fiormonte <domenico.fiormonte at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re:  31.83 not good enough
        In-Reply-To: <20170606090332.A71B01B4B at digitalhumanities.org>


Dear Willard,

I'm not sure if your email implied that we should start
censoring/controlling the internet in order to prevent terrorism. I hope
you did not mean to say that. I think the formula "more control of the
internet = less terrorism" has proved to be false:

https://www.newamerica.org/international-security/policy-papers/do-nsas-bulk-surveillance-programs-stop-terrorists/

Besides, I'm afraid the "battalion of mindful editors" is alredy there.

As for UK, just a reminder:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/feb/06/gchq-mass-
internet-surveillance-unlawful-court-nsa

"And yet nobody, at least in Britain, seems to care."

(https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/03/edward-
snowden-files-john-lanchester)

This is an entertaining and yet credible narrative of how the whole system
works (thanks to Geoffrey Rockwell for the link):

http://www.they-know.org/en

Perhaps who should be questioned are our governments. Not just because we
don't know how are they are using the infinite amount of information they
collect every day, but precisely because they gave up education, culture,
and public media. This is the problem: we're loosing control of our future,
not of our streets. I would like to remind that

These are dark times, but we, as digital humanists, should be start looking
at the dark sides of the tools we use every day. I've been saying for a
long time now that the digital is political. But it is also about human
discourse. I was trained as a philologist, and I believe that the
Post-Truth discourse is also the result of a change of platform/support. A
philological perversion (?).

Our scope as humanists should be to expose and unmask these
knowledge-shaping processes and phenomena, and try to direct them towards
more transparent, more equitable and more human aims.
Censorship/control/surveillance of our communications will not help us. It
never did.

Domenico
p.s. For those interested, about a year ago I wrote this post on big data,
DH, and terrorism:

http://infolet.it/2016/09/22/big-data-terrorism-and-the-role-of-the-digital-
humanities/

2017-06-06 11:03 GMT+02:00 Humanist Discussion Group <
willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>:


--[6]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2017 14:08:40 -0400
        From: Patrick Durusau <patrick at durusau.net>
        Subject: Internet Book Burning was Re:  31.83 not good enough
        In-Reply-To: <20170606090332.A71B01B4B at digitalhumanities.org>


Willard,

It's hard to describe my disappointment in your echoing a call for "a
battalion of mindful editors" to regulate the Internet.

The humanities community should know better than most the unhappy
outcomes of book burning and attempts at the suppression of ideas
pre-Internet.

Is there some reason for believing book burning and suppression of
ideas/speech will have a different outcome with the Internet?

I wasn't surprised at Theresa May's call, but assumed she was a random
failure of the British educational system.

Hearing similar sentiments echoed by you and Andrew O'Hagan, her
position looks less random.

Where is the humanist challenge to reading terrorist literature = acts
of terrorism?

Similar specious arguments have been made about rock-n-roll, violent
video games, pornography, books about homosexuals, bi-racial
relationships, etc.

How is Theresa May's any different?

Humanists should challenge, resist and subvert any and all regulation of
the Internet.

Otherwise find jack boots and a brown shirt in your size.

Hope you are having a great week!

Patrick

-- 
Patrick Durusau
patrick at durusau.net
Technical Advisory Board, OASIS (TAB)
Editor, OpenDocument Format TC (OASIS), Project Editor ISO/IEC 26300
Co-Editor, ISO/IEC 13250-1, 13250-5 (Topic Maps)

Another Word For It (blog): http://tm.durusau.net
Homepage: http://www.durusau.net
Twitter: patrickDurusau 





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