[Humanist] 22.316 hardware and interpretation

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Wed Nov 12 08:23:01 CET 2008

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 316.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 08:57:31 -0200
        From: "Renata T. S. Lemos" <renata.lemoz at eletrocooperativa.org>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 22.312 hardware and interpretation
        In-Reply-To: <20081111063509.2DBE024C07 at woodward.joyent.us>

Dear James and Maurizio,

I believe you are talking about different things than the question Willard
is trying to address. I believe that the idea you are making of computing is
still confining its dimension to the PC era. However we are moving far
beyond this simple user interface. Let's take a look at William Gibson's
latest interview, in which he reassesses what is happening with digital

*I wanted a way to visualise the extent to which something has changed since
I started writing about information technology. When I coined the word
cyberspace, cyberspace was there, and everything else was here. That has
reversed itself over the course of my writing. I literally think that
cyberspace is now here, and a complete lack of connectivity is now there. If
we could see the wireless exchanges of digital information taking place
around us, we would be living in a much busier visual landscape. Most of
what we do as a society we now either primarily do digitally, in what we
used to call cyberspace, or we simultaneously do digitally and in the
physical world. If you are driving with a GPS system, you are simultaneously
driving your car and manoeuvring your car through a digital construct. I
believe that very few of us are aware of the extent to which that has
already happened, and I suspect that I'm not aware of it to anywhere near
the real extent to which it has happened. *

Think about the wireless computing power of your Iphones and blackberrys:
how remote can that really be? It's mobile, it's pervasive, and, borrowing a
term from Bauman, it's becoming more and more liquid...

And I am just talking about the technologies that are already available in
the market. If you move into the cutting edge research being made at
scientific labs around the world, then you will see that a new revolution
based on nano enabled devices is on the verge of coming to existence.

So let us not accomodate ourselves to existing perspectives.

I agree with Willard in that it is time to starting asking new questions.


Renata Lemos
Eletrocooperativa, Knowledge Coordinator
PUC SP, Semiotics Researcher

More information about the Humanist mailing list