[Humanist] 22.624 looking back

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Tue Mar 17 07:31:33 CET 2009

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 624.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com>                      (31)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 22.620 looking back

  [2]   From:    renata lemos <renata.lemoz at eletrocooperativa.org>        (207)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 22.620 looking back

        Date: Mon, 16 Mar 2009 11:16:54 -0400
        From: James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 22.620 looking back
        In-Reply-To: <20090316060825.DC096303F4 at woodward.joyent.us>

Study of the past is not supposed to be bondage to the past -- it's as
ridiculous to mechanically impose past paradigms as it is to
completely ignore the past, and most ridiculous of all to think these
are our only two options.  The point is having a -starting point- for
our reflections rather than fostering the illusion that we're starting
from scratch (when we are not).  So, for example, comparing changes
fostered by the internet to changes fostered by the printing press
provides a useful -starting point- which actually makes differences
between the two more visible and manageable.  We should also note that
the internet first appeared within a culture of print and has been
guided by print conventions in many ways.  Very few major websites
have really gotten away from either a magazine cover look or a front
page newspaper look.

I don't know anyone who has studied history who believes the study of
history is irrelevant.  Those who believe history is irrelevant
usually have not read much, or thought much about what they have read.
 This isn't so much a matter of professional bias as it is a matter of
fact.  However, I am certainly open to the opinion of anyone who can
demonstrate significant knowledge of history and who also claims we
really are facing something completely new here.

We should note that similarities and differences between the printing
press and the internet obtain across a range of points of comparison,
each of which should be dealt with individually.  Most people believe
they are reading a stable, fixed text when reading, say, an online CNN
news article in much the same way these same people believe they are
reading a stable, fixed text when they purchase a copy of the New York
Times -- fixed and stable in ways no person reading manuscripts ever
believed their texts were -- so readers' attitudes are transferable
from print to the internet on at least some points.

The reality of the print vs. internet production is another thing entirely.

Jim R

        Date: Mon, 16 Mar 2009 12:46:35 -0300
        From: renata lemos <renata.lemoz at eletrocooperativa.org>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 22.620 looking back
        In-Reply-To: <20090316060825.DC096303F4 at woodward.joyent.us>

dear james, miran and siobhan.
thank you and namaste.

first, responding to james. this forum is concerned about the digital
humanities. now, we all know what the term "humanities" stand for. but let
us take a closer look at what the term "digital" stands for. digital means:
free, flow, borderless, and most importantly: open...

so the digital humanities should add to the humanities all of the
characteristics of the digital. shoudn´t it?

second, responding to miran. you know, my adviser, dr. lucia santaella, told
me that maybe the reason why I am so interested in the future is because I
am from brazil. here we do not have very good memories from the past,
basically our past is about colonialism and exploitation; the present is
still very very messy, and so the future is really where all of our hopes
can be found. here we have no other options but to think of the future, you

: )

third, responding to siobhan. you´re totally right! think about the
historical moment we are living right now! transition, crisis, challenges
all around us. global financial markets collapsing, the environment
collapsing, everything seems to be collapsing.

maybe we should stop contemplating history, and instead begin to MAKE

let us make history instead.

I would like to thank monsieur willard for this forum, and this opportunity
for debating and exchanging ideas. this is true digital intellectual life.

long life to the digital humanities!
renata lemos

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