[Humanist] 24.556 hardware; privacy

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Mon Dec 6 07:45:49 CET 2010

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 24, No. 556.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    Patrick Durusau <patrick at durusau.net>                     (62)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 24.553 hardware? privacy?

  [2]   From:    maurizio lana <m.lana at lett.unipmn.it>                     (27)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 24.553 hardware? privacy?

        Date: Sun, 05 Dec 2010 06:51:20 -0500
        From: Patrick Durusau <patrick at durusau.net>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 24.553 hardware? privacy?
        In-Reply-To: <20101205110734.E2A48B0C93 at woodward.joyent.us>



> One very interesting phenomenon in this regard is the deliberate 
> avoidance by terrorists of high-tech communication networks, all too 
> easily penetrated. This makes me wonder, among scholars nowadays is 
> there any tendency for people deliberately to avoid being connected? 
> I do know that academics who become famous often tend these days 
> either to claim not to have an e-mail address or to employ someone to 
> run interference for them. Anthropologists and others who do fieldwork 
> are sometimes out of touch for long periods; I wonder, do they enjoy 
> the isolation? But I am really asking about the less well-known stay-
> at-homes, those (if there are any) who unplug to avoid the distraction,
> or who avoid checking their e-mail (attesting to a level of self-control
> I admire but cannot manage).

Perhaps the best known case of someone forsaking email is Donald Knuth
(The Art of Computer Programming, TeX and several other major
contributions), who said:

> I have been a happy man ever since January 1, 1990, when I no longer
> had an email address. I'd used email since about 1975, and it seems to
> me that 15 years of email is plenty for one lifetime.
> Email is a wonderful thing for people whose role in life is to be on
> top of things. But not for me; my role is to be on the bottom of
> things. What I do takes long hours of studying and uninterruptible
> concentration. I try to learn certain areas of computer science
> exhaustively; then I try to digest that knowledge into a form that is
> accessible to people who don't have time for such study.

>         `I don't even have an e-mail address. I have reached an age
>         where my main purpose is not to receive messages.' --- Umberto
>         Eco, quoted in the New Yorker
> Sometimes I do send email, through my secretary, with respect to the
> project I'm currently working on, when I believe that the recipient
> won't be bothered by my request. But I hope you can understand why I
> am almost always unhappy to receive unsolicited email myself. Thank
> you for your patience and cooperation as I try to finish The Art of
> Computer Programming (TAOCP), a work that I began in 1962 and that I
> will need many years to complete. In return, I promise not to send
> unwelcome email requests to you.


Which raises the question:

Does lack of email = existing in isolation? Have they stopped publishing
journals, books, conference proceeding? Are there no articles or books
to be writing? 

Hope you are at the start of a great week!


PS: My primary use of email, other than as a standards editor, is to
become aware of new publications (electronic and otherwise), projects,
Patrick Durusau
patrick at durusau.net
Chair, V1 - US TAG to JTC 1/SC 34
Convener, JTC 1/SC 34/WG 3 (Topic Maps)
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
Newcomb Number: 1

        Date: Sun, 05 Dec 2010 17:47:57 +0100
        From: maurizio lana <m.lana at lett.unipmn.it>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 24.553 hardware? privacy?
        In-Reply-To: <20101205110734.E2A48B0C93 at woodward.joyent.us>

Il 05/12/2010 12:07, Humanist Discussion Group ha scritto:
     Can one see beyond the machine while not losing sight of
     it as a shaper of what is seen?
i would like to reformulate the question asked by willard, using my own words
and my own point of view: 
if i study a famous literary work using text analysis computer tools, what is
more important: the tools and their use or the novelty and depth of the
interpretation i propose?
if i really propose a novel and deep interpretation is it important to state
that (and how) i did employ text analysis computer tools? or it is more
important to show the textual evidences supporting my interpretation, however i
did collect them?

La Repubblica promuove lo sviluppo della cultura e la ricerca scientifica e
La Repubblica detta le norme generali sull'istruzione ed istituisce scuole
statali per tutti gli ordini e gradi.
(Costituzione della Repubblica Italiana, art. 9 e 33)
il mio corso di informatica umanistica:
Maurizio Lana - ricercatore
Università del Piemonte Orientale, Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia
Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, via Manzoni 8, 13100 Vercelli - tel. +39 347

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