[Humanist] 25.11 desert island discs?

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Wed May 11 08:00:39 CEST 2011

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 25, No. 11.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Wed, 11 May 2011 06:57:36 +0100
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: desert island discs

One of my favourite radio programmes is Desert Island Discs, broadcast 
on BBC Radio 4. When it was first aired, on 27 January 1942, it was 
described as,

> a programme in which a well-known person is asked the question, if
> you were to be cast away alone on a desert island, which eight
> gramophone records would you choose to have with you, assuming of
> course, that you had a gramophone and an inexhaustible supply of
> needles

The choices have not in the nearly 70 years of its history converged on 
any canonical list of the best. They tell you in each case much about 
the person interviewed. They remind you of things you have forgotten, 
and put you in mind of others you somehow didn't know. But moving (as it 
were) in the opposite direction from this constantly expanding cultural 
cosmos is also a sense of a cosmos, not a chaos, not a miscellaneous 
jumble, or if that, then *a* jumble which itself is just as it should 
be. Especially if one listens to the programme on a dark, gray Saturday 
afternoon in a northern hemispheric winter, or via the Internet from the 
other side of the world.

So my question: what creations relating to the digital humanities would 
you take with you to that desert island? What articles and books? What 
gizmos, presuming an inexhaustible supply of power to run them? And if 
your list is too short, then what orders would you put in, now in 
advance of your exile, for that which you would take with you if only it 

(For more on the programme, see 

Professor Willard McCarty, Department of Digital Humanities, King's
College London; Centre for Cultural Research, University of Western
Sydney; Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews (www.isr-journal.org);
Editor, Humanist (www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist/); www.mccarty.org.uk/

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