[Humanist] 27.268 an app-ified life?

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Tue Aug 6 22:30:00 CEST 2013

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 268.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Wed, 07 Aug 2013 06:24:00 +1000
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: an app-ified life?

In my previous note citing Ian Hacking's review of the Diagnostic and 
Statistical Manual, 5th edition, that the publisher, the American 
Psychiatric Association, has released the DSM-5 in the form of an app 
for iOS and Android devices (http://www.appi.org/Pages/DSM5Mobile.aspx).

This, I think, would make a very good case for studying the affective if 
not effective differences between codex and digital publication. The 
next time you are on a bus or train, for example, observe the people who 
are deep into their mobile phones. Imagine one or perhaps some of them 
to be psychiatrists, or psychiatric patients, or potential ones, 
searching this app to find out what is the matter, watching the 
supporting videos etc. Given the potency of psycho-social classification 
on the classified (for which see Hacking's Rewriting the Soul), might we 
not be looking at a threshold effect?

Yes, of course, books also can rewrite the soul, but as so much depends 
on the soul's conditioning, on the person's beliefs, I would think that 
an app-ified domain many believe to be a science, given the status 
science has in our society, would be in another league together, esp 
when accelerated by technological packaging.


Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor, Department of Digital
Humanities, King's College London, and Research Group in Digital
Humanities, University of Western Sydney

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