[Humanist] 28.232 silent response to digital hubris

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Fri Jul 25 17:29:06 CEST 2014


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 28, No. 232.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    Alexander Hay <a.hay at software.ac.uk>                      (48)
        Subject: Re:  28.219 the silent response to digital hubris

  [2]   From:    Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>          (20)
        Subject: digital hubris


--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:00:12 +0100
        From: Alexander Hay <a.hay at software.ac.uk>
        Subject: Re:  28.219 the silent response to digital hubris
        In-Reply-To: <20140721194045.AEEFA618E at digitalhumanities.org>


I would say there are two kinds of Digital Humanist - one who sees it as 
a transformative ideal, and the other one who uses e-mail, word 
processors and tablets because it isn't 1978 any more. Technology and 
ideas succeed when they become mundane.

Regards,

- Alexander

On 21/07/2014 20:40, Humanist Discussion Group wrote:
>                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 28, No. 219.
>              Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>                         www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                  Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
>
>
>
>          Date: Sun, 20 Jul 2014 21:57:26 +0000
>          From: Martin Mueller <martinmueller at northwestern.edu>
>          Subject: Re:  28.215 the silent response to digital hubris
>          In-Reply-To: <20140720141236.503A56051 at digitalhumanities.org>
>
>
> The point that Adam raises in his memo could be expressed in Biblical
> terms: more people want to be the Jesus of "I am the way, the truth, and
> the light," and fewer people want to be the Mary of "Behold the handmaid
> of the Lord." And the latter doesn't get you very far with grant
> applications. But if "I" as a "DHer" want to persuade "you" as a common
> garden variety humanist of the virtues of things digital, I will probably
> be more successful by telling you about the ways in which my stuff is
> useful to you than by dwelling on the transformative nature of my
> achievements. Making the case narrowly in terms that matter to "you" is
> better than making the case broadly in ways that make me look better.
>
> There is a poem by Rilke about the Apollo of Belvedere, which in its last
> line says to the reader: "Du musst dein Leben ändern." I have yet to meet
> a colleague in an English or History department who finds that an
> attractive imperative when it comes to things digital. Technology,
> however, does change people's lives in  a lot of little and some big ways.
> The "lot of little" things may cumulatively matter more in the end.
>
> Martin Mueller
> Professor emeritus of English and Classics
> Northwestern University

-- 

Alexander Hay PhD
Policy & Communications Consultant
Electronics & Computer Science
Faculty of Physical & Applied Sciences
Building 32 Room 4067
University of Southampton



--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 08:20:21 -0700
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: digital hubris
        In-Reply-To: <20140721194045.AEEFA618E at digitalhumanities.org>

One cause of digital hubris, the one that bothers me the most, is loss 
of purpose. This is nothing new. It's at least as old as my first year 
in graduate school, when strongly negative and dismissive reactions to 
Beowulf as an assigned reading demonstrated to me that many of my fellow 
students were not there to learn but to get tenured chairs in 
comfortable places. (Many were subsequently disappointed, including me.) 
I realise that the scarcity of academic jobs creates much anxiety, which 
I'd guess turns quickly into enthusiasm for whatever "next new thing" 
will get one a ride. But even so, if someone undertakes the years of 
training for any other reason than passion for the work, to be done 
whatever the conditions, including those distinctly hostile to 
scholarship, then I'd question his or her fitness for a job as teacher 
and scholar. Is that too harsh? Is there with respect to academic work a 
righteousness we can respect?

Yours,
WM
-- 
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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