[Humanist] 28.733 evidence of value is evidence of worry

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sun Feb 15 08:23:58 CET 2015

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 28, No. 733.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2015 15:30:38 +0000
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: evidence of value

Many thanks to those who have cited actual evidence for the value of work in
digital humanities to the scholarly disciplines in which it has been
practiced. I am most grateful. But what really interests me is the asking of
the question rather than good answers to it. I want to know who in the 21st
Century is asking this question (which has been pestering us since the
1960s), from the perspective of which disciplines, and I am particularly
interested in how the question is asked. The more anxiety in the questioning
the better. For my purposes worries are far more productive than
contentment however justified.

So, who's nervous, dissatisfied, gloomy about our prospects, and what
exactly are their concerns? How are they expressing their nervousness? Our
colleagues in AI and robotics are no less successful today in worrying the
public than they were decades ago, when the technology was far less
sophisticated. I say that if we aren't making people nervous then we're doing
something wrong :-).

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

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