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"Computational form, which accepts only that which can be told with programmatic explicitness and precision, is thus radically inadequate for representing the full range of knowledge – hence useful for isolating what gets lost when we try to specify the unspecifiable." p25


"There are in general two ways in which a model may violate expectations and so surprise us: either by a success we cannot explain, e.g. finding an occurrence where it should not be; or by a like-wise inexplicable failure, e.g. not finding one where it is clearly present to our own perception. In both cases modelling problematizes. As a tool of research, then, modelling succeeds intellectually when it results in failure, either directly within the model itself or indirectly through ideas it shows to be inadequate. This failure, in the sense of expectations violated, is fundamental to modelling, as we will see." p26


"I conclude that although efficient access to data is an essential function of computing, the greater potential is for computers as modelling machines, not knowledge jukeboxes. To think of them as only the latter is profoundly to mis-understand human knowledge." p27


"Modelling of something readily turns into modelling for better or more detailed knowledge of it; similarly, the knowledge gained from realizing a model for something feeds or can feed into an improved version. This characteristic blurring of design into use and use into (re)design is what denies modelling of any sense of closure. Modelling for, utopian by definition, is denied it in any case." p27


"Here I propose to examine them, using as my touchstone the continual process of coming to know by manipulating things, not an achievement but an approximating convergence." p28


"In their most basic, ‘primordial’ condition (ursprünglich), Heidegger declares, entities are known in the totality of our use or interaction with them. When a tool is in use, in the state Heidegger calls ‘ready-to-hand’ (zuhanden), it disappears or withdraws from us. We deal not withthe tool but with the work we accomplish through it (SZ: 69/99). In practice, however, this totality of worker and work suffers occasional breakdown, from a failure of the tool, a distraction or other circumstances of use. Breakdown then results in a perceptual shift: holistic ‘circumspection’ (Umsicht) becomes particularizing ‘observation’(Ansicht), and the tool, no longer ready-to-hand but ‘present-at-hand’(vorhanden), becomes a separate object with which we can deal analyti-cally, perhaps improvingly, before returning to engaged use. Thus is the genesis of theoretical behaviour out of experiential (SZ:360–1/411–13), when interested engagement with gives way to disinterested contemplation ofthe work." p42


"Winograd and Flores construe the progressive cycle of computing systems development in terms of the see-saw defined by experiential engagement and theoretical detachment. Motivated perhaps by the constructivist perspective of the engineer, they give ‘the fundamental role of breakdown in creating the space of what can be said’ – and so modelled – considerably stronger emphasis than in Heidegger (1986:78). In other words, their reading yields not an applied philosophy butthe beginnings of a philosophical computing, and so access to the centrality of failure and process in the epistemology of modelling." p43


"But the specific quality I wish to probe goes further than externality to the <i>independence</i> of the model and the modeller <i>from each other</i>. The independence of the modeller is a straight forward though crucial affair, as we have seen. It is, crucially, measured by the apophatic difference between what he or she knows, on the one hand, and can implement computationally, on the other. The independence of the model would seem, however, an altogether problematic notion. It claims more than objectivity, i.e. impartiality or detachment. Rather it answers to recent deconstructions of an absolute objectivity, in science, medicine, commerce and other areas, by asking how far we can take the idea of a (semi-)autonomous intentional artifact." p46-47


"Consider, for example, fictions whose duration is measured in decades to millennia, such as fundamental operating system design,the graphical user interface for human-computer interaction, Northrop Frye’s archetypes of literature, Galilean science, great literature and the cultural envelopes of mythology. These, in varying ways and to varying degrees, show the independence of the fictional in their ability to create imaginative spaces that become the reality within which people live productively and create other fictions. (The fate of those whose mythology has been destroyed by cultural collision does not undercut this reality, rather redefines what we mean by ‘real’.) In the present case, for modelling, my point is that questioning moves on from the ground solidified in the results provided by models. This solidified ground is what we call ‘real’. " p48-49


"<p>Two qualifying remarks by way of conclusion. First, the idea that thinking is reducible to primitives or fundamental modules is philosophically controversial, challenged on the one hand by Heideggerian phenomenology, vigorously and variously pursued on the other by analytic philosophers and linguists. In humanities computing we should at least be clear that we are modelling thinking, however subversive of the entire project that may be. Second, much can be and has been done, at least in the analysis stage, with existing software. Very little of the agenda sketched above needs to wait on the tools we would have. Indeed, deferral is, as I have noted, a perilous trap. </p><p> 5 Epilegomena </p><p> In summary form I have argued for the following agenda items: </p><p> (1) Discover, confirm and exemplify how computing affects analysis, so that the basic case for humanities computing is clear and persuasive across the disciplines. </p><p> (2) Explore the realization of scholarly forms in the digital medium,attempting both the historical achievements of print as these remain desirable and the potential of the digital medium to implement new theoretical designs. </p><p> (3) Identify and cultivate kinships with the disciplines, so that humanities computing is informed by the collective ways of knowing they have cultivated. </p><p> (4) Redefine both ‘scholarship’ and ‘publication’ in theory and practice so as to include all of the work within the purview of the field, particularly with respect to software. </p><p> (5) Develop as a prevalent habit and as a serious, essential aspect of work the strongly conversational mode of scholarly publication exemplified by Humanist and other Internet forums. </p><p> (6) Write the ethnography of collaborative engagements to document how successful collaborations happen and how perceptions change in the encounter of the humanities with computing. </p><p> (7) Develop a genuine historiography of humanities computing from existing chronologies; begin writing histories of the field. </p><p> (8) Cultivate and exercise the ability to explain the essentials of humanities computing to non-specialist colleagues and to the general public </p><p> (9) Devise appropriate bibliographic mechanisms and online publishing habits; change the notion of cumulative scholarship in the field so that a bibliographic imperative can realistically be followed. </p><p> (10)Propose and investigate programmable scholarly primitives for the construction of better tools. </p><p> At the beginning of this chapter I argued that any agenda we might construct for humanities computing, including the above, will to a significant degree be (a) incomplete and (b) partially dependent on the priorities of the disciplines in its purview. Allow me to summarize these qualities and then to speculate on where an incomplete, partly dependent agenda might lead us. Incompleteness, I have argued, follows from the inadequacy of the concept ‘problem’ (in the sense that agendas have them) to capture the humanistic aspects of what its practitioners do. Humanists problematize, but not to make or discover that which is to be solved. Rather the aim is to recontextualize or renew understanding of the stubborn, recurrent ‘problems’ that are more the fabric of post-Edenic life than rips in it we may hope to mend. Of course solvable problems occur and are solved meanwhile, but they are incidental to the main purpose. Hence, however we construe the work of the humanities, including that of humanities computing, it cannot be cleanly resolved into an agenda. Dependency of the agenda on external objectives is a necessary consequence of interdisciplinarity as I have defined it. Denied (which is to say, liberated from) both ownership and boundedness of its area of operations, humanities computing cannot turn to any of the common geopolitical metaphors. There is no way of saying precisely where the ‘field’ stops and something else begins, who owns or belongs to it and who does not. </p>" p220-221


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