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Digital Humanities? What the...?

  • #1
    Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 46,916 mod Black Swan


    When someone says digital humanities, what first pops into your head?

    I see Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) and Full Metal Bitch (Emily Blunt) passing through some space time continuum to "The Edge of Tomorrow" battling extraterrestrial digitized kinetic metal creatures. The live, die, repeat movie plot simulates what I experience when gaming: a repetitious virtual life played on computer (and on boards.ie at times ;)).

    What is digital humanities? Does it say something about this film, or gaming, or what? Does it ask "what it means to be a human being in the networked information age... and to participate in fluid (virtual) communities... that cannot be reduced to a single genre, medium, discipline, or institution?"

    What first pops into your head?


Comments



  • Yup - I went with the "What the"???
    Followed by a quick read of the link and another "What the".

    Sorry...

    Thinking about it though discussing topics here and on other forums we are exposed to very different ways of looking at the same thing. Whether it is due to the influence religion has on one person, culture on another or something entirely different on yet another person. Through it all though most of the posters genuinely try to help, each in their own way rises above their conditioning from whatever source and that is something I frequently find heartening.

    It's when I go elsewhere, there are some fora here that I am not comfortable with - mainly due to the let me call it radical or aggressive approach they take to anyone not on the same wavelength as them. A few years ago I might have taken the time to rib them over it, but with things like the blasphemy law and threats of defamation now I just despair and hope that through it all folk will just grow and change.

    What does worry me more though is the effect of the media on how we view our society - it seems common place now to read of yet another attack on the streets, whether motivated by religious intolerance or from just plain bigotry. Just for a moment think of that fight last weekend in Howth, and today or yesterday the article where they are now saying it is being coordinated through social media - that is just plain crazy to me. It reminds me of that movie years ago - Idiocracy, sometimes I think they had a point there...




  • It is rather ironic that this term, digital humanities, is coming into vogue. Given the dearth of culture context that the actual humanities which seems to be in line with the decline of how Western tradition are moving away from the moorings of its religious & civic past which had provided much of its cultural values, Instead of having a beginning and gradual improvement moving towards a teleological end, it becomes a society with no sense of progress, adrift in a continuous reboot of the present.




  • Taltos wrote: »
    Yup - I went with the "What the"???
    Followed by a quick read of the link and another "What the".
    Manach wrote: »
    It is rather ironic that this term, digital humanities, is coming into vogue.
    Unfortunately, the field of Humanities all too often appears somewhat poorly defined, and adding digital may muddy the waters more.

    In reading more about this phenomenon called digital humanities I came across Neil Fraistat's "The Function of Digital Humanities Centers at the Present Time," in Debates in the Digital Humanities, Matthew Gold editor (2012). There are many digital humanities centers sprouting up in institutions of higher learning, including Stanford, USC, Princeton, Rutgers, Virginia, and Oxford.

    What just popped into my mind? Coffee houses. Could they also be impromptu digital humanities centers? They have humanities cyberinfrastructure of human interaction (stimulated by coffee), tables to work at, hardware/sofware (laptops, tablets, mobiles), and free hotspot internet/web access that links together cloud computing systems, data storage, software, e-library repositories, and screen visualization. There does not appear to be a single model for digital humanities centers, so why not include coffee houses as places to foster a new generation of hybrid students and practitioners of digital humanities?

    See a group of people interacting with each other in a coffee house, discussing a wide range of topics, while at the same time web searching, texting, posting, IMing, tweeting, emailing, skyping, etc., and you'll get a glimpse of what it means to be a human being immersed simultaneously in both a personal face-to-face and information age experience.

    Can our Humanities forum also become a member of the digital humanities community?




  • That's right. It's such an important issue. I will post to it to increase my contribution so I can post threads. That's right - humanity aint digital. It's analogue if anything. :)




  • Black Swan wrote: »
    Unfortunately, the field of Humanities all too often appears somewhat poorly defined, and adding digital may muddy the waters more.

    In reading more about this phenomenon called digital humanities I came across Neil Fraistat's "The Function of Digital Humanities Centers at the Present Time," in Debates in the Digital Humanities, Matthew Gold editor (2012). There are many digital humanities centers sprouting up in institutions of higher learning, including Stanford, USC, Princeton, Rutgers, Virginia, and Oxford.

    What just popped into my mind? Coffee houses. Could they also be impromptu digital humanities centers? They have humanities cyberinfrastructure of human interaction (stimulated by coffee), tables to work at, hardware/sofware (laptops, tablets, mobiles), and free hotspot internet/web access that links together cloud computing systems, data storage, software, e-library repositories, and screen visualization. There does not appear to be a single model for digital humanities centers, so why not include coffee houses as places to foster a new generation of hybrid students and practitioners of digital humanities?

    See a group of people interacting with each other in a coffee house, discussing a wide range of topics, while at the same time web searching, texting, posting, IMing, tweeting, emailing, skyping, etc., and you'll get a glimpse of what it means to be a human being immersed simultaneously in both a personal face-to-face and information age experience.

    Can our Humanities forum also become a member of the digital humanities community?

    Honestly, this is just another manifestation of American over dependence on technology.

    I guarantee you emerging generations will have the WORST memories, and the worst ability to deduce and bring together information in history because nothing will force them to retain information and they will have been used to the crutch of google.

    Kind of how I used to be able to retain phone numbers but with the prevalence of the mobile phone I can't even remember my own.

    Not to be a luddite or anything, I appreciate technology especially as it's the practical arm of science, but seriously between GPS and iphones, ...Americans are completely over dependent on their gadgets.


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  • diveout wrote: »
    Honestly, this is just another manifestation of American over dependence on technology.

    ...Americans are completely over dependent on their gadgets.
    This may be said about other technologically advanced nations too. For example, if we examine the rate of penetration for wireless subscriptions by country, America is at 82.4%, while Italy, Spain, and Argentina have more subscriptions that people; i.e., exceeding 100% penetration. Not sure what this explains or predicts regarding human behavior, but I feel confident that such impacts by information age technologies will affect cultures, social interactions, psychologies, learning, and knowledge.




  • Permabear wrote: »
    This post had been deleted.

    Because OP referenced a majority of American universities doing this, bar Oxford so I was given the impression this is an American idea. And because in US schools technology starts in 1st grade curricula...Silicon Valley.... the internet to come out of the US military, NASA, I could do on. They love their technology and have produced some amazing inventions, but to me anyway, I think have an over dependence on it. For example, GPS has completely replaced map reading and finding your way to to places yourself, or the fact that there is a debate whether or not to bother teaching kids how to write in school because everything will be replaced by keypads eventually which moves the ability to write oneself to a dependency on a machine.




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  • Permabear wrote: »
    This post had been deleted.

    Sure.

    I was responding to what was presented in the OP, which is why I particularised American fondness for, innovation,and imo often over dependencies on technologies, and responding to your question as to why I singled out American culture, that's all. I don't dispute your points.

    And no I certainly don't pine for the days of churning butter and I definitely like my air conditioning etc. And yes I of course see the plus sides of GPS especially in terms of saving gas when,as I have done, spending an hour getting lost, but the other side of that is an over dependancy, and I have also found myself in situations where it gets things wrong or loses its connection.

    Even with electronic communications I have often been let down so much, that I considered carrier pigeon or smoke signals.

    There are hidden costs to progress that are worth while considering. Take BS' point about effects on psychology and social interaction. Or even with the invention of the car, the vacuum cleaner, the washing machine, which yes save time, also mean you have people spending that saved time in the gym burning off all the calories they accumulated by using that very same technology.

    There have been mumblings for example, on the effects on language development in infants due to parental distractions on their smart phones.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/07/papa-dont-text/309385/


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