3.353 uses of Humanist (333)

Sun, 13 Aug 89 23:02:04 EDT

Dear Colleagues:

Some time ago I asked you to comment on your uses of Humanist -- because
I was (and remain) curious, and because I am expected to say intelligent
things on the subject and need help. I received the responses that
follow. If those who have not replied can think of other uses to which
they put Humanist, I would very much like to hear about them.

Thanks very much.

Yours, Willard McCarty
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 353. Sunday, 13 Aug 1989.

(1) Date: Sun, 18 Jun 89 00:02:10 EDT (20 lines)
From: amsler@flash.bellcore.com (Robert A Amsler)
Subject: How is Humanist used.

(2) Date: Sun, 18 Jun 89 22:32:21 EDT (24 lines)
From: "A. Ralph Papakhian" <PAPAKHI@IUBVM.bitnet>
Subject: Re: 3.131 Humanist?

(3) Date: Mon, 19 Jun 89 14:09:45 EDT (22 lines)
From: Malcolm Brown <mbb@jessica.Stanford.EDU>
Subject: uses of HUMANIST

(4) Date: Mon, 19 Jun 89 13:39:29 EDT (16 lines)
From: cbf%faulhaber.Berkeley.EDU@jade.berkeley.edu (Charles Faulhaber)
Subject: Re: 3.131 Humanist?

(5) Date: Tue, 20 Jun 89 14:18:00 EDT (31 lines)
From: "Dr. Mike (asst director ACC)" <neuman@guvax.bitnet>
Subject: Uses of HUMANIST

(6) Date: 23 June 1989, 08:26:42 EDT (38 lines)

(7) Date: Mon, 26 Jun 89 23:51:16 EDT (32 lines)
From: [anonymous]
Subject: Uses of Humanist

(8) Date: Thu, 29 Jun 89 02:20:21 EDT (59 lines)
From: Philippa Matheson <AMPHORAS@vm.epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: humanist--uses of

(9) Date: 3 July 89, 17:26:35 MEZ (26 lines)
From: Gerd Willee 0228 - 73 5620 UPK000 at DBNRHRZ1

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Sun, 18 Jun 89 00:02:10 EDT
From: amsler@flash.bellcore.com (Robert A Amsler)
Subject: How is Humanist used.

Mostly I read it and forward selected messages to other people.
This has resulted in at least a few new members joining the list because
they too found some `use' in the messages. However, that seems just
to say Humanist functions like some entertainment/news medium as a
newspaper or magazine would.

I have absorbed and reached conclusions about things like OCR from
reading humanist. That may have led to the purchase of specific software
(Omnipage), though I was evaluating the software through other channels
as well. Perhaps, Humanist cast a deciding vote in some cases and thus
serves as an voting member of my person decision making committee.

I have learned some things about the humanities that I wouldn't have
without Humanist. Certainly some sensitization as to the concerns of
Humanists has become part of my knowledge at this point.

(2) --------------------------------------------------------------32----
Date: Sun, 18 Jun 89 22:32:21 EDT
From: "A. Ralph Papakhian" <PAPAKHI@IUBVM.bitnet>
Subject: Re: 3.131 Humanist?

In regard to uses of HUMANIST:
I have occasionally reposted items from HUMANIST to the Mail distribution
list for the Music Library Association (MLA-L@IUBVM). While much of the
HUMANIST postings are not directly relevant--some issues are of mutial
concern: library use of cd-rom and other databases, difficulties with any
character sets other than basic ascii, use of LISTSERV by humanists, new
technologies for applications in the humanities (e.g. NeXT), and anything
interdisciplinary that might relate to music. There is also some overlap
with the MUSIC list that is distributed on BITNET from Finland. Frankly,
I am finding that this is working out quite nicely since the subscriber
base to each is quite different but sufficiently common so that when an
item on one list is of interest to another it generally gets redistributed.
My thanks and appreciation for all of your work on HUMANIST.

Cordially, *****
**** *** **** MUSIC
** *** **
A. Ralph Papakhian, Music Library ** ******* ** LIBRARY
Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405 ***
(812) 855-2970 *****
(3) --------------------------------------------------------------30----
Date: Mon, 19 Jun 89 14:09:45 EDT
From: Malcolm Brown <mbb@jessica.Stanford.EDU>
Subject: uses of HUMANIST

Like many others, I have been saving most of what
comes down Humanist, appending what append to me
to be relevant and/or useful infomation into text

I will be using this corpus with text search systems,
starting with the Digital Librarian on the NeXT
machine. As we will shortly be undertaking some
development work in this area, I will be using the
Humanist text as a sample corpus.

Eventually, I'd like to place the Humanist corpus in
some public domain area so that anyone with
network access could search it.

best regards
Malcolm Brown
(4) --------------------------------------------------------------27----
Date: Mon, 19 Jun 89 13:39:29 EDT
From: cbf%faulhaber.Berkeley.EDU@jade.berkeley.edu (Charles Faulhaber)
Subject: Re: 3.131 Humanist?

Uses of humanist

Most of my daily ration of humanist gets zapped after I've
read it. Occasionally I will save a piece (typically
bibliographies or other messages with a high information
content, like the list of Humanist subscribers with their
e-mail addresses). Very frequently when I see something
that I think will be of interest to a particular colleague
I either forward it (if he or she uses e-mail) or print it
out and send it by campus mail. I know of at least one
colleague who joined Humanist after receiving such messages
from me.
(5) --------------------------------------------------------------37----
Date: Tue, 20 Jun 89 14:18:00 EDT
From: "Dr. Mike (asst director ACC)" <neuman@guvax.bitnet>
Subject: Uses of HUMANIST

In response to your request for information on the uses of HUMANIST . . .

As a humanist employed at our Academic Computer Center, I read HUMANIST daily
and sort many of the messages into various folders, depending upon my own
interests and those of my faculty colleagues. Among the topics I gather
information on are the following: scanners, computer-assisted instruction,
hypertext theory and applications, electronic text, etc. (approximately 20
in all). From time to time, I'll print out a folder and forward it to a
colleague (who thereby gets not only the information but a sense of how an
electronic bulletin board operates). Several of these humanists have
taken our workshop on using BITNET, but the majority are content to have the
occasional bouquets sent their way. If I were to stop the service, I suspect
that some of them would overcome their inertia (or perhaps even their
cyberphobia) and learn BITNET and HUMANIST for themselves.

Hope you find this useful. Thanks for your contributions to computing in
the humanities: through HUMANIST, through your work on the conference, and
through the Humanities Computing Yearbook.

Michael Neuman, Director
Center for Text and Technology
238 Reiss Science Building
Georgetown University
Washington, DC 20057
(202) 687-6096

(6) --------------------------------------------------------------41----
Date: 23 June 1989, 08:26:42 EDT

You asked, as I remember, for how people are using Humanist. Let me
count some of the ways. Electronic mail through Bitnet, in six months,
has become my most important means of communication, as an editor,
scholar, teacher, humanist. With e-mail, I send messages to fellow
scholars around the world, most of whom I have met on Humanist.
Humanist introduced me to the group of scholars who believe in using the
memory, the calculative powers, and the speed of the computer to make
our drudge work (from grading papers to charting influences to mapping
ruins) quicker, more inventive, and more satisfying. It has also
created a brother- and sisterhood of visionaries who see what the
computer may do to make the world more of a global village (centered, as
is appropriate, in Marshall McLuhan's university). Humanists are
constantly redefining themselves and learning about what others are
doing with similar tools. Because the medium of electronic mail is so
fast, we must absorb information very quickly and put it to use quickly
in what we do for a living. There has been no part of my life that has
not been influenced by the medium of electronic mail and the forum of
Humanist. I have had my consciousness raised, I have collected valuable
reference material, I have talked to experts in many fields, I have
joined worthy causes and have seen results, I have become friends with
people I have yet to see. On a local level I have become a crusader for
the goals of Humanist, and I have encouraged everyone in my discipline
at least to find out what is going on. My colleagues have asked in
wonder "How did you find that out so quickly?" or "Who told you that?"
and they are starting to ask "How can I do that?" There is a fear of
new technology,
but there is also an excitement in discovery. I feel a little like my
father, who trained pilots for World War I, though I am glad to say that
Humanist is not dangerous. We are doing something on the edge of
knowledge, discovering what it is we are doing as we do it, developing
methodologies, sharing knowledge, trading information, having fun being
creative because we have to reinvent ourselves as we work in a new

(7) --------------------------------------------------------------51----
Date: Mon, 26 Jun 89 23:51:16 EDT
From: [anonymous]
Subject: Uses of Humanist

Re your query about the influence of HUMANIST:
1) There is relatively little in the way of direct discussion of
the fields which interest me professionally the most, ie., applied
linguistics (French), second language learning, audio-visual
technology for SLL and CALL. But I find that I am learning a
great deal in a truly humanistic sense by listening in to the
exchanges and debates on a range of subjects, even the more
arcane ones (optical scanners, diacritics for Hindi - or was it
Urdu?) - and learning from context the opaque language of
computer-happy people (WYSIWYG, SMGL, etc...) I particularly
enjoy the witty prose of some discussants (and miss Sebastian
Rahtz - is that `h' in the right place? - and his down-to-earth,
no holds barred comments).
2) Have entered into private dialogue with other HUMANISTS in
respect to some points brought up in open discussion, with great
pleasure. Impressed by the courtesy and promptness with which
people reply to inquiries by total strangers. In several cases,
initial contact has led to protracted discussion and happy
arguments, still ongoing. In one particular case, such a
discussion led to a close, personal friendship, an odd
situation on the surface since I have never met the colleague
in question in person and am unlikely to do so. But the medium
(as Gunhild ?) pointed out some time ago, seems to positively
encourage more open communication between people of similar
interests and/or personalities, and this kind of electronic
relationship no longer seems odd to me at all.
(8) --------------------------------------------------------------68----
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 89 02:20:21 EDT
From: Philippa Matheson <AMPHORAS@vm.epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: humanist--uses of

A brief note about using HUMANIST, as requested...

I read it very much as I read a newspaper, to find out what others with
similar interests are concerned about, and what they are doing (not
necessarly the same things). I get valuable information about what is
available on computer (such as foreign language dictionaries) and how to
get it, and have on a number of occasions sent e-mail to other (unknown)
humanists to follow up something they published that interested me. It
supplies me with a network (in the social/academic sense of the word),
and allows me to stay in touch with what is happening in various
disciplines outside my own but related to it. This is particularly
valuable for those of us who do academic research without a formal
position in the academic hierarchy of a given institution.

And yes, I pass along information from HUMANIST to friends and
colleagues: I "clip" everything on computers for the deaf for someone at
VOICE (for the hearing-impaired) Ontario; some archaeological
submissions go to colleagues in the US and Greece, some items, of
interest (intentionally or not) for their bearing on feminist issues or
the use of words go to friends with whom I discuss feminism and

I have also used it as a way to get a variety of responses to a
moral/academic issue (in my case the dissemination of translations from
Russian periodicals), which I think is one of the unique features of a
computer journal. In conversation the interlocutors don't have time to
mull the topic over before responding, and in traditional debates in
newspapers or journals the response time is so long that the only issues
which get much comment are ones about which a great many people feel
strongly. HUMANIST provides almost instant, but not *too* instant,
response, and is informal enough to elicit response from people who
wouldn't bother writing to a printed journal.

I am a little saddened by the discussions about citing submissions to
HUMANIST in publications. I think you have set a good tone for
HUMANIST, nicely balanced between informality and seriousness, and I
don't mind the idea of treating contributions the way one treats semi-
official academic correspondence (the scientific rubric of "personal
communication"). But I'm afraid that once people think of HUMANIST as a
vehicle of prestige and importance and wish to gain the concomitant
kudos of figuring therein, fewer people will say less more pompously. I
don't mean that the volume will decrease---on the contrary---rather that
spontaneity will be replaced by judicious pontification. Perhaps this
is just a general protest against things that grow up: I mourn the
passing of restaurants in the same way, since as soon as I find one I
like to go back to, it either goes out of business or becomes too
elegant and expensive. All evolution is unsettling, and perhaps
HUMANIST needs academic credibility to survive. But I like to think of
the time spent by HUMANIST contributors in shaping their contributions
as personal commitment to the ideas, rather than as something they do in
a "publish or perish" vein.

--- Philippa Matheson (amphoras@vm.epas.utoronto.ca)
(9) --------------------------------------------------------------32----
Date: 3 July 89, 17:26:35 MEZ
From: Gerd Willee 0228 - 73 5620 UPK000 at DBNRHRZ1

As for your request concerning my use of HUMANIST:
It has been the first time that I've distributed such texts to students,
as it fitted very well into the course matter. We've discussed Amsler's
ideas and have found out that they are quite close to the ones we've
developed during the term.
Sometimes I introduce information and ideas of HUMANIST material into my
lectures without citing explicitly the source, just telling that others
are thinking in such and such a way; in general I read the HUMANIST material
according to whether the subject is of interest for me or not, sometimes
I distribute issues to collegues, so that I need not tell them all the contents
Quite often I have the feeling of being drowned by the mass of information
being delivered by HUMANIST, but that's the evident consequence of the
variety of interests of those dealing with the humanities, that's what makes
dealing with such a stuff so interesting. But as the material arrives in an
oredered way, i.e. with naming the subject, and grouped a bit, one easily
can live with this flood of information.
In a total: I think HUMANIST being a very helpful institution.
So thank you again for your help!