9.229 Humanist biographies

Humanist (mccarty@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)
Sun, 15 Oct 1995 16:42:51 -0400 (EDT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 9, No. 229.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)

[1] From: ocramer@cc.colorado.edu (11)
Subject: RE: 9.224 biographies for Humanist

[2] From: Willard McCarty <mccarty@phoenix.princeton.edu> (20)
Subject: biographies

Date: Sat, 14 Oct 1995 12:10:07 MST
From: ocramer@cc.colorado.edu
Subject: RE: 9.224 biographies for Humanist

I enjoyed your thoughts on bios; I'd enjoy, in a moment of leisure,
looking at the bios Humanist has accumulated (I have not the vaguest
memory of what I sent to Elaine Brennan when I joined the list just
after she inherited it from you). I'd certainly like to know the
various forms of the problem (humanities, technology, the society)
the people subscribing to this list find themselves engaged with; I'm
also interested in the sort of researchers they think themselves to be,
and the ways their research interact with the problems mentioned.
Owen Cramer
Classics/Comp. Lit.
Colorado College

Date: Sun, 15 Oct 1995 11:52:02 -0400
From: Willard McCarty <mccarty@epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: biographies

The philosophical dilation on the idea of the Web as "form" is most
interesting and worthy of pursuit in its own right. Not the first time a
question on Humanist has provoked response far beyond its original scope.
What I wanted to know, however, is much simpler and, if you will, of a more
practical nature. It is a question of visual rhetoric: does the form of the
Web form itself communicate a demand for a cut-and-dried response?

I agree that we never want to require or explicitly to demand any particular
style of biography. Some people will not want to say much about themselves,
and that should be as acceptable as any kind of response, yes? Neither,
however, to we want a mechanism that constrains response. Thus my question.

I wonder if extroverted verbal behaviour in biographies, Web pages, and
elsewhere is necessarily adolescent. If so, then I and many others are much
younger than we think we are. Again -- I would call it "child-like" rather
than "childish" behaviour -- I don't think we want implicitly to dictate
personal style, rather to allow for the greatest possible variety.

Your comments are most welcome.