14.0178 "computing", "cyberspace"

From: by way of Willard McCarty (willard@lists.village.Virginia.EDU)
Date: Sat Aug 19 2000 - 07:30:33 CUT

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 178.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

       [1] From: "Chris McMahon" <pharmakeus@hotmail.com> (11)
             Subject: Re: 14.0174 two questions

       [2] From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk> (33)
             Subject: "computing"?

       [3] From: r913521 <E.Somerville@uea.ac.uk> (147)
             Subject: RE: 14.0170cyberspace

             Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 08:25:35 +0100
             From: "Chris McMahon" <pharmakeus@hotmail.com>
             Subject: Re: 14.0174 two questions

    Dear Stephanie,

    I wonder if the word "computing" does not smack somewhat of punch-cards?
    Certainly I do not "compute" (at least not with computers). But then I am
    not particularly interested in *content analysis* (or *discourse analysis*)
    - not that I think those things are worthless. I have other fish to fry.
    Computers in Applied Lingusistics? What my wife and her patron, et al., are
    doing out at University of Canberra is utilizing *information technology*
    to help create *student centered learning environments*. This seems to be
    in tune with a certain *wave* that is sweeping *Language Teaching*?

    :) Chris
    Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com

             Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 08:25:58 +0100
             From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk>
             Subject: "computing"?

    In Humanist 14.174 Stephanie Stauffer asks, "Why *should* the metaphor of
    'cyberspace' contribute to our ability to talk about computing and its
    cultural consequences?", which is in part to ask, what do we mean by
    "computing" in the context of its uses? This, it seems to me, is much the
    same question as Marilyn Deegan asked in her closing plenary address at
    ALLC/ACH last month, "what is digital scholarship?", i.e. how is *digital*
    scholarship different from using a computer for scholarly purposes?

    A simple answer offers itself almost immediately: digital scholarship is
    that kind which pays self-conscious attention to the means; without that
    attention, it's just scholarship than happens to be done with a computer,
    as a conversation that happens to be conducted by means of a telephone and
    doesn't reflect on its telephonicity is just a conversation. I don't mean
    to imply that this is a bad or unproductive answer -- it seems to me that
    we can get quite far by developing a methodology for such self-conscious
    attention. But I wonder if anyone else is, like me, dissatisfied with that

    Let me suggest the beginnings of a better question. Doesn't the answer
    depend on your disciplinary perspective? If I MOO, say, or do medieval
    studies like Anders Winroth (who has made great strides in his field with
    essentially trivial uses of computing, for which see
    <http://chronicle.com/free/v46/i49/49a01701.htm>), is it just to argue that
    I'm hardly "computing" in any way important to us? Yes, I suppose so, if we
    consider the matter in the terms in which I pursue it. But what if we
    consider my MOOing or Decretum-searching historically, sociologically,
    philosophically? Is there only an accidental relationship between the fact
    that I use a computer and what I do with it?


    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Dr. Willard McCarty, Senior Lecturer, King's College London
    voice: +44 (0)20 7848 2784 fax: +44 (0)20 7848 5081
    <Willard.McCarty@kcl.ac.uk> <http://ilex.cc.kcl.ac.uk/wlm/>
    maui gratias agere

             Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 08:26:45 +0100
             From: r913521 <E.Somerville@uea.ac.uk>
             Subject: RE: 14.0170cyberspace

    Hello, anyone out there in space,

    My brother who when he is not working in molecular biology is an avid SF
    reader and member of the 'Friends of Kilgore Trout' group who have been
    meeting in various drinking hostels in Glasgow for the past twenty years sent
    me this.

    "The word cyberspace was coined by the American science fiction writer Wiliam
    Gibson.He is the author of the novel Neuromancer etc. In what story or article
    he first used the word I couldn't say as I have not read anything by him. I'll
    see if I can dig up more info on this one."

    This information may not say much about the current usage of the term, or it
    might, but it is interesting that it came out of the SF genre.

    By the way. I am looking for information on computer studies of the final
    episode James Joyce's Ulysses. If anyone could oblige.

    >===== Original Message From willard@lists.village.virginia.edu =====
    > Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 170.
    > Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
    > <http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/>
    > <http://www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/humanist/>
    > [1] From: "Aguera, Helen" <HAguera@neh.gov> (17)
    > >
    > [2] From: "Pat Moran" <pjmoran@gdsys.net> (72)
    > Subject: Re: 14.0152 why "cyberSPACE"?
    > Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 09:33:33 +0100
    > From: "Aguera, Helen" <HAguera@neh.gov>
    > Subject: RE: 14.0152 why "cyberSPACE"?
    > On the August 2000 issue of _The Atlantic Monthly_, Jonathan G.S.
    >Kopell discusses some of the consequences of what he calls "the
    >cyberspace-as-place metaphor." His note, "No 'There' There: Why Cyberspace
    >Isn't Anyplace," is available at:
    >Helen C. Aguera
    >Senior Program Officer
    >National Endowment for the Humanities
    >Division of Preservation and Access
    >Room 411
    >1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    >Washington, DC 20506
    >voice: (202) 606-8573
    >secretary: (202) 606-8570
    >FAX: (202) 606-8639
    >e-mail: haguera@neh.gov
    > Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 09:59:21 +0100
    > From: "Pat Moran" <pjmoran@gdsys.net>
    > Subject: Re: 14.0152 why "cyberSPACE"?
    >Dear Dr. McCarty,
    > From the viewpoint of a relatively uninitiated person (me),
    >the metaphor of cyberspace is the only thing that allows
    >dealing with the idea of the virtual body.
    >Any metaphor (symbol, personification, allusion, analogy,
    >synecdoche, metonymy or allegory) only works if the necessary
    >foundation (world view, Weltanschauung) is
    >present in both the receiver and the sender [as in this
    >radio allusion].
    >I'm completely blown away [wind/dynamite metaphor]
    >by this message. Isn't the idea that we utilize
    >every possible linkage? When I went to Trinity University
    >in 1974, thinking about taking a masters in special education
    >(for the deaf) because I was challenged and joyful at my
    >relationship with three deaf students, I was told, "We
    >don't do sign language. We only work with residual hearing
    >and lip-reading."
    >Returning to the Bexar School for the Deaf, I talked to
    >the chair, asking if he hadn't taken their M.A. He said that he had.
    >When I queried how he could be such a vibrant multifaceted
    >instructor (who used every technique I'd ever heard of) and
    >still make it through their program. He said, "I sat on my
    >hands and kept my mouth shut."
    >The idea of not using cyberspace as a metaphor,
    >such a part of popular culture, seems almost as counter-
    >productive as sitting on one's hands.
    >I hope I'll hear from you, but I'm not sure the whole
    >Humanities Listserv would be interested.
    > --Patricia J. Moran mailto:pjm0362@mailer.fsu.edu
    >Florida State University, EFPS, 312 Stone Bldg.
    >Tallahassee, FL 32306
    >----- Original Message -----
    >From: Humanist Discussion Group
    ><willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk>) <willard@lists.village.virginia.edu>
    >To: Humanist Discussion Group <humanist@lists.Princeton.EDU>
    >Sent: Monday, August 07, 2000 7:50 PM
    > >
    > > Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 152.
    > > Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
    > > <http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/>
    > > <http://www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/humanist/>
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > Date: Mon, 07 Aug 2000 20:43:08 +0100
    > > From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk>
    > > Subject: "cyberspace"?
    > >
    > > Dear colleagues,
    > >
    > > Perhaps someone might be interested in persuading me and, I suppose,
    > > others that the metaphor of "cyberspace" actually contributes something
    > > our ability to talk about computing and its cultural consequences. In
    > > words, what does this term mean? What is spatial, and what good does it
    > > for us to speak in spatial terms about computing when the physical
    > > disposition of computers and people is not the issue? We are already so
    > > vexed by bafflegab and hyperinflated promotional claims that, I'd
    > > using such words as thoughtlessly as I hear them used is no minor
    > > annoyance. Unless I'm being insensitive to some deep stab of insight....
    > >
    > > Many thanks.
    > >
    > > Yours,
    > > WM
    > > - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    > > Dr. Willard McCarty, Senior Lecturer, King's College London
    > > voice: +44 (0)20 7848 2784 fax: +44 (0)20 7848 5081
    > > <Willard.McCarty@kcl.ac.uk> <http://ilex.cc.kcl.ac.uk/wlm/>
    > > maui gratias agere
    > >
    > >
    > >

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