Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 15, No. 164.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Date: Mon, 06 Aug 2001 08:42:40 +0100
From: "Robert J. O'Hara" <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: 15.158 electro-shredding
> And the best scholars can carry on when the lights go out...
> Francois Lachance, Scholar-at-large
I cannot resist this opportunity for an anecdote. During my
undergraduate days in a zoology department, the power went out in the
building one afternoon. All the students emerged from their closet-like
and often windowless cubbyholes to wander around and see what was
happening. One grad student who had an large windowless closet to
himself didn't emerge, and a minute or two later we heard the sound of
typying on a manual typewriter coming from behind his closed door. We
opened the door to find that he had put on his caving helmet with its
built-in headlamp and resumed his work.
(Attempting now to relate this somehow to humanities computing...) A
science fiction show once defined a "book" as a "non-volatile storage
medium." Would those of use who fill the web with our scholarly but
volatile material, and do so rightly and beneficially, be wise to
periodically print the source code of all our web pages on acid free
paper and deposit a copy or two in libraries around the world in case
"the power goes out" in one way or another someday?
-- Dr. Robert J. O'Hara (firstname.lastname@example.org - http://rjohara.net) Biology Dept., University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC 27402 USA Residential Colleges and University Reform: http://collegiateway.org
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