18.395 scholarship and Google

From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty_at_KCL.AC.UK>
Date: Sun, 5 Dec 2004 16:51:43 +0000

[For some reason I cannot fathom, the following did not get posted on 2
December, as it should have been. Apologies to all concerned. --WM]

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 18, No. 395.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

   [1] From: "Dr. Donald J. Weinshank" <weinshan_at_cse.msu.edu> (44)
         Subject: Discussion of GOOGLE.scholar

   [2] From: lachance_at_origin.chass.utoronto.ca (Francois (60)
         Subject: Re: 18.390 scholarship and Google

   [3] From: "Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett" <bkg_at_nyu.edu> (18)
         Subject: Google Desktop Search Security Warning Issued

         Date: Thu, 02 Dec 2004 07:22:52 +0000
         From: "Dr. Donald J. Weinshank" <weinshan_at_cse.msu.edu>
         Subject: Discussion of GOOGLE.scholar

Fellow Humanists:

Since I am somewhat of a fey mood at the moment, I hope
that I do not offend anyone.

I have been following the thread on GOOGLE.scholar with a
some puzzlement. The various discussions remind me of a
column by the American humorist, Dave Berry, some time
ago. In high school, he was taught that the cause of the
American Civil War (aka "The War Between the States")
was slavery. His college professor derided that view and said
that it was caused by the clash between Northern industrial
interests and Southern agrarian ones. In graduate school....

On a more serious level, I have been fighting the anti-
evolution folks for decades. They keep hammering away at
poor Darwin as if [1] his were the latest thoughts on the
mechanisms of evolution and [2] natural selection were the
only cause of evolution (ignoring genetic drift, allopatric
speciation and on and on). I keep saying, "Evolution has
many causes which operate with various intensities at
various times and in various environments. Asking the
question. 'What is THE cause of evolution' is asking the
wrong question in the first place." You can check my Web
site for my latest clash with them a couple of years ago.

In this light, criticizing GOOGLE.scholar misses the point.
When I research a question, I search several different and
overlapping data bases. I follow up on the references cited in
the papers and even rely on the "serendipity effect" by
browsing bookshelves on the topic. Each of these searches,
including GOOGLE.scholar, turns up references I had
missed elsewhere. In fact, I found a quote attributed to me -
one of which I had no recollection - on the Creationism

Since I am sure that all of us do research in the same way, I
am puzzled by this entire discussion. Certainly, I would
caution any student from relying on GOOGLE.scholar or any
other search instrument as the sole source of information.

Finally, truth in advertising compels me to tell you that Larry
Page, one of GOOGLE's founders, is the son of my late
colleague, Professor Carl Page, whose untimely passing still
saddens my department.

Dr. Don Weinshank Professor Emeritus Comp. Sci. & Eng.
1520 Sherwood Ave., East Lansing MI 48823-1885
Ph. 517.337.1545 FAX 517.337.2539

         Date: Thu, 02 Dec 2004 07:24:25 +0000
         From: lachance_at_origin.chass.utoronto.ca (Francois Lachance)
         Subject: Re: 18.390 scholarship and Google


I do believe that Joseph Raben has increased the burden of proof
when claiming in Humanist 18.390 scholarship and Google that

> so far to my request for evidence that Scholar.Google is a useful tool for
> scholarly research, I have seen nothing yet that really responds.

The previous question posted in 18.382 Literary references to Alice in
Has anyone found really scholarly material through this resource?

The burden of proof now being how well Google Scholar is a useful tool for
_his_ scholarly research... Let's see, shall we?

With Google Scholar, using search string "Alice's Adventures in
Wonderland" one does access scholarly resources. One does not however
access resources or material that address the topic referenced as "Alice
in Wonderland as a Prism for Viewing Victorian Society." (See Humanist

The search string "Victorian Society Alice Wonderland" does however bring
items that may perhaps be of interest. For example:

Archives of Disease in Childhood 2003;88:545-548
Once upon a time ...
E Storr and M C J Rudolf
In this, the first of two articles discussing literature for and about
children, we will be considering how writing for the young has changed,
reflecting different and evolving perspectives on childhood.

Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, March 2000, vol. 25, no. 3, pp.
Monster soup: the microscope and Victorian fantasy
Seibold-bultmann U.
The Victorian predilection for the grotesque owed more than is commonly
recognised to nature's microdimension. During the heyday of natural
history in Britain (c. 182070), the microscope revealed myriads of shapes
and creatures so utterly unfamiliar that writers on the subject resorted
to flamboyant prose in order to render them intelligible. This had
reverberations not least for the visual arts. The metaphors chosen by
authors attempting to describe the microscopic world soon developed a
visual presence, with supernatural features being projected even onto
illustrations in supposedly scientific contexts. At the same time, such
illustrations share certain motifs and/or stylistic characteristics with
fairy paintings and illustrations by artists such as Daniel Maclise
(1806-70), Richard Dadd (1817-86), Sir Joseph Noel Paton (18211901), and
Arthur Hughes (18321915). In view of this, the fact that the golden age
of British fairy painting coincided chronologically with the Victorian
craze for microscopy seems to be the result of more than mere chance. If
we acknowledge this, we must also ask whether, in the mid nineteenth
century, points of contact between microscopy and the visual arts led to a
liberation or else a limitation of fantasy.


As I have often stated, a touchstone humanist text is the De Copia by
Erasmus. Very very applicable to the creation of variations on search

Francois Lachance, Scholar-at-large
A calendar is like a map. And just as maps have insets, calendars in the
21st century might have 'moments' expressed in flat local time fanning out
into "great circles" expressed in earth revolution time.
         Date: Thu, 02 Dec 2004 07:25:12 +0000
         From: "Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett" <bkg_at_nyu.edu>
         Subject: Google Desktop Search Security Warning Issued
Google Desktop Search Security Warning Issued
"... as it's designed now, GDS also delivers a potential security
nightmare, say industry experts... GDS stores its painfully complete
index in one convenient location on your hard drive with no encryption
or password protection--a hacker's and worm writer's dream come true.
'[GDS] puts the index of your data in a well-known place on your hard
drive," says Stephen Green, principal investigator of the Advanced
Search Technologies Group at Sun Microsystems. "It's only a matter of
time before there is a spyware application or a worm that sends your
Google index to a site somewhere.'
Joe Stewart, senior security researcher at Chicago security services
firm LURHQ, agrees, saying GDS's unsecured index 'lowers the bar for the
expertise needed to find and compromise sensitive data.'"
I highly recommend Copernic http://www.copernic.com/en/products/meta/ as
a desktop search tool--will search emails and attachments and everything
else in an instant.
[NB: If you do not receive a reply within 24 hours please resend]
Dr Willard McCarty | Senior Lecturer | Centre for Computing in the
Humanities | King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS || +44 (0)20
7848-2784 fax: -2980 || willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk
Received on Sun Dec 05 2004 - 11:56:20 EST

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