19.255 personified software?

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 5 Sep 2005 09:03:23 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 19, No. 255.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Sun, 04 Sep 2005 07:49:22 +0100
         From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
         Subject: personified software?

Recently, while preparing material on my current research for a group
of classicists, I somehow thought to google for its keyword,
"personification". An old, fusty, academic word, I thought -- but who
knows? Well, the click of my wireless mouse then brought me a big,
lengthy surprise. The word is not only popular, it is distributed
across many common domains of life, including primary-school
education. (To underscore the implicit moral, google whenever you
can, esp when musing about a topic of interest. You never know when
suddenly your world will expand in all directions -- and give you
material with which to appear incredibly cool to your students.
("Man, this guy knows what's HAPPENING!") Yes, I know, or think --
saying "Man..." isn't cool -- or is it?)

But to the point and question. Among the things personified is
software. Personification's a hot topic, for example among those who
talk about computers as "social agents", e.g. Reeves and Nass, The
Media Equation. Where else should I look? What I'm looking *for* are
essays, articles, books in which the authors reflect on the
personification of software, the consequences of thinking in this way
&c rather than simply fling the word about. Any suggestions?

Many thanks.


Dr Willard McCarty | Reader in Humanities Computing | Centre for
Computing in the Humanities | King's College London | Kay House, 7
Arundel Street | London WC2R 3DX | U.K. | +44 (0)20 7848-2784 fax:
-2980 || willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/wlm/
Received on Mon Sep 05 2005 - 04:15:23 EDT

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