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Humanist Archives: Jan. 29, 2019, 7:59 a.m. Humanist 32.394 - the question on Wikipedia

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 32, No. 394.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
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    [1]    From: lachance@chass.utoronto.ca
           Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.391: the question on Wikipedia (47)

    [2]    From: maurizio lana 
           Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.391: the question on Wikipedia (55)

        Date: 2019-01-28 17:39:21+00:00
        From: lachance@chass.utoronto.ca
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.391: the question on Wikipedia


Your questions are enticing, in particular because of the linkages you
imply between them. If you allow me to paraphrase:

(1) Why this discussion now?

(2) Why not just use it?

(3) What to teach?

I think the move from the call for historical contextualization to the
notion of "good enough" is itself a parti pris. It seems to assume a
continuity between the forces that have shaped a present situation and how
that situation might develop in the future.

I am not urging an historiography rupture. I intend to place the emphasis
on the pedagogical as the site of potential innovation and change. Social
and disciplinary reproduction is not mere replication. There is slippage.

This opens up to broaching the pedagogical moment as a time and place for
the emergence of utopian impulses.

I quote from "Are Digital Humanists Utopian?" by Brian Greenspan

Some digital humanists rely upon anti-utopian sentiment as a check against
the overtly utopian elements of their research, suggesting a fundamental
ambivalence or anxiety toward the utopian.


Leaving open the question of why be utopian now in this particular fashion.

Because of the relationship with students, because of the relationship
with previous generations of scholars, because of the trust in these
relationships, it is not enough to just use it. There is always an "and".
And remake it.

Francois Lachance

        Date: 2019-01-28 07:39:23+00:00
        From: maurizio lana 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.391: the question on Wikipedia


Il 28/01/19 06:39, Humanist ha scritto:
> --[3]------------------------------------------------------------------------
>          Date: 2019-01-27 06:47:30+00:00
>          From: Willard McCarty
>          Subject: the question of the question on Wikipedia
> I can see and respect an area of human concern about getting things
> right, but then I wonder. What is the fuss all about? -- i.e. why not
> just use it, warts and all, as a somewhat unreliable starting point?
> Then I wonder why is this discussion taking place? We deal with
> unreliable sources all the time and always have, in scholarship as in
> ordinary life. Does the digital machine have something to do with this
> other than merely being its platform?

hi willard,
i think that on one side yes the discussion is more on wikipedia itself
and its policies. but the digital machine has much to do with it because
it allows the worldwide collaboration of goodwill people which is the
core of wikipedia.

but on the other side we all have a (hidden) desire/dream of finding one
place (a shangri-la) where information is abundant, free (no cost), free
(produced by free minds), authoritative.

wikipedia seems to be the realization of the dream but it appears that
it is not. we realize that is it once again somehow a mess like
everything in human life; and as you say (and me I too pointed out) it
needs continuous activity of repairing. because it is one of the 'less
unfit' boats we have to sail, until now, if we want abundant, free (no
cost), free (produced by free minds), authoritative information.


huc pauci vestris adnavimus oris.
quod genus hoc hominum? quaeve hunc tam barbara morem
permittit patria? hospitio prohibemur harenae;
bella cient primaque vetant consistere terra.
si genus humanum et mortalia temnitis arma,
at sperate deos memores fandi atque nefandi.
[Virgilio, Eneide, Libro I 538-543]
Maurizio Lana
Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici
Università del Piemonte Orientale
piazza Roma 36 - 13100 Vercelli
tel. +39 347 737092

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