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Humanist Archives: July 26, 2019, 7:32 a.m. Humanist 33.154 - close and distant

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 154.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
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                Submit to: humanist@dhhumanist.org

        Date: 2019-07-25 23:40:28+00:00
        From: Federico Pianzola 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.151: close and distant

Thanks for the reference.

Looks like Strathern is adopting a systemic view, which I agree is very
useful for those doing distant reading and literary modelling. I can
recommend also reading Gregory Bateson. I tried to summarise a few thoughts
on the topic here:


On Thu, 25 Jul 2019 at 14:51, Humanist  wrote:

>                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 151.
>             Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>                    Hosted by King's Digital Lab
>                        www.dhhumanist.org
>                 Submit to: humanist@dhhumanist.org
>         Date: 2019-07-24 13:23:09+00:00
>         From: Willard McCarty 
>         Subject: close and distant
> Those involved with 'distant reading' may take some interest in
> anthropologist Marilyn Strathern's fractal reflections on change in
> scale, from her Partial Connections (new edn, 2005), Altamira Press,
> pp. xv-xvi:
> > Let us recast the problem that scale-change itself seems to create,
> > in the switch of perspectives that in creating more also creates
> > less. If, in fact, information is lost proportionate to the new scale
> > of looking at things, and thus proportionate to new information
> > gained, it is apparent that 'the amount' of information has remained
> > the same... Or put it this way, similar intellectual operations have
> > to be performed on the data whatever the scale - classification,
> > composition, analysis, discrimination, and so forth. Regardless of
> > the way a change of perspective reveals whole new worlds, the
> > 'same' coordinates of intellectual activity are summoned.
> >
> > Magnitude provides a simple example. If one thing observed close to
> > appears as perplexing as many things observed from afar, the
> > perplexity itself remains. Each single element that appears to make
> > up the plurality of elements seen from a distance on close
> > inspection turns out to be composed of a similar plurality that
> > demands as comprehensive a treatment.... But the interesting feature
> > about switching scale is not that one can forever classify into
> > greater or lesser groupings but that at every level complexity
> > replicates itself in scale of detail. 'The same' order of information
> > is repeated, eliciting equivalently complex conceptualization. While
> > we might think that ideas and concepts grow from one another, each
> > idea can also seem a complete universe with its own dimensions, as
> > corrugated and involute as the last.
> Comments?
> Yours,
> WM
> --
> Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/),
> Professor emeritus, Department of Digital Humanities, King's College
> London; Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews
> (www.tandfonline.com/loi/yisr20) and Humanist (www.dhhumanist.org)

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow -- Department of Human Sciences for
Education "R. Massa"
University of Milano-Bicocca

Senior Researcher -- School of Media, Arts and Science
Sogang University, Seoul

Managing editor of Enthymema
International journal of literary criticism, literary theory, and
philosophy of literature

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