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Humanist Archives: Aug. 7, 2019, 6:21 a.m. Humanist 33.172 - digital humanism, data humanism?

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 172.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                   Hosted by King's Digital Lab
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        Date: 2019-08-06 07:55:01+00:00
        From: Dr. Hartmut Krech 
        Subject: Is Digital Humanism Data Humanism?

Dear Willard,

With apologies for including a link in this message, I'd like to direct
listmembers' attention to a recent article in The New Yorker,
introducing the work of information designer Giorgia Lupi:
Lupi describes her work as "data humanism," or "telling stories with
data,"  as  "a reaction against the computer-generated, harsh-toned bar
graphs, pie charts, and rows of tiny humans that leapt from corporate
reports into mainstream media [...]."

Lupi's work clearly goes beyond the mere graphic presentation of data,
when she asks new questions from an individual's perspective. In the
words of the reviewer Alexandra Lange: "Lupi doesn’t really want to
touch the question of when data should or shouldn’t be collected. Like
most information designers, she works in the space between that
collection and the public. Her interest is in levelling understanding,
so that we citizens can have access to, and develop an imagination
about, all the information that’s already being collected. [...] But my
attention snags on the question of power: Who really controls the data
and how they get displayed?"

Is "data humanism" a new form of anthropomorphizing the world outside?
Has Digital Humanism aimed beyond what is humanly conceivable or was it
a reaction against the "artificial" intelligence of "machine" learning?
How does the unknown that can be gleaned from collected data relate to
what had been asked or expected? And who is that "human" in Digital
Humanism as the subject and object of his/her actions? I feel that these
or similar questions have fuelled various discussions on this list
during the past months.

Best regards,
Hartmut Krech

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