Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 310. Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London Hosted by King's Digital Lab www.dhhumanist.org Submit to: firstname.lastname@example.org  From: email@example.com Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.306: what are we not ready for? (20)  From: Bill Benzon
Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.306: what are we not ready for? (70) -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 2019-10-09 13:04:56+00:00 From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.306: what are we not ready for? Willard, In response to your request for comments, I have a question: what elements of digital humanities work do not involve being helpful to the older disciplines? To my mind, we are all trying to answer the same questions and advance knowledge and understanding of ourselves. Perhaps DH tools and methods aren't helpful to some longer-practiced modes of inquiry, but those aren't practiced for their own sake, and so are not equivalent to the disciplines themselves. Would you please clarify what you're thinking about? Thank you, -Vika -- Dr. Vika Zafrin (she/her/hers) Digital Scholarship Librarian Boston University +1 617.358.6370 | bu.edu/disc -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 2019-10-09 12:27:49+00:00 From: Bill Benzon Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.306: what are we not ready for? > On Oct 9, 2019, at 5:51 AM, Humanist wrote: [snip] > Date: 2019-10-09 09:32:28+00:00 > From: Willard McCarty > Subject: what are we not ready for? [snip] > challenge", but let that one go. My question for here is, following > Bruner, for what are we not ready? And, if not much of a stimulating as > well as practical nature comes to mind, how do we find out? (Hint, > likely unnecessary: other disciplines can help a lot.) I have a very specific suggestion. Back in 2013 Matt Jockers published Macroanalysis: Digital Methods & Literary History, which had a remarkable graph on its cover. The graph is from Chapter 9, "Influence". Nan Z. Da dismissed it with a long paragraph (610-611) in her rather remarkable, shall we say, article, The Computational Case against Computational Literary Studies, Critical Inquiry 45, Spring 2019, 601-639. Nonetheless CI made that graph the cover image for it's online forum about that essay: https://critinq.wordpress.com/2019/03/31/computational-literary-studies-a- critical-inquiry-online-forum/ That graph consists of 3300 nodes, with connecting arcs. Each node represents an Anglophone novel from the 19th century. Each novel was characterized on roughly 600 different features, so the graph exists in a space of 600 dimensions. The image, of course, has been projected onto two dimensions. The most interesting thing about that graph is that the underlying database contains no dates, yet the horizontal order of dots in the graph is strongly correlated with time. How did that come about? As I've said, Da dismissed it. As far as I can tell, while he recognizes that there is something interesting and important about it, Jockers doesn't know quite what to make of it. Neither does anyone else. You can find my most recent attempt in a draft at Academia.edu: On the direction of literary history: How should we interpret that 3300 node graph in Macroanalysis? https://www.academia.edu/40550795/On_the_direction_of_literary_hi story_How_should_we_interpret_that_3300_node_graph_in_Macroanalysis?email_work_c ard=view-paper Here's the abstract: > In Macroanalysis (2013) Matthew Jockers created a graph depicting similarity relationships between 3300 19th century Anglophone novels, each characterized by 600 features. The graph is derived from a database that contains no date information. When projected onto two-dimensions and visualized, however, the graph has a gradient that is aligned with time. I 1) interpret the graph as a trace of the activity of complex dynamical system (19th century Anglophone novels), 2) conclude that the system has an inherent temporal direction, and 3) contrast it with systems that evolve through random or through cyclic trajectories. I suggest that as this system evolves the range of design possibilities for novels becomes larger, allowing them to encompass a greater range of human experience. I conclude by asserting that evolving literary culture is itself a force in history. Bill Benzon email@example.com 917-717-9841 http://new-savanna.blogspot.com/ http://www.facebook.com/bill.benzon http://www.flickr.com/photos/stc4blues/ https://independent.academia.edu/BillBenzon http://www.bergenarches.com _______________________________________________ Unsubscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted List posts to: firstname.lastname@example.org List info and archives at at: http://dhhumanist.org Listmember interface at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted/ Subscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/membership_form.php
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