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Humanist Archives: Nov. 14, 2019, 8:13 a.m. Humanist 33.403 - digitization vs digitalization

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 403.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                   Hosted by King's Digital Lab
                Submit to: humanist@dhhumanist.org

        Date: 2019-11-13 12:43:03+00:00
        From: Benjamin Vis 
        Subject: RE: [Humanist] 33.397: digitization vs digitalization

Dear Claire,

Thanks for summing up. It's very clear I wasn't very critical nor broadly
thinking in my reply and was therefore surprised to see digitalisation is in the
dictionary rather than plain wrong. Equally, I am surprised that the dictionary
finds the two words can be used interchangeably, as putting any effort into
contemplating it, I would wholeheartedly subscribe to the non-interchangeable
distinction that the dictionary makes. For example, I would have felt
uncomfortable formulating or reading a sentence stating that 'society
digitises', whereas I would not bat an eyelid if the formulation would be
'society digitalises'. Certainly, in my immediate reaction I was only really
thinking about making digital versions of analogue/hard copy things. In GIS
applications I find it further confusing that the term digitisation is applied
to already digital formats which are further 'vectorised'. It was against this
background that I was told digitalisation is wrong. Apparently, the dictionary
would disagree, but I think having the dictionary distinction as a starting
point is an enriching clarification.



|| Dr Benjamin N. Vis | https://kent.academia.edu/BenjaminVis ||

From: Humanist 
Sent: Wednesday, November 13, 2019 8:27:24 AM
To: publish-liv@humanist.kdl.kcl.ac.uk 
Subject: [Humanist] 33.397: digitization vs digitalization

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 397.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                   Hosted by King's Digital Lab
                Submit to: humanist@dhhumanist.org

        Date: 2019-11-12 14:37:02+00:00
        From: Claire Clivaz 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.392: digitization vs digitalization

Dear colleagues,

Thank you so much for your five reactions to my question.

As we see, reactions are going from no difference or just a marketing
difference (Benjamin Vis and Jeffrey Savoye) to an elaborate thinking on
the point (Simon Tanner).

It is particularly interesting that Herbert Wender draws our attention
to two different uses of the same German word âEURoeDigitalisierungâEUR. I am
quite sure that such different uses can be also found in French: English
binomial expression helps us to discern in a more fine way what is at
stake behind one unique word in German and French, and surely in some
other languages.

I have been already attentive to the Oxford definition, pointed by Dino
Buzetti: it is indeed at the limit between tow different meanings or
not; but that's probably a quite exact image of the present situation. I
mean, we have two words that, like former monozygote twins, are going in
the direction of a growing up differentiation.

Last but not least, I am particularly grateful to Simon Tanner for
indicating that the debate will stand in his forthcoming book. It is the
reason for which I started the discussion here : when an idea or
discussion in Humanities arrives even in a single mind, one can be sure
that is it already present in the mind of somebody else. Humanities
ideas are like pebbles in the river.

Please note, dear Simon, that the 2016 published article by Brennen and
Kreiss is still different from their 2014 draft version. But beyond this
formal remark, as you can see it my video conference, and as you will
read it in my AIUCD paper, we agree on the general appreciation of both
terms (I am preparing also a French translation of this English paper).

The AIUCD 2020 call for papers was asking if we should come back from
digital humanities to humanities computing, to keep all Humanist
scholars together. I think that this double terminology will stay in our
common memory, as a very strong turning point. But rather to postulate a
come back to a previous step, I am rather inclined to consider that we
are going towards Humanities entirely digitized or digitalized, in a
similar way that one has stopped to speak about âEURoedigital computerâEUR,
it has become too obvious that our current computer was a digital object.

It is up to us to choose between Humanities digitized or digitalized, if
it is still time to choose. Really not sure about that.

Kind greetings,


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