Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 724. Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London Hosted by King's Digital Lab www.dhhumanist.org Submit to: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: 2020-04-02 14:06:29+00:00 From: Willard McCarty
Subject: Perlis' mosaic Almost precisely 18 years ago, in a meeting called by the much-missed Antonio Zampolli in Pisa, those assembled were commissioned to think through a "roadmap" for humanities computing, as the field was then called. In preparation for this meeting, Harold Short and I came up with a diagram proposing a "methodological commons" that attempted to show the many relations and dependencies of our field with all the others, including the natural sciences. This diagram later appeared in Humanities Computing (2005, rpt. 2014), p. 119. At least one alternative, proposed by Geoffrey Rockwell, followed. I attach the handout Harold and I produced for Zampolli's meeting with the much improved diagram as it appeared in the 2005 book. Although I read a great deal of the writings by early computer scientists agonising over the identity of their field, I missed Alan Perlis' "Computer science and mathematics", from a panel of the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences (also attached). In it, as you'll see, is (to my mind) a much more fruitful diagram of "the cybernetic dialogue" relating computer scientists to their concerns with machines (engineering), language (software) and algorithms (mathematics). As he notes, this lozenge is the beginning of a tiling. "In short," he writes, "the cybernetic dialogue invokes a continual mosaic of involvements with this quartet: the human being, algorithms, language and machines." What I like about Perlis' lozenge is the focus on objects of thought. I suspect that attempts to produce an analogous geometrical shape for digital humanities would require the talents of a topologist. Anyone here tempted to have a go? 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) Attachments: 2002. McCarty and Short, An intellectual map of humanities computing.pdf: https://dhhumanist.org/att/92922/att00/ 1970. Traub, Forsythe, Galler, Hartmanis and Perlis, Computer science and mathematics.pdf: https://dhhumanist.org/att/92922/att01/ _______________________________________________ Unsubscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted List posts to: email@example.com List info and archives at at: http://dhhumanist.org Listmember interface at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted/ Subscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/membership_form.php
Editor: Willard McCarty (King's College London, U.K.; Western Sydney University, Australia)
Software designer: Malgosia Askanas (Mind-Crafts)
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