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Humanist Archives: June 13, 2019, 6:37 a.m. Humanist 33.84 - how the new becomes intelligible

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 84.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
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        Date: 2019-06-12 13:55:21+00:00
        From: lachance@chass.utoronto.ca
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.80: how the new becomes intelligible

Thank you to Bill Pascoe for (re)introducing the notion of translation to
the discourse of change and continuity:

One alternative to the rhetoric of 'novelty' that is hard not to
regurgitate after so many years of habituation to it in our media
environment is the metaphor of 'translation'. Cybernetics 'translates'
things unintelligible into our limited capacities. Telescopes take things
too far to see, and translate them into an image visible to us. We can't
run as fast as a car, so we 'translate' the operation of a car into
motions we are capable of - foot on the pedal, hands on the steering
wheel, etc. Statistics and graphs translate vast amounts of noisy data
into something mentally digestible.

I like how the particular examples re-enforce the vivid connection between
transport and translate. Motion becomes key. Observing the play of motion
including the exertions of inertia is a route to a historically-informed

Francois Lachance

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