Home About Subscribe Search Member Area

Humanist Discussion Group

< Back to Volume 34

Humanist Archives: July 17, 2020, 7:47 a.m. Humanist 34.169 - strata of abstraction

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 34, No. 169.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                   Hosted by King's Digital Lab
                Submit to: humanist@dhhumanist.org

        Date: 2020-07-16 12:24:15+00:00
        From: Michael Black 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 34.166: strata of abstraction & their influence?

Hello Willard,

Niels Brügger uses the idea of "web strata" in several of his studies to
discuss the overlapping influences/histories of languages, sites,
communities, technologies, etc. Here is where he introduces the framework:

Brügger, Niels. "Website history and the website as an object of study."
New Media & Society 11, no. 1-2 (2009): 115-132.

Mike Black

On 7/15/2020 4:34 AM, Humanist wrote:
> This e-mail originated from outside the UMass Lowell network.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>                    Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 34, No. 166.
>              Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>                     Hosted by King's Digital Lab
>                         www.dhhumanist.org
>                  Submit to: humanist@dhhumanist.org
>          Date: 2020-07-15 08:23:52+00:00
>          From: Willard McCarty 
>          Subject: strata of abstraction and their influence?
> In their book Forensic Discovery (2004), Dan Farmer and Wietse Venema
> note that,
>> Over time, computer systems have become more and more complex. As
>> seen by the user, systems become increasingly mature and stable.
>> Under the surface, however, computer systems have become less and
>> less predictable regarding when and where they store information, and
>> how they recycle storage space.
> They use metaphors of archaeology ("the direct effects from human
> activity, such as artifacts that are left behind") and geology
> ("autonomous processes that humans have no direct control over") to
> describe what digital forensics explores when probing the implemented
> 'layers of abstraction' or layers of system architecture. I suspect
> these metaphors have considerable leverage, but finding the literature
> in which 'digital archeology' and 'digital geology' are applied to
> computing systems rather than to the disciplines of archaeology and
> geology respectively is difficult. I would very much appreciate
> references to sources that use the archaeological and geological
> metaphors to describe investigation of the strata of computing systems
> for evidence of their shaping influence, despite the pretense that by
> taking another or a different step back from the machine anything
> thinkable can be implemented.
> Many thanks.
> 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)

Michael L. Black, PhD (he/him)
Assistant Professor of English
University of Massachusetts Lowell

Unsubscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted
List posts to: humanist@dhhumanist.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

Editor: Willard McCarty (King's College London, U.K.; Western Sydney University, Australia)
Software designer: Malgosia Askanas (Mind-Crafts)

This site is maintained under a service level agreement by King's Digital Lab.