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An anomalous end-maker conversation: 41, 21, 18, 13 or 8 years computing the humanities

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  1. An anomalous end-maker conversation: 41, 21, 18, 13 or 8 years computing the humanities Willard McCarty Centre for Computing in the Humanities King’s College London www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/wlm/

  2. The problem • Evidence from the real world • Personal computing, 1960s-1980s • Teaching and questioning • Words to remember and the places to which they lead

  3. 74. Is it possible that software is not like anything else, that it is meant to be discarded: that the whole point is to see it as a soap bubble? www.cs.yale.edu/homes/perlis-alan/quotes.html

  4. John Stevens and Judy Trogadis (Toronto), Scanning electron micrograph of a neuronal circuit grown in tissue culture on a Motorola 68000 microprocessor, early 1980s

  5. The problem • Evidence from the real world • Personal computing, 1960s-1980s • Teaching and questioning • Words to remember and the places to which they lead

  6. Snow The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window wasSpawning snow and pink roses against itSoundlessly collateral and incompatible:World is suddener than we fancy it.World is crazier and more of it than we think,Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portionA tangerine and spit the pips and feelThe drunkenness of things being various.And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for worldIs more spiteful and gay than one supposes -On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one's hands -There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses. Louis MacNeice (January 1935)

  7. Snow The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window wasSpawning snow and pink roses against itSoundlesslycollateral and incompatible:World issuddener than we fancyit.World iscrazier and moreof itthan we think,Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portionA tangerine and spit the pips and feelThe drunkenness of things being various.And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for worldIsmore spiteful and gay than one supposes -On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one's hands -There ismore thanglass between the snow and the huge roses. Louis MacNeice (January 1935)

  8. Der liebe Gott lebt im Detail!

  9. The problem • Evidence from the real world • Personal computing, 1960s-1980s • Teaching and questioning • Words to remember and the places to which they lead

  10. IBM 704

  11. IBM 7094

  12. CDC6600

  13. Osborne, IBM PC and Macintosh

  14. The problem • Evidence from the real world • Personal computing, 1960s-1980s • Teaching and questioning • Words to remember and the places to which they lead

  15. What if the point were not trying to bridge that gap but to feed off and develop it? Jerome McGann, Radiant Textuality: Literature after the World Wide Web (New York: Palgrave, 2001): 103

  16. Some men went fishing in the sea with a net, and upon examining what they caught they concluded that there was a minimum size to the fish in the sea. R.W. Hamming, “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics”, American Mathematical Monthly 87.2 (Feb 1980): 89 [JSTOR]

  17. Jukebox or toolbox?

  18. The problem • Evidence from the real world • Personal computing, 1960s-1980s • Teaching and questioning • Words to remember and the places to which they lead

  19. Anomalous (what we value) End-maker (what we are) Conversation (what we do)

  20. Gary Larson, The Far Side Gallery (New York: Andrews and McMeel, 1984)

  21. James Cook’s landing in Poverty Bay, NZ, 1769

  22. Willard McCarty, Humanities Computing (New York: Palgrave, 2005): 119

  23. It is thus that the helmsman pits his cunning against the wind so as to bring the ship safely to harbour despite it. Victory over a shifting reality whose continuous metamorphoses make it almost impossible to grasp can only be won through a greater degree of mobility, an even greater power of transformation. Marcel Detienne and Jean-Pierre Vernant, Cunning Intelligence in Greek Culture and Society (Chicago, 1978): 20; Les Ruses d’intelligence: La Mètis des grecs (Paris, 1974)

  24. anomalousend-makerconversation