5.0546 Memory, Media, Knowledge, and Thought (1/17)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Fri, 20 Dec 1991 19:16:20 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 5, No. 0546. Friday, 20 Dec 1991.

Date: Fri, 20 Dec 1991 09:38:39 -0500
From: mccarty@epas.utoronto.ca (W. McCarty)
Subject: Plutarch et al.

Brian Whittaker's interesting observation, that knowledge of Plutarch
would in many cases have come through intermediate sources, raises the
question of the relationship between knowledge and the external media
in which it is stored -- hence the question of memory and its
relationship to knowledge. As computing humanists, who are essentially
concerned with the mnemonic function of the computer, we have much to

A better educated Humanist may know the standard term for that kind of
memory which preserves things in themselves rather than as parts of
larger patterns. I don't, so let me call it "surface-memory". My
question is, then, to the degree that surface-memory becomes
externalized, what happens to the relationship between human
and machine? What happens to the way people think?

Willard McCarty