From: Willard McCarty <firstname.lastname@example.org> (25)
Subject: New Year's greetings, with a query
New Year's greetings from your editor. A light snow is falling outside, the
neighbourhood is quiet, cats are asleep. Among my holiday delights this time
was a New Yorker cartoon, showing a dejected artist perched on a stool in
front of an empty canvas. The artist remarks to a friend sitting among the
painterly debris, "I wish I had the funding to really say something."
Which leads me to a nagging question. A friend of mine and I have been
noticing for some time that there are numerous computer-assisted projects
just begging to be done, each of which would make some young scholar's
career. I'm sure many of you could come up with lists of your own. There
are, of course, practical impediments to some of these -- permissions to be
obtained, the sheer labour involved, and so forth. Most serious, however,
are the working conditions we now have, which make the undertaking of such
projects quite difficult. At the same time, however, we have this great
network of interconnected computers. Thus my question: what could we do --
without "the funding to really say something" -- to bring together competent
people so that these projects could get done?
I know many if not all of the practical objections, all the things that
could go wrong, and so forth. We constute and know, however, a very large
number of capable people, and I suspect that many of them would be willing.
I am not asking for a New Year's resolution. We know what happens to those.
Rather I'm inviting you to brainstorm creatively on what might work. Could
Humanist play a role beyond the stage of discussion?