15.089 what we can be

From: by way of Willard McCarty (willard@lists.village.Virginia.EDU)
Date: Fri Jun 08 2001 - 04:55:31 EDT

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                    Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 15, No. 89.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

             Date: Fri, 08 Jun 2001 09:47:24 +0100
             From: lachance@chass.utoronto.ca (Francois Lachance)
             Subject: What can we be?


    Very interesting reframing

       15.084 what computing humanists should know

    of the subject line

    It picks up nicely Matt's suggestion that "policing" in the narrow sense
    is not the same activity as the granting and verification of credentials.
    Indeed, as law and medicine exemplify, the policing function is invoked
    post facto when some person misrepresents themself as being able to
    practice law or diagnose illness and dispense medications. Currently,
    pretending to be a scholar is not freighted with the sanctions applied to
    would-be lawyers or physicians.

    I do agree with Matt that there is no shame in putting one's favourite
    lists "on the table". I do want to draw attention to the metaphor of
    trumping that is implied (by analogy with a card game)in putting something
    on the table which is different from "bringing something to the table" in
    the scene of negotiation.

    I do thank Matt for citing a snippet of the post I sent suggesting that
    "marrigeability" is not the only outcome around which to construct
    programs or desiderata. In rejecting bride production, it seems that I
    leave the door open for whore mongering. I use gendered terms advisdedly.
    The word-image debates have been [from Lessing to McLuhan], explicitly and
    implicitly, and continue to be, explicitly and implicitly, highly gendered
    discourses cast in the most resolute of moralising.

    The lyrics from a song by Stephen Stills come to mind: "Don't let the past
    remind us of what we are not now".

    Is it possible to design inter-institutional cooperative programs that
    draw upon strengths to create a cadre of scholars who are engaged? Setting
    aside the rather Marxist sound of "cadre of scholars" and the
    Existentialist ring of "engage", what I mean to ask is if it is possible
    to do the work of design taking cohorts and not individuals as units? At
    the top of my list of the desiderata for the individual scholar would be
    the demonstrated ability to participate in team work in a networked
    environment. I think that the benefit of thinking in terms of linking
    people (and not just in terms of producing graduates) is that questions of
    accessibility come to the fore and the vision emerges that allows scholars
    and pedagogues engaged in humanities computing to think about how graduate
    students could animate summer camp for pre-postsecondary students.

    Whether for whores or brides, humanities computing is robbing craddles to
    teach folks how to dig among the graves and dream about the stars.

    Some grooms never ride horses; me, I ambulate with the sisters.

    Francois Lachance, Scholar-at-large
    20th : Machine Age :: 21st : Era of Reparation

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