20.014 a better metaphor

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 15 May 2006 07:00:22 +0100

                Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 20, No. 14.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

   [1] From: Jeremy Hunsinger <jhuns_at_vt.edu> (51)
         Subject: Re: 20.009 a better metaphor?

   [2] From: "Gray Kochhar-Lindgren" <gklindgren_at_uwb.edu> (15)
         Subject: RE: 20.009 a better metaphor?

         Date: Mon, 15 May 2006 06:47:51 +0100
         From: Jeremy Hunsinger <jhuns_at_vt.edu>
         Subject: Re: 20.009 a better metaphor?

Why not just horizon? both Benjamin and Virilio use it this way in
varied places.

On May 11, 2006, at 1:44 AM, Humanist Discussion Group (by way of
Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>) wrote:

> Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 20, No. 9.
> Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
> www.kcl.ac.uk/schools/humanities/cch/research/publications/ humanist.html
> www.princeton.edu/humanist/
> Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu
> Date: Thu, 11 May 2006 06:30:51 +0100
> From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
> >
>Bob Amsler, in Humanist 20.004, was quite right about my use of
>"event-horizon". Although numerous instances can be found of similar
>usage online, for example, the term almost inevitably summons its
>technical meaning from the cosmology of black holes, and the analogy
>between what foresight foresees and what the stationary observer of a
>black hole observes, according to theory, doesn't yield much that is
>useful. (How about a moving observer, as he or she approaches the
>speed of light? But then, whatever was seen, said observer would
>quite soon plunge into the black hole, with speculative results one
>can read about.) Better to make one's analogy with hill-walking, or
>walking on a somewhat misty day, perhaps. Except that I wanted to get
>at the notion that events on their way to being factual are forming
>in what we call the future, and to some limited degree we, as
>participants in that formation, can see what's coming with increasing
>certainty. Ian Hacking is the only one I know who talks about our
>participation in the making real of that which we infer about the
>stuff out there. Anyhow, the analogy I used raises the wrong sort of
>questions. Suggestions for a better one would be most welcome.
>Dr Willard McCarty | Reader in Humanities Computing | Centre for
>Computing in the Humanities | King's College London | Kay House, 7
>Arundel Street | London WC2R 3DX | U.K. | +44 (0)20 7848-2784 fax:
>-2980 || willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/wlm/

jeremy hunsinger

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         Date: Mon, 15 May 2006 06:49:28 +0100
         From: "Gray Kochhar-Lindgren" <gklindgren_at_uwb.edu>
         Subject: RE: 20.009 a better metaphor?

I quite like the metaphor--if that's what it is--of "event-horizon," used in
the non-cosmological sense as an opening toward a becoming of the future.
Yes, within its domain of knowledge and among a set of practitioners it has a
particular meaning that should be respected, but words always move beyond
their domains. In addition, the "event" and the "horizon"--what magnificent
words!--have histories long before physics comes on the scene, so why keep
such beauty time or domain-bound? After all, the goal of science is poetry,
isn't it?


Gray Kochhar-Lindgren, PhD
Interim Coordinator
Center for University Studies and Programs
University of Washington, Bothell

Received on Mon May 15 2006 - 02:24:07 EDT

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