“..knowledge is not a result merely of filtering or algorithms. It results from a far more complex process that is social, goal-driven, contextual, and culturally-bound. We get to knowledge — especially “actionable” knowledge — by having desires and curiosity, through plotting and play, by being wrong more often than right, by talking with others and forming social bonds, by applying methods and then backing away from them, by calculation and serendipity, by rationality and intuition, by institutional processes and social roles. Most important in this regard, where the decisions are tough and knowledge is hard to come by, knowledge is not determined by information, for it is the knowing process that first decides which information is relevant, and how it is to be used.”—The Problem with the Data-Information-Knowledge-Wisdom Hierarchy - The Conversation - Harvard Business Review (via wildcat2030) (via mxmlsm)
“Understanding the history of books, and of the communication of ideas through books, needs to take into account the impact of their physical forms.”—David Pearson, Books as History, 2008:38 (via butterflyhunt)
“If there was a big bang in the beginning, you’re not something that is the result of the big bang, on the end of the process. You are still the process. You are the big bang. The original force of the universe.”—Alan Watts (via instantplasticmaybe)
“Man-computer symbiosis is an expected development in cooperative interaction between men and electronic computers. It will involve very close coupling between the human and the electronic members of the partnership. The main aims are 1) to let computers facilitate formulative thinking as they now facilitate the solution of formulated problems, and 2) to enable men and computers to cooperate in making decisions and controlling complex situations without inflexible dependence on predetermined programs. In the anticipated symbiotic partnership, men will set the goals, formulate the hypotheses, determine the criteria, and perform the evaluations. Computing machines will do the routinizable work that must be done to prepare the way for insights and decisions in technical and scientific thinking. Preliminary analyses indicate that the symbiotic partnership will perform intellectual operations much more effectively than man alone can perform them. Prerequisites for the achievement of the effective, cooperative association include developments in computer time sharing, in memory components, in memory organization, in programming languages, and in input and output equipment.”—Man-Computer Symbiosis (via wildcat2030)
In the beginning when the world was young there were a great many thoughts but no such thing as a truth. Man made the truths himself and each truth was a composite of a great many vague thoughts. All about in the world were the truths and they were all beautiful. […]
There was the truth of virginity and the truth of passion, the truth of wealth and of poverty, of thrift and of profligacy, of carelessness and abandon. Hundreds and hundreds were the truths and they were all beautiful.
And then the people came along. Each as he appeared snatched up one of the truths and some who were quite strong snatched up a dozen of them.
It was the truths that made the people grotesques. The old man had quite an elaborate theory concerning the matter. It was his notion that the moment one of the people took one of the truths to himself, called it his truth, and tried to live his life by it, he became a grotesque and the truth he embraced became a falsehood.
“You imagine that what you can’t understand is either spiritual or does not exist. The conclusion is quite wrong; rather there are obviously a million things in the universe that we would need a million quite different organs to understand. […] Someone blind from birth cannot imagine the beauty of a landscape, the colors of a painting or the shadings of an iris. He will imagine them as something palpable, edible, audible or olfactory. Likewise, if I were to explain to you what I perceive by the senses you do not have, you would interpret it as something that could be heard, seen, touched, smelled or tasted; but it is not like that.”—Cyrano de Bergerac (via nihilnoetia) (via booklover)
“I regard the posthuman, like the ‘human’, as a historically specific and contingent term rather than a stable ontology. Whereas the ‘human’ has since the Enlightenment been associated with rationality, free will, autonomy and a celebration of consciousness as the seat of identity, the posthuman in its more nefarious forms is construed as an informational pattern that happens to be instantiated in a biological substrate.”—N. Katherine Hayles (2006) Unfinished Work: From Cyborg to Cognisphere, Theory, Culture & Society, 23: pg 160 (via sezpayne)
This is exactly the kind of thinking that underpins my PhD thesis. Using a knowledge of history to understand the humanistic implications of modern digital media. Stunning article.
If our world is changing, humanists have the tools, knowledge, and concepts to address these changes. Cutting humanities programs now is shortsighted indeed. We have an educational system currently based on preparing kids for the twentieth century. We need a different model to prepare them for the twenty-first
“What we see with digital media is not so much the death of the author, as the distribution of the author function in new ways. …if you create a digital work, you are collaborating with the software you are using to create that work. And the people who created the software, in a sense, are your remote co-collaborators. And you are also collaborating with the computer hardware. And all of these have constraints and possibilities that you can explore.”—N. Katherine Hayles (2009) Interview with Stacey Cochran, YouTube – 28 March 2009 (via sezpayne)