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Re: <nettime> Digital Humanities Manifesto
Michael Wojcik on Fri, 23 Jan 2009 21:09:01 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> Digital Humanities Manifesto


Florian Cramer wrote:

> This is a straightforward paraphrase of McLuhan's "end of the
> Gutenberg Galaxy", with the only catch that McLuhan referred to
> analog media - film, radio, television. So it seems as if the authors
> thoroughly confuse "electronic" and "paper" with "digital" and
> "analog". But, technically seen, the movable type printing press is
> not an analog, but a digital system in that all writing into discrete,
> countable [and thus computable] units.

By the same token, traditional projected film is a digital system,
since it's quantized into still images (frames), generally with a
sampling rate around 60 samples/second. Individual frames in
chemical-photography film may be analog, but the medium is in essence
a digital one.

And there's nothing necessarily analog about film, radio, or
television, all of which have full-digital variants in use today.

The digital/analog distinction is useful in some technical realms (eg
data communications engineering), and sometimes as a term of
convenience, but it has no real utility in a general description of a
medium.

I won't comment on your other points, except to say that I broadly
agree with them. I could name a number of conference presentations
I've seen in the past year that make the errors you point to, such as
the reliance on bogus folk histories of "new media".

-- 
Michael Wojcik
Micro Focus
Rhetoric & Writing, Michigan State University


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