8.0281 Rs: Karl Popper; CMC (2/105)

Mon, 24 Oct 1994 21:28:10 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 8, No. 0281. Monday, 24 Oct 1994.

(1) Date: Fri, 21 Oct 94 11:43:38 EST (61 lines)
From: raskin@mace.cc.purdue.edu (Victor Raskin)
Subject: Re: 8.0278 Influence of Karl Popper? (1/9)

(2) Date: Mon, 24 Oct 1994 11:35:43 -0500 (44 lines)
From: jslatin@mail.utexas.edu (John Slatin)
Subject: Re: 8.0258 Uses of CMC in Humanities Higher Education (1/38)

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Fri, 21 Oct 94 11:43:38 EST
From: raskin@mace.cc.purdue.edu (Victor Raskin)
Subject: Re: 8.0278 Influence of Karl Popper? (1/9)

Elaine Brennan writes:
>Date: Tue, 18 Oct 1994 13:48:38 EDT
>From: SRICHMOND@icarus.physics.utoronto.ca
>Subject: RE: Humanist Guide
>As you know, Karl Popper died last month. I conjecture that he has
>had a greater impact on people outside academic philosophy rather
>than on those inside academic philosophy.
>Please respond to these two questions:
>1. How, if at all, has Popper's writings influenced your thinking?

In my own field, theoretical linguistics, I adopted Popper's view of
theories as yet unfalsified hypotheses and his postulate that each
valid candidate for a new theory should come with a built-in
possibility of being falsified. I have a feeling that this apporoach
is pretty universal among my colleagues in linguistics, perhaps more
unconsciously so among the younger ones, many of whom conform to
Popper without knowing the name.

>2. How, if at all, has your personal acquaintance with Popper influenced

I have never met Popper but I attended a public lecture he gave to an
audience of several thousand at the University of Michigan in Spring
1978, when I was a visiting professor there. The audience was
predominantly undergraduate, with just a sprinkling of awe-struck fans
like myself. It was standing room only, and my wife and I sat on some

The lecture was very simple: Basic Popper--nothing else. The audience
was quite attentive but increasingly restless--and still listening. It
was not until an awful thing happened some 25 minutes into the lecture that
the budding humor researcher in me got one of the best pieces of hard
evidence about humor: no public speaker in America can continue
speaking without a joke for more than 5 minutes or so. The students
had missed an opening, usually self-deprecating joke, and they were
simply dying for one after almost half an hour. Then Popper made a
slip of the tingue, and the audience burst out laughing.

The great man was truly shocked and offended, and my wife's and my
memory is that he simply left the stage and never came back. We both
have told the story several times, including to our students, and I
cannot help wondering if our memories did not contribute a more
dramatic ending than had really happened. Is there anybody else among
the HUMANISTs who was there at the time and can correct our memories.
We are sure about the no-laughter--->inappropriate laughter situation,
but did he really leave and never come back?

In any case, here exit the last great philosopher of the past! (But
the tradition of humor-free presentations in philosophy--and many
other disciplines--lives.)

`ictor Raskin                                   raskin@mace.cc.purdue.edu
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------62----
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 1994 11:35:43 -0500
From: jslatin@mail.utexas.edu (John Slatin)
Subject: Re: 8.0258  Uses of CMC in Humanities Higher Education  (1/38)
Dear Simon Rae,
I'm belatedly respondig to your Humanist posting requesting information
about uses of CMC in higher education.
Here at the University of Texas at Austin we have an extensive program for
instruction in Rhetoric and English and American literature.  We use a wide
variety of applications, especially the InterChange module of the Daedalus
Integrated Writing Environment (real-time, LAN-based conferencing); Usenet
newsgroups; Mosaic/HTML; and MOOs.  We also use HyperCard, ToolBook, and
Storyspace to develop hypertext and multimedia texts for classroom use;
student and instructors frequently collaborate on these.
This semester we're offering 21 classes in 3 networked computer rooms.  The
classes include:
-first-year writing (Rhetoric)
-a graduate seminar in Electronic Discourse
-second-year literature surveys, English and American
- intermediate writing course called Computers and Writing, for which we
have developed a multimedia text called *This Is Not a Textbook*
- courses in autobiography, world literature, and victorian literature
The Computer Writing and Research Lab has been in operation since 1986.  I
would be happy to provide additional information if you're interested.
John Slatin
Director, Computer Writing & Research Labs
Division of Rhetoric & Composition
Department of English
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712
NEW email address: jslatin@mail.utexas.edu
Phone: (512) 471-8743
Fax: (512) 471-4353