9.137 ontology & enlightenment

Humanist (mccarty@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)
Thu, 31 Aug 1995 21:43:51 -0400 (EDT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 9, No. 137.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)

[1] From: "C. M. Sperberg-McQueen" (11)
Subject: Re: 9.134 ontological breakdown

[2] From: Willard McCarty <mccarty@epas.utoronto.ca> (35)
Subject: complete and perfect enlightenment

Date: Thu, 31 Aug 95 11:08:11 CDT
From: "C. M. Sperberg-McQueen" <U35395%UICVM.BitNet@pucc.Princeton.EDU>
Subject: Re: 9.134 ontological breakdown

The essay by Brad DeLong (mysteriously copyrighted by Adam Engst?) was
interesting and well written, but it confused me. Prof. DeLong seems to
believe that he lives in a world where no one spends years any longer
studying and writing commentaries on single texts, where "we" nowadays
find Socrates quaint, and --- this is the real kicker --- where everyone
trusts the written word and finds it hard to imagine preferring viva
voce teaching.

Has Berkeley finally left earth and settled on a completely different
planet? Or do economists really know so little about the other people
with whom they share the globe?

-C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
University of Illinois at Chicago

Date: Thu, 31 Aug 1995 09:57:46 -0400
From: Willard McCarty <mccarty@epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: complete and perfect enlightenment

The following will someday be of interest to a sociologist or cultural
historian writing an account of the early days of computer-mediated
communication. The same kind of thing has happened before. See, for example,
the early history of the telephone as discussed in Ithiel de Sola Pool, ed.,
<t>The Social Impact of the Telephone</t>. It was, as I recall, A. G. Bell's
chief engineer who wrote about a not dissimilar vision of how his boss' new
instrument would transform us all, leading to a universal brotherhood of
mankind (his term). Bell himself had a much more sober and astonishingly
accurate vision of what the telephone would bring about. Nevertheless,
visions such as Seltzer's do afford us a glimpse of desire.


>by Richard Seltzer, B&R Samizdat Express, (with apologies to Lao-tzu)
>Who owns the Internet? -- No one.
>Who controls the Internet? -- No one.
>Where is the Internet? -- Everywhere.
>Can you understand all and penetrate all with the click of a mouse?
>To produce things and to make them well,
>but not to sell them,
>rather to give them away freely to all,
>and by giving to become known and valued;
>To act, but not to rely on one's own ability,
>to build on the works and lessons of others,
>and to let others do likewise --
>this is called the Way of the Web.
>The best is like water.
>Water benefits all things and does not compete with them.
>Water dissolves barriers.
>Water reaches out and covers the earth.
>This is called the Way of the Web.
>[The above is the epigraph for the book The Way of the Web
>by Richard Seltzer]