15.164 what to do when the lights go out

From: by way of Willard McCarty (willard@lists.village.Virginia.EDU)
Date: Mon Aug 06 2001 - 04:16:56 EDT

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 15, No. 164.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

             Date: Mon, 06 Aug 2001 08:42:40 +0100
             From: "Robert J. O'Hara" <rjohara@uncg.edu>
             Subject: Re: 15.158 electro-shredding

    > And the best scholars can carry on when the lights go out...
    > Francois Lachance, Scholar-at-large

    I cannot resist this opportunity for an anecdote. During my
    undergraduate days in a zoology department, the power went out in the
    building one afternoon. All the students emerged from their closet-like
    and often windowless cubbyholes to wander around and see what was
    happening. One grad student who had an large windowless closet to
    himself didn't emerge, and a minute or two later we heard the sound of
    typying on a manual typewriter coming from behind his closed door. We
    opened the door to find that he had put on his caving helmet with its
    built-in headlamp and resumed his work.

    (Attempting now to relate this somehow to humanities computing...) A
    science fiction show once defined a "book" as a "non-volatile storage
    medium." Would those of use who fill the web with our scholarly but
    volatile material, and do so rightly and beneficially, be wise to
    periodically print the source code of all our web pages on acid free
    paper and deposit a copy or two in libraries around the world in case
    "the power goes out" in one way or another someday?

    Bob O'Hara

    Dr. Robert J. O'Hara (rjohara@post.harvard.edu - http://rjohara.net)
    Biology Dept., University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC 27402 USA
    Residential Colleges and University Reform: http://collegiateway.org

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