15.254 Humanist and the tragic events in the U.S.

From: by way of Willard McCarty (willard@lists.village.Virginia.EDU)
Date: Wed Sep 19 2001 - 04:30:46 EDT

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 15, No. 254.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

       [1] From: C Spreizer <ces63@mindspring.com> (34)
             Subject: Re: 15.246 Humanist and the tragic events in the U.S.

       [2] From: "Norman D. Hinton" <hinton@springnet1.com> (8)
             Subject: your action in Humanist

       [3] From: Patricia Galloway <galloway@gslis.utexas.edu> (10)
             Subject: Re: 15.246 Humanist and the tragic events in the U.S.

             Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2001 09:24:14 +0100
             From: C Spreizer <ces63@mindspring.com>
             Subject: Re: 15.246 Humanist and the tragic events in the U.S.

    Dear Willard,

    this is my first response to the list, and although I do believe that
    Humanist should be used for the purposes it was created, I was extremely
    disappointed in the reaction, or lack of reaction to, the events of
    September 11.

    I am sure everyone was relieved to discover that the staff of NYU who
    hosted the latest conference (which I attended) were safe and sound.
    Email was the only method of getting out information to loved ones in
    the immediate aftermath, since phone lines were overburdened, and
    electronic information did indeed bring great relief to the majority of

    But unless I missed something, Humanist neglected to make any kind of
    general statement expressing sympathy for the tens of thousands of
    citizens of New York and Washington directly affected by events. Other
    lists did respond with some kind of general statement expressing
    sympathy with the victims of the attacks, no matter what the stated
    purpose of the list was. But not Humanist.

    I also found the statements of Jerry McGann bizarre on some level -- is
    he really more paranoid that his message will be read by some secret
    police force worming its way into an academic discussion rather than the
    actions of such terrorists who delight in killing for the sake of

    You write that "I posted McGann's because I thought it important to
    signal that humanities computing is not unrelated to our common humanity
    (and inhumanity), that as with everything else we do, what we do has a
    socio-political context. His was just right for the purpose." But your
    reactions to the disaster show that you missed the context completely
    and responded instead on a very limited and selective personal level.
    There is a difference between the desire to deepen opportunities for
    thought and having one's head buried in the sand.


    Christa Spreizer
    Queens College/CUNY

             Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2001 09:25:22 +0100
             From: "Norman D. Hinton" <hinton@springnet1.com>
             Subject: your action in Humanist

    Good for you, Willard -- discussion of the terrorist attack has screwed
    up several other lists, especially Ansax and Mediev-l, where people are
    going off in all sorts of directions despite pleas from various folk to
    get back to business.

    No one, it seems. can withstand the temptation to answer notes on the
    subject, either with good sense or with flames. (I fell for it a
    couple of times before I firmly decided to keep out no matter what)

    It's sort of "thoughts that lie too deep for tears", I fear.

    Thanks again.

             Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2001 09:25:42 +0100
             From: Patricia Galloway <galloway@gslis.utexas.edu>
             Subject: Re: 15.246 Humanist and the tragic events in the U.S.

    Just personally, let me tell you how grateful I am for your hand on the
    tiller. I had dropped off Humanist in a move, and just rejoined to hear
    a voice of sanity when I was sorrowfully forced to leave the Archives
    and Archivist list because of a vicious political flame war that erupted
    last week. Since there was no moderator, there was no way to stop it. I
    wasn't the only one who left, and in returning to Humanist I wasn't
    disappointed. This is my personal support for this forum as it is, since
    its thoughtful discussions strengthen our whole purpose.
    Pat Galloway
    University of Texas-Austin

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