Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: March 1, 2021, 6:44 a.m. Humanist 34.244 - unwise response to an interesting problem

				                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 34, No. 244.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
                   		Hosted by DH-Cologne
                       www.dhhumanist.org
                Submit to: humanist@dhhumanist.org


    [1]    From: James Rovira 
           Subject: Re: [Humanist] 34.243: unwise response to an interesting problem (25)

    [2]    From: Dino Buzzetti 
           Subject: Re: [Humanist] 34.243: unwise response to an interesting problem (77)


--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: 2021-02-28 19:35:40+00:00
        From: James Rovira 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 34.243: unwise response to an interesting problem

Two models:

1. People who are primarily humanists work with people who are
primarily tech. Each knows a bit about the other, but neither really
has the other's expertise. That's the situation that gives rise to
this thread.
2. People who are fully qualified in both humanities work and tech.
This latter group might also function as intermediaries to both
members of the previous group.

Bottom line is people develop the expertise or they don't.

Jim R

> I'd argue we must get a grip, at the level not only of what are generally
> called the algorithms but also the hardware. Studies of the 'impact' of the
> digital machine on social behaviour that assume this machine as a given
> are not enough. But how do we make it an un-given except by involving
> those who have their hands on how these things work and learn from
> them?
>
> Comments?
>
> Yours,
> WM

--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: 2021-02-28 10:30:14+00:00
        From: Dino Buzzetti 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 34.243: unwise response to an interesting problem

Dear Willard,

By reading the final question of your post a right fitting example just
cropped up in my mind, a paper by Geoffrey Hinton, “How to represent
part-whole hierarchies in a neural network”, recently published on arXiv:
https://arxiv.org/pdf/2102.12627.pdf.

That's how the implementation of neural networks works.

All best,       -dino buzzetti


On Sun, 28 Feb 2021 at 10:31, Humanist  wrote:

>                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 34, No. 243.
>         Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
>                                 Hosted by DH-Cologne
>                        www.dhhumanist.org
>                 Submit to: humanist@dhhumanist.org
>
>
>
>
>         Date: 2021-02-28 09:11:37+00:00
>         From: Willard McCarty 
>         Subject: unwise response to an interesting problem
>
> A few numbers back, I alerted members of this seminar to two books and
> quoted this passage from one of them, approvingly:
>
>    > If the scholarly problem becomes more
>    > intricate and advanced, it becomes more likely that the technician
>    > will fail to provide a solution that truly encapsulates the problem.
>    > And when the technology becomes more advanced, it becomes more likely
>    > that the scholar will fail to understand how it can be improved to
>    > meet their requirements. If we scale back our ambitions towards using
>    > and modifying the existing technology, it is possible to have
>    > scholars operate on their own, as is customary in the humanities...
>
> Later Manfred Thaller questioned the scaling back recommended here, and
> having been awakened by his sharper mind I must agree that it would be a
> very unwise response -- but to a very interesting problem. As digital
> technologies become ever more complex and so outstrip our understanding,
> and as their inner processes are hidden behind ever more layers of
> abstraction, how do we intervene? And what do we do about black-box
> processes that are in principle unfathomable?
>
> I'd argue we must get a grip, at the level not only of what are generally
> called the algorithms but also the hardware. Studies of the 'impact' of
> the
> digital machine on social behaviour that assume this machine as a given
> are not enough. But how do we make it an un-given except by involving
> those who have their hands on how these things work and learn from
> them?
>
> Comments?
>
> Yours,
> WM
> --
> Willard McCarty,
> Professor emeritus, King's College London;
> Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews;  Humanist
> www.mccarty.org.uk


--
Dino Buzzetti                                         formerly
Department of Philosophy    University of Bologna
                                                            currently
Fondazione per le Scienze Religiose Giovanni XXIII
via san Vitale, 114                  I-40125 Bologna BO
e-mail:  dino.buzzetti [at] gmail.com
              buzzetti [at] fscire.it
Web:  http://web.dfc.unibo.it/buzzetti
*http://www.fscire.it/index.php/en/who-we-are/researchers/dino-buzzetti-2/
*


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