Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: Dec. 23, 2021, 9:46 a.m. Humanist 35.419 - the solstitial quiet

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 35, No. 419.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
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        Date: 2021-12-23 01:23:00+00:00
        From: <>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 35.415: the solstitial quiet


As usual your solstice message offers much to muse upon. I am always grateful
for the precision in your style. It betokens a nuanced reading of events.

Humanist had been silenced by another kind of mad disease gone rapidly viral.

A quick reading leads one to assume that a virus is the culprit. But it is a
“mad disease” that is cast in the role of malevolent agent. And again, I note
the precision: not a disease of madness but a mad disease. There is still room
for poetic madness (joy in the slippery signifier).

In passing, and based solely on my faulty memory,  I would venture that very
rare is the where and the when of the appearance of the term “viral” in the
Humanist archive. As to the phenomenon — I do think that because "Humanist is
calm and slow” we, as readers, can sometimes overlook the slower creatures such
as intellectual Trojan horses and these include solstice re-marks.

Indulge me in a little madness:  “Viral” pronounced in standard English has a
long “i” and sonorously invokes the postmodern play of the “I” of subjectivity
and the “eye” of perception. In a Canadian context, the pronunciation might be
inflected by  a French accent or that of some other language into a short “i”
and the viral becomes an invitation to veer.

And so my little message veers into Spyral. A tool that permits authors to
produce "a dynamic document that combines writing, code and data in service of
reading, analyzing and interpreting digital texts." <

After this word from our sponsor : ) I invite subscribers to imagine a
Humanist surrogate that is powered by Spyral. There are many mutations in the
digital humanities ecosystem. But I will forever be fond of Humanist and its
listserv services. I do like its spare and spartan aspects.  But I also like
what Sinclair and Rockwell affectionally call our “toys”.

Aside : AI machines might approach human bodies as sites  for (viral)

Speaking of what machines can do when they approach the human: the
sonorisation of data visualization for the visually impaired (and those of us
that like to close our eyes from time to time).

May Humanist long continue to be a place to encounter safely _viralité_ and to
virtually dream in concert, whatever pronunciations may surface.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
François Lachance
Wannabe Professor of Theoretical and Applied Rhetoric

to think is often to sort, to store and to shuffle: humble, embodied tasks

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