Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: Dec. 30, 2021, 9:15 a.m. Humanist 35.429 - Turing's tape

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 35, No. 429.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
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        Date: 2021-12-29 23:38:39+00:00
        From: <>
        Subject: Turing's Tape - media archeology


First kudos to the team that design the search engine for Humanist. It is
massively impressive in its return of precision results. With only the surname
(“Wender” or was it “wender”?) all of the pertinent results appeared in what I
believe is chronological order. Impressive and thematic for a thread dealing
with time & tapes.

It appears that Dr. Herbert Wender’s exhaustive and exacting research inspired

And that inspiration led to


The resonances of 'shadow and foretaste' I read not so much as an
allusion but in the manner of an allusive state of mind that, reaching
(more than a little mischievously, perhaps) for an expression of the
wait-and-see type, draws on a fund of prophetic language.


This must have lodged itself in my brain and prompted my cinema/video question
about Turing’s Tape.

And to the rescue came the kind Dr. Wender with the remedy.

Off-list we had a discussion about paper Morse Code (It’s a thing look it up)
and also supplied me with a link to soothing Morse Code Music.

Wikipedia provides some documentation:


two different signal durations, called dots and dashes, or dits and dahs


The key here is “duration”. The Turing Machine model as a translation machine
helps designers conceptualize the transduction of auditory into visual signals
and vice versa. Haptics can also be involve via Braille. And there is the Alpha
Tango Charlie alphabet …  I don’t know about further media archaeology
discoveries to be made. But I do know that this gem will be invaluable for
convincing folks that (contra McLuhan) translation across and within sensory
modalities is not only possible but normal.

Thank you for moderating Humanist where this initial hunch found its audience
and coureurs (Boolean beagles). And thank you to the Herbert for slogging
through with dogged tenacity.

It is worth remembering that Humanist in the hearts of its readers resides in
off-list spaces too.

I am going to have fun blasting this in bursts on Twitter and may produce a
longer post to Berneval. Or may be not. Or I may begin learning Morse Code

. -. -.. / --- ..-. / -- . ... ... .- --. .

François Lachance, Ph.d.

living in the beginning of the long 22nd century; sequencing the  "future

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