Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: Nov. 14, 2022, 6:54 a.m. Humanist 36.256 - the dehumanisation of technology

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 36, No. 256.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
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        Date: 2022-11-13 09:24:02+00:00
        From: maurizio lana <>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 36.255: the dehumanisation of technology

Bill, and Salvo:

in juridical terms, the dichotomy between legal subjects and objects
cannot be overcome, tertium non datur.
computer are objects. complex objects, indeed, but objects. objects are
not human(s).

in the phrase (1)"What could be more human than a computer?" "human" is
meant in a metaphorical sense.
very different sense from that in the phrase (2)"All human beings are
born free and equal in dignity and rights".
and very different from that in the phrase of Vittorio Arrigoni
(3)"restiamo umani" (let us remain human).

no sense of (2) and (3) (and of (4), (5), (N) which cannot be properly
mentioned here for limits of time and space) is suited to a computer, i

and, sorry Salvo, but i have never been "omologato" (homologated) and
the same is true for a lot of other persons here in Humanist and in
world around. so in your phrase "we have always been HomoLogatus" the
extensive "we" appears to be insufficiently grounded.
and the assonanceHomoLogatus/homologated makes me uneasy.

Il 13/11/22 07:45, Humanist ha scritto:
>                Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 36, No. 255.
>          Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
>                        Hosted by DH-Cologne
>                  Submit
>          Date: 2022-11-11 12:25:21+00:00
>          From: Bill Pascoe<>
>          Subject: Re: [EXT] [Humanist] 36.251: coexistence in the same
cognitive entity
> It's odd that computers and information technology are portrayed, perceived,
> experienced, described as distinctly unhuman. We get taught growing up that
> scientific name is 'Homo Sapiens' which means 'Wise Man' and that two of the
> most important defining characteristics of this wisdom, that differentiate us
> from other biological things, is that we are tool users (machines), and that
> use language (information technology). A computer is a symbol processing
> machine. What could be more human than a computer?
> We have always been HomoLogatus.
> ________________________________
> From: Humanist<>
> Sent: Friday, 11 November 2022 5:00 PM
> To: Bill Pascoe<>
> Subject: [EXT] [Humanist] 36.251: coexistence in the same cognitive entity
> External email: Please exercise caution
>                Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 36, No. 251.
>          Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
>                        Hosted by DH-Cologne
>                  Submit
>          Date: 2022-11-10 06:43:00+00:00
>          From: Salvo Spina<>
>          Subject: Re: [Humanist] 36.241: unlimited growth in 'knowledge'
> production
> Dear Willard,
> I want to state an opinion on this topic. A few months ago, I published a
> handbook on Digital History where I proposed my idea about the necessary
> participation of humanists in the realisation of "biotechnocenosis". By this
> term, I denote a status where humans and machines coexist as parts of the same
> cognitive entity.
> We should no longer speak about "opportunities" that are opened and others
> are lost, but instead about Knowledge created through processing that reports
> a new human, the HomoLogatus.
> We have to overcome the duality of "human-machine".
> Scholars are "HomoLogatus", i.e., who infer analogically but analyse with a
> digital mind, thanks to the Machine and its computable language. For instance,
> next-generation historians will live in an interconnected-symbiotically
> where humans and technological tools have the same role in discovering the
> Waiting for You
> Regards
> Salvo Spina
> Salvatore Spina (Ph.D.)
> Assegnista di Ricerca  |  Dipartimento di Scienze Umanistiche
> Università degli Studi di Catania
> __________________________________
> Mobile: (+39) 340.7663215
> Web:
> On 6 Nov 2022, 08:59 +0100, Humanist<>, wrote:
>> Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 36, No. 241.
>> Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
>> Hosted by DH-Cologne
>> Submit
>> Date: 2022-11-05 08:02:04+00:00
>> From: maurizio lana<>
>> Subject: Re: [Humanist] 36.228: the general-purpose machine and unlimited
> growth
>> dear Willard,
>> i think that there is another question lying in the first part of your
>> message, a question that surfaces in these fragments:
>> "'What can be automated?'"
>> "this machine was opening up seemingly endless possibilities"
>> "the delusion of unlimited possibilities itself"
>> "the problem of unlimited growth"
>> the question is that of the production of text through the use of
>> systems of AI.
>> from
>> GPT-3. 2020. «A Robot Wrote This Entire Article. Are You Scared yet,
>> Human?» /The Guardian/, 8 September 2020.
>> gpt-3.
>> to
>> Bertram, Lillian-Yvonne. 2019. /Travesty Generator/. Blacksburg, VA:
>> Noemi Press.
>> to
>> Aalho, Jukka, e GPT-3. 2021. /Aum Golly: Poems on Humanity by an
>> Artificial Intelligence/. Amazon Digital Services
>> we see that with computing tools one can produce "a nastro", i would say
>> with an italian slang expression, one can uninterruptedly produce texts
>> after texts after texts and cherry-pick the most appealing one.
>> or one can enhance its ability to produce meaningful text in the context
>> of scientific publication by using an AI software to foster its
>> production times and rhythm: see
>> Thunström, Almira Osmanovic. 2022. «We Asked GPT-3 to Write an Academic
>> Paper about Itself - Then We Tried to Get It Published». Scientific
>> American, giugno 2022.
> academic-
>> paper-about-itself-then-we-tried-to-get-it-published/
>> and this would obviously undermine the whole system of Impact Factor
>> we may assist to (we may have to face?) a doped unrestricted growth of
>> scientific publications - and who knows what would think of it Vannevar
>> Bush who in 1945 was saying "Publication has been extended far beyond
>> our present ability to make real use of the record".
>> Maurizio

and so I shall go
in the rage of the storm
'cos only on earth
I find heaven
la casa del vento, rachel and the storm

Maurizio Lana
Università del Piemonte Orientale
Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici
Piazza Roma 36 - 13100 Vercelli

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