inimino on Sat, 24 Jan 2009 18:25:50 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Digital Humanities Manifesto

Michael Wojcik wrote:

> Florian Cramer wrote:
>> [...] technically seen, the movable type printing press is
>> not an analog, but a digital system in that all writing into discrete,
>> countable [and thus computable] units.
> By the same token, traditional projected film is a digital system,
> since it's quantized into still images (frames), generally with a
> sampling rate around 60 samples/second.

But the analog frames of the projected film are not amenable to 
lossless copying, and they are the meat of the film.

The meat of text is in the sequence of letters; the actual analog 
details of those letters are irrelevant.  To me, the capacity for 
lossless copying is the hallmark of digital information.

Can we extend Florian's remark to all written language?  Hand-
written manuscripts seem as digital in this sense as printed 
texts.  Even orally-transmitted stories, arguably...

Outside of human culture, digital information transmission and 
storage is nothing new, as Richard Dawkins would remind us.  The 
genetic material we all carry, what he called the digital river, 
predates any other information storage and replication system we 
know of.

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