Richard Sewell on Sun, 15 Mar 2009 08:31:28 -0400 (EDT)

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Re: <nettime> Digital Humanities Manifesto

Jim wrote:
> What exactly do we mean by isomorphism? 

For me, the interesting thing about the digital world, as opposed to
the analogue one, is that digital objects are all amenable to easy
manipulation & transmission with the same bag of tools.

The point is not that they are isomorphic to integers or
lightswitches. The point is that they are expressible as great long
streams of bytes. We all have powerful tools for working with those
streams, and when we need to express some new kind of thing in that
form we can easily and cheaply build and distribute new tools.
Subject, of course, to the limitations of the conventional hardware -
screens & keyboards & speakers & so on.

I'm sorry if this is all painfully obvious. It just puzzles me to see
a discussion about what counts as digital that does not settle down to
'the stuff we can work on with computers'.


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