Michael Wojcik on Thu, 19 Mar 2009 18:01:35 -0400 (EDT)

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Re: <nettime> Digital Humanities Manifesto

Richard Sewell wrote:
> 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'.

That would be an odd place to settle, since there are non-digital
computers; and digital artifacts that can only be "worked on"
indirectly, at best, with digital computers.

The problem that spurred this discussion was a number of handwaving
claims - I made some of them - about the meaning of "digital".
Historically such claims have often been used to support dubious, if
not outright foolish, generalizations about "digital media" and the

If we want to say "stuff we can work on with computers", there might
be a better term than "digital". Even better, we might be more
precise, and say things like "computer-based media" and "application
software" and "machine data processing".

Michael Wojcik
Micro Focus
Rhetoric & Writing, Michigan State University

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