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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: November ::
Re: Electronic Scholarship and Texts
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 865.  Tuesday, 30 November 1993.
 
(1)     From:   Timothy Bowden <
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        Date:   Monday, 29 Nov 93 06:38:02 PST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0855  Re: Electronic Scholarship
 
(2)     From:   Michael S. Hart <
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        Date:   Monday, 29 Nov 93 09:28:42 CST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0855  Re: Electronic Scholarship
 
(3)     From:   Fran Teague <
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        Date:   Monday, 29 Nov 93 11:36:35 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0848  Re: Electronic Scholarship
 
(4)     From:   Kevin Berland <
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        Date:   Monday, 29 Nov 93 13:01 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0857  Re: Electronic Scholarship
 
(5)     From:   James Harner <
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        Date:   Monday, 29 Nov 1993 10:59:10 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   RE: SHK 4.0857  Re: Electronic Scholarship
 
(6)     From:   James McKenna <MCKENNJI@UCBEH>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Nov 1993 22:47:11 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   electrotexts
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Timothy Bowden <
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Date:           Monday, 29 Nov 93 06:38:02 PST
Subject: 4.0855  Re: Electronic Scholarship
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0855  Re: Electronic Scholarship
 
It might be at some point emphasized how, if Original Intent were
regarded as standard in place of this renegade postmodern resource
ramble we are embarked upon whereupon symbols accrete on page or screen
as so much snow beheld by infidels, then the author(s)
him(er)sel(f)(ves) might well sneer at how we have denoted and deified a
spattering of cribbed and crabbed actors' notes as holy scripture when
the medium intended was to broadcast freely about on the very air from
the breaths of actors, but I won't...
 
I will own, however, that suspenders are superior in both senses to the
belt, that I myself might often be found in the dusty bins of used
bookstalls, and you can find a meg of 70ns Mac (of course, the superior
platform) SIMM at the local outlet for $38.88 American...
 
Timothy Bowden

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(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael S. Hart <
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Date:           Monday, 29 Nov 93 09:28:42 CST
Subject: 4.0855  Re: Electronic Scholarship
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0855  Re: Electronic Scholarship
 
This is a reply to the note
 
From:           James McKenna <
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Date:           Saturday, 27 Nov 1993 18:33:17 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 4.0848  Re: Electronic Scholarship
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0848  Re: Electronic Scholarship
 
Reply to Timothy Bowden:
 
***
 
Aside from the obvious linguistic comments I shall not make, I would like to
point out that not only are the same kind of notebook in use by myself and
millions of others, as are the kind of books we use at our desks and elsewhere,
but that an error made in paper research is just as likely to be made in
electronic research. . .i.e. "validity verus reliability."
 
A researcher presuming that a search result is both reliable and valid because
it came from a computer, is no different a commodity than one who presumes such
because those reference librarians who are so helpful, have placed the same
data for consideration.
 
Of course, the first thing taught a reference librarian is a "reference
interview" which is also the first thing that the researcher should be taught
in bibliographic instruction.  A few laps around the course of bibliographic
instruction will yield improved results in both the paper AND Etext library.
 
Meanwhile, will someone please tell me how to download Etext files, in their
entirety, of the Complete Shakespeare Etext, which has been discussed for years
on this listserver.
 
Thanks,
 
Best Wishes For The Holiday Season!
 
Michael S. Hart, Professor of Electronic Text
Executive Director of Project Gutenberg Etext
Illinois Benedictine College, Lisle, IL 60532
No official connection to U of Illinois--UIUC
hart@uiucvmd.bitnet and 
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(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Fran Teague <
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Date:           Monday, 29 Nov 93 11:36:35 EST
Subject: 4.0848  Re: Electronic Scholarship
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0848  Re: Electronic Scholarship
 
A passage from Joseph Wood Krutch seems possibly relevant:
 
   Just suppose that the radio, the phonograph, the film strip, and all the
rest of it had been in existence since the Fifteenth Century but that books had
just been invented.  What a marvelous advance in communication that would be!
And how many advantages it would seem to have over any previously known means,
including ready availability and the possibility of wide choice.  What comes
over the air is chosen for you by someone else and you must receive the
communication at a particular moment, or not at all.  A book, on the other
hand, you can choose for yourself and you can read it at your own convenience.
It is always available while a broadcast is gone forever.  And how much more
economical in time a book is!  Deduct from a half-hour broadcast the musical
fanfare, the station announcement, the sponsor's commercial, etc., etc., and
you can learn by five minutes with a book more than you can get in a half-hour
broadcast.  "Why," we would say, "this marvelous new invention, the book, just
about makes radio obsolete."   (From JWK's _More Lives Than One_)
 
While the relative merits of radio and books are no longer in question, the
general line of argument when one compares electronic and printed texts has a
certain familiarity.
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kevin Berland <
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Date:           Monday, 29 Nov 93 13:01 EST
Subject: 4.0857  Re: Electronic Scholarship
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0857  Re: Electronic Scholarship
 
This argument, it seems to me, introduces some classic examples of logical
fallacies -- such as the False Dilemma: we must choose *either* books or
e-texts.  Pshaw!  I want both.  More choices,
 
And, while still in the curmudgeon-mode, I must take issue with I don't
remember now who -- my colleague in this branch of the New Invisible
University who alluded to the recycling of Paperbacks Will Destroy
the World As We Know It rhetoric.  I agree that alarmist rhetoric is
often deceptive, wrong-headed, and even dangerous -- but it's also
sometimes true.  The technological innovations of paperback & mass
market book-making *have* created problems: planned obsolescence,
dissolving glue, yellow snow, &c. &c.  My valuable teaching editions
of paperback Ardens, heavily annotated, fall all over the floor and
cause confusion and embarassment... One more little point: were those
who cried that the sky was falling when television started growing
and threatening literacy.... were they wrong?
 
Grumpily yours & off to class,
Kevin Berland
 
(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James Harner <
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Date:           Monday, 29 Nov 1993 10:59:10 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 4.0857  Re: Electronic Scholarship
Comment:        RE: SHK 4.0857  Re: Electronic Scholarship
 
Like Bill Godshalk, I love my books--but I could never function without
my computers. I don't, at this point, want to enter the books/electronic
text debate, but I do want to ask fellow SHAKSPERians for some help
and advice. The +MLA Hand Book= is now undergoing revision--especially
in light of the proliferation of electronic texts, electronic
discussion groups, and GOPHERS. Part of this revision involves the
creation (or reinement) of a form for citing electronic materials.
As a member of the advisory committee for the revision, I would very
much like to see examples of any citations to electronic materials
that you may have used in your own work or received in paper from
students. And, I would welcome any suggestions that you might have
regarding citation style for electronic materials.
 
                Jim Harner (
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(6)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James McKenna <MCKENNJI@UCBEH>
Date:           Monday, 29 Nov 1993 22:47:11 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        electrotexts
 
My last try...really!
 
I'm not writing jeremiads.  Were I, I doubt I'd write them here.  Mr. Lavignino
suggests looking into electronic texts themselves, rather than just resisting
them.  I've maintained from the beginning that I do just that--and
successfully.  I recommend to all around me to use as much electronic help as
they can get their hands on.  That's the way the game is played these days; you
cut your nose off to spite your face to do otherwise.  Still...still, still,
still, thank God for the Amish, for the Hassidim, for The Farm in Tennessee (if
it's still going), for cloisters everywhere, that remind us that blinding speed
is a means that can drive us to its own brainless and mechanical ends.  Why
must one be accused of imbecile romanticism for pointing out that gains must be
paid for with losses, and that we ought to choose rather than just accept?  I
maintain only that much change occurs very fast with little or no thought given
to long-term consequences.  Remember, "change" and "improvement" are _not_
synonyms.
 
Cordially, respectfully, and with a touch of disappointment,
 
James McKenna
U of Cincinnati
mckennji@ucbeh.bitnet
 

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