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Hermeneutica: Computer-Assisted Interpretation in the Humanities

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The image of the scholar as a solitary thinker dates back at least to Descartes' "Discourse on Method." But scholarly practices in the humanities are changing as older forms of communal inquiry are combined with modern research methods enabled by the Internet, accessible computing, data availability, and new media. "Hermeneutica" introduces text analysis using computer-ass The image of the scholar as a solitary thinker dates back at least to Descartes' "Discourse on Method." But scholarly practices in the humanities are changing as older forms of communal inquiry are combined with modern research methods enabled by the Internet, accessible computing, data availability, and new media. "Hermeneutica" introduces text analysis using computer-assisted interpretive practices. It offers theoretical chapters about text analysis, presents a set of analytical tools (called Voyant) that instantiate the theory, and provides example essays that illustrate the use of these tools. Voyant allows users to integrate interpretation into texts by creating hermeneutica -- small embeddable "toys" that can be woven into essays published online or into such online writing environments as blogs or wikis. The book's companion website, Hermeneutic.ca, offers the example essays with both text and embedded interactive panels. The panels show results and allow readers to experiment with the toys themselves. The use of these analytical tools results in a hybrid essay: an interpretive work embedded with hermeneutical toys that can be explored for technique. The hermeneutica draw on and develop such common interactive analytics as word clouds and complex data journalism interactives. Embedded in scholarly texts, they create a more engaging argument. Moving between tool and text becomes another thread in a dynamic dialogue.


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The image of the scholar as a solitary thinker dates back at least to Descartes' "Discourse on Method." But scholarly practices in the humanities are changing as older forms of communal inquiry are combined with modern research methods enabled by the Internet, accessible computing, data availability, and new media. "Hermeneutica" introduces text analysis using computer-ass The image of the scholar as a solitary thinker dates back at least to Descartes' "Discourse on Method." But scholarly practices in the humanities are changing as older forms of communal inquiry are combined with modern research methods enabled by the Internet, accessible computing, data availability, and new media. "Hermeneutica" introduces text analysis using computer-assisted interpretive practices. It offers theoretical chapters about text analysis, presents a set of analytical tools (called Voyant) that instantiate the theory, and provides example essays that illustrate the use of these tools. Voyant allows users to integrate interpretation into texts by creating hermeneutica -- small embeddable "toys" that can be woven into essays published online or into such online writing environments as blogs or wikis. The book's companion website, Hermeneutic.ca, offers the example essays with both text and embedded interactive panels. The panels show results and allow readers to experiment with the toys themselves. The use of these analytical tools results in a hybrid essay: an interpretive work embedded with hermeneutical toys that can be explored for technique. The hermeneutica draw on and develop such common interactive analytics as word clouds and complex data journalism interactives. Embedded in scholarly texts, they create a more engaging argument. Moving between tool and text becomes another thread in a dynamic dialogue.

30 review for Hermeneutica: Computer-Assisted Interpretation in the Humanities

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    The writing here is so full of academic verbiage it is incomprehensible. I am reading this for a class and I will finish it because it is assigned. But to be honest, I have no idea what the authors mean at least 90% of the time. I am not an idiot. It is poorly written. "In principle, formalized analytical processes should be easy to recapitulate and should not suffer from the problem of connoisseurship, but in reality the expense of computing, the complexity of analytical software, and the time The writing here is so full of academic verbiage it is incomprehensible. I am reading this for a class and I will finish it because it is assigned. But to be honest, I have no idea what the authors mean at least 90% of the time. I am not an idiot. It is poorly written. "In principle, formalized analytical processes should be easy to recapitulate and should not suffer from the problem of connoisseurship, but in reality the expense of computing, the complexity of analytical software, and the time it takes to use computing processes make such processes unlikely to be recapitulated." No. It is not the fault of the subject that you do not write clearly about it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    bks

    A few days before I finished reading this book, AlphaGo just defeated the best Weiqi player in the whole world. Obviously, the program mentioned in this book is no where close as AlphaGo, but it really leaves people wonder how many human element is left, even in the field of humanities. It seems currently those program are used to search, sort and spot pattern, all the tasks that are fast for a computer but slow/cumbersome for human beings. The interpretation part is still left for the scholars. A few days before I finished reading this book, AlphaGo just defeated the best Weiqi player in the whole world. Obviously, the program mentioned in this book is no where close as AlphaGo, but it really leaves people wonder how many human element is left, even in the field of humanities. It seems currently those program are used to search, sort and spot pattern, all the tasks that are fast for a computer but slow/cumbersome for human beings. The interpretation part is still left for the scholars. But what about in the future? Can those algorithms fully take over human interpretation part as well? *Follow up on Heidegger on Technology

  3. 4 out of 5

    Colton

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sulaiman Ahmad

  5. 4 out of 5

    nick ruest

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lisette

  7. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

  8. 5 out of 5

    Diane

  9. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

  11. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

  12. 4 out of 5

    Scott

  13. 4 out of 5

    Francesco Mambrini

  14. 4 out of 5

    John

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alex Butterworth

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nbar

  17. 4 out of 5

    Matthias

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  19. 5 out of 5

    Matt Simmons

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jajwalya Karajgikar

  21. 5 out of 5

    David Lacy

  22. 4 out of 5

    Peri

  23. 4 out of 5

    Timo

  24. 5 out of 5

    Torsten Scha├čan

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kate

  26. 5 out of 5

    Carlton Schuyler

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ian_gates

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Wang

  29. 5 out of 5

    Galen

  30. 5 out of 5

    Stefano Bracci

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