Went to a talk today by Kenneth R. Fleischmann entitled “Values Embedded in Information Technologies” who is an assistant professor at The College of Information at Florida State University. He has done a lot of work with interdisciplinary collaborative research and the focus of his talk was values embedded in Educational Simulations, Computational Models, and Digital Libraries where values are “the human dimension embedded in IT.” His talk dovetales nicely with the work I’m negotiating (navigating) on my dissertation and I hope to get a response soon to my request to scour his works cited from the talk. In particular he mentioned an article by T.R. Willemain (“Model Formulation: what experts think about and when” in Operations Research 43 (6) 916-932) that covers the stages of Computational Modeling that would be particluarly useful for me. He listed these stages as:
- Problem Context: how values influence how a problem is structured and defined.
- Model Structure: how values influence the building of the conceptual model.
- Model Realization: how values affect the process of fitting data to the model and computational building of the model.
- Model Assessment: customer wants the model to be perfect–customers should be made aware from the beginning that perfection is never going to happen.
- Model Implementation: values affect implementation as technology is often a in competition/successor to human user
These modes seemt to reflect how literary scholars approach computational models of literary texts and reading/analysis practices as well.
Good beginnings for reflection here. Seems to me that you might want to supplement your analytical musings on the fact that all is undergirded with allegiance to particular values by revisiting Lakoff’s _Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things_, as well as Bowker & Star’s _Sorting Things Out_. Come to think of it, Kuhn’s _The Structures of Scientific Revolution_ is worth checking out, and John Sowa has seemed well aware of the ways in which our ideologies inform and in fact constitute even that which appears to be hard-wired and “objective.” I’ve long been thinking that one problem with the digital humanities and humanities world is that we are selective interdisciplinary — digital humanities desperately needs more input from cultural theory, feminist theory, queer theory.
Sounds like a good talk. Thanks for sharing!