I wrote a little bit about some initial experiences with Ireland's first tranche of 'digital humanists' back in 2009: http://www.michaeljmaguire.com/index.php?q=node/33 Coming from a twenty five year writing and technology background, I almost argued, without intentionally offending anyone I trust, that essentially many in Ireland venturing into the emerging discipline at that time were not theoretically equipped to actually comprehend it's true creative potential.
An opportunity came my way a few short weeks ago where in a brief couple of hours I got to meet fourteen research teams currently engaged in a wide disciplinary range of scientific academic research at University College Dublin. The event was part of the preparations for Dublin City of Science 2012, specifically the imagine science film strand where researchers from UCD and filmmakers from IDAT were brought together to join forces, pool intellectual and creative resources, essentially spark off each others ideas with the goal of generating some potential cultural impact see (http://www.ucd.ie/imaginesciencefilms/) for a broader synopsis.
Stand up, move out and away from your keyboard (or drop that ipad) get right out right now, right away, any one of you that is not prepared to be wrong. Of course no one wants to leave the party early, few of us would like to be seen as black sheep of any flock, or consider ourselves so radically independent that we don’t require some sort of endorsement from our peers, yet we strive to be not so damn conformist that we aren’t perceived as being right all the time, awkwardly correct or improperly precise in all eventualities. Isn’t being wrong occasionally being human ? We simply can’t learn to walk without learning first, to fall. Yet do any of us, as seemingly independent individuals, honestly really regard ourselves as being perfectly consistently correct, utterly conventional, entirely cooperative, creative conspirators and willing collaborators with ‘powers’ that be ? Any of us aspire to ‘Acting the total cog ?’ Naw didn’t think so…
Repeatedly assured in my local vernacular that “things is tight” I’ve tried to give this post a thoroughly ‘tautological’ feel, informed in some small degree by vivid memories of the summation of academic writing technique by a highly respected UK based English Professor (of creative writing no less) thus: “Say what you’re going to say, say it, then say it again.”
Irish writers are moody, opinionated, self-obsessed, hypercritical, introverted yet oddly enough I’m quite happy to be considered among their number.
All of the writers I know are avid readers. All of the academics I know, (with thanks to Maynooth, DMU, UCD, TCD and the TCD/UCD Innovation Academy, various lists & communities etc, etc, - that's now quite a few) despite having discipline centric reading habits, often tend towards broad tastes and eclectic interests. When searching for the ideal prints, you do gotta kiss a lota frogs, amass a lorra paper and lorry those loose leaves to the charity shops. We live in a slippery segue between what Bolter calls 'the late age of print' and a genuinely networked (read ubiquitous computing) society.
Writers will tire of page and book metaphors but oral and literate terms will persist, scroll down to read more (-: Screen shot, txt msg, apps, status or comment box, all are terms relatively recently embedded in our vocabulary. I wonder what other new or novel descriptors will enter usage in the near to medium future. This screen shot image is from a couple of days ago. It is surprising to me (maybe only me) because it displays 1000 page views of a single blog entry from this site. That's one thousand times that particular piece of writing has been viewed.
Paddy's night arrived in the manner of finding a half torn fiver, initial anticipation usurped by disappointment before a chancer's edge suggested some craic might ensue after all.