Discussion of digital humanities

A recent article in the New York Times digs-in to the use data in the humanities.

The article points to the unfamiliarity that many humanities scholars have with data-driven techniques, as well as the differences between science- and humanities-driven analysis. The author (who is a professor of developmental biology at Imperial College) points out that there is a difference in quality between many discussions in humanities that diverge on the issue of meaning, that in science can be answered purely by recourse to empirical facts. That’s a difference that’d hard to resolve with many algorithms, although there’s no real reason to think that they can’t be addressed by some potential future developments. It’s an interesting critique that cuts to the heart of what IDIR is trying to do.