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Educational Computing For The Humanities

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

True, the effective use of computer systems to entertainment applications has taken the computer from the high, dignified as well as ethereal regions of the halls of information to the much less cerebral haunts of video game arcades and teen bedrooms across the world; nevertheless, the computer is considered by most as a tool that, when put to serious use, will serve mathematics as well as science best, not the humanities.

This kind of outlook is somewhat elitist, as if serving these far more abstract regions were in some way of greater value to humankind then service to the humanities, the non-technical expression of the rest of mankind's nature. In reality, academic computing has proven to be an outstanding tool in service to the academic study of the human heart, mind, as well as creative imagination conveyed through the arts and literature of people. The laptop or computer is here to stay in the verdant fields of the humanities.

Just how, you may well ask, can a computer system help me during my study of art, sculpture, architecture as expression, literary works, music? How could a machine which boasts its cpu, its mathematical as well as logic unit, its fast executions of rational and mathematical computer operating instructions, how can a really cold as well as objective tool quite possibly assist me, under the facet of academic computing, to appreciate the Hebrew comments of Lord Byron, the 'One' of Walt Whitman, the sublimity of Fra Angelico or the obsession of Wagner? Will it inform me where the loving strains of Beethoven emerge in one of his symphonies? Would it inform me when I should be experiencing the ecstasy in a Vivaldi? Sure, we may use it's mathematical capability to derive a 'golden mean' or determine the special requirements for balance as well as proportion for a particular painting, but isn't this pretty weak stuff when seeking the knowledge of the human spirit?

Let's not ask the computer to perform greater than it had been meant to do. By scholastic computing, as we stated in this article, we mean the use of portable computers in the solution of educational issues. The humanities, no matter what its expression, whether painting, sculpture, music, or literary works, is primarily based in a material stream, in light, sound, in written expression, in signs and symbols. It is exactly this, signs as well as symbols, sounds as well as pictures, which the computer could deliver to the student of humanities. Humanities tries to express, and for that reason, to educate. The computer is a preeminent data device, giving not just text message, but photos, audio, music, movies, each of the sensations but those of touch as well as smell. It isn't a completely satisfactory platform for all the arts. Sculptures define space, and, unless you are obtaining a virtual three-D image, you are unable to experience a sculpture in its immediate impact on the sense when dangling there in your three-dimensional vision. Alright, yet if that is all, that's still not too bad.

Scholastic computing as well as the humanities have become forever married in our universities and colleges. A humanist, a professional photographer, artist, musician, would flourish to learn exactly how to use computers to understand the lovely as well as pleasing, the serious as well as the humorous, the soul as well as spirit of man. It's a requirement in the present academic setting.

 

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