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  1. Jun 2017
    1. p. 5 My questioning had thus brought me to conclude first that computing fits into scholarship as a rigorously disciplined means of implementing trial-and-error, second that its purpose is to help the scholar refine an inevitable mismatch between a representation and reality (as he or she conceives it) to the point at which the epistemological yield of the representation has been realized.

    2. pp. 4-5 My evolving question had thus succeeded in becoming a very simple one with a very simple answer. It amounted merely to this: first to observe that people learn through an iterative trial-and-error process, then to ask what form this process takes for computing. We know that this process governs the mastery of skills such as riding a bicycle or soldering pipe-joints. If we look at scholarship as what scholars actually do, we can find trial-and-error in it as well, though without the sense of closure that mastery and performance of a practical skill entail. With intelligence, skill and practice, one gets good at interpreting poetry, but interpreting it is not a job that can be completed in the sense that <pb n="5"> can be (one hopes).</pb>

    3. McCarty, Willard. 2005. Humanities Computing. Basingstoke [England]; New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

    4. pp. 3-4 During most of that time, my thinking was driven by impatience with the discrepency between the potential of computing for scholarship, emerging clearly in the work of many individuals across the huamnities, and various misconstrructions or attempts to turn it aside. The latter I have come to characterize by two related strategies: with dismissal of any basis for humanities computing, on the grounds either of irrelevance, imprecision or trviiality of its problems or its lack of identifiable turf; or deferral of promised solutions to these problems, for which the sarcastic phrase 'Real Soon Now' has become proverbial... The central error of these strategies, I concluded, is <pb n="4">not the demand for relevance, for which some kind of response is reasonable. Nor is it the demand for patience: meaningful results take time. Rather the error lies in the concealed assumption that solving a problem is the end of the matter that generated it. As someone with an earlier background in programming and the arts and crafts, I was prepared to admit that problem-solving skills are required, for example to debug a program or charpen a chisel. Both both the arts and scholarship had taught me that when knowledge is the goal of work, the purpose of soving problems is to get harder, worthier ones.</pb>