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UCL Centre for Digital Humanities



Decoding digital humanities #3 London: the round up

Claire SRoss11 May 2010

Salina Christmas suggested the idea of technoromanticism
Coyne, R., “Introduction” pp. 2-15 and “Ch. 1 Digital Utopias” pp. 19-45 in Technoromanticism: digital narrative, holism, and the romance of the real
Coyne suggests how narratives about the technology, computers are grounded in Enlightenment and romanticism.  He suggests that because of these digital narratives, discourse about technology is subject to similar critiques of romanticism.  This raises ideas about unity, multiplicity and the concept of a Digital utopia.

Unfortunately I was a bit late to the meetup – so I missed about half of the discussion, so if anyone wants to fill me and others in about what I missed that would be great.
When I got there, the discussion was focusing on Pink Floyd and the changes in the way we listen and share music; whether it is a ‘you’ or a ‘we’ exercise. We then moved on to multiplicity on the internet and the construction of multiple identities.

Questions were raised about the idea of the digital culture producing mediocrity and a lack of talent. Causing digital collectives emerging in London?  Suggesting that Technoromantism is a reaction to “the man” , a break away from the constraints provided by an increasingly standardised digital output.  Predominately using visualisations and images rather than text.

This then brought us on to the blending of the digital world with the analog world. Why when told the story about a man who embedded a RDFI chip into the palm of his hand to make his life easier, does it cause a negative reaction?    Do we need those digital identifiers? Is this the next step? Is resistance futile? Are we too far down the digital track?

Finally we discussed gold farming.  Now I hadn’t heard the term before. But is it really economically viable to sell digital games goods in the real world? It sounds bizarre, but its being done.

There is an interesting  Working paper:
Current Analysis and Future Research Agenda on “Gold Farming”: Real-World Production in Developing Countries for the Virtual Economies of Online Games
Which is part of the Development Informatics series at the University of Manchester. Well worth a read.