humanities

Open Humanities — imagining the future of libraries


This blog is focused on science, simply because that is what I do most of my time. The same applies to the "What would [X] look like if it were invented today?" series of blog posts, and while it has not escaped my notice that X=Humanities would be a possible configuration, I did not feel particularly competent to write that part, nor did my infrequent calls for people from the humanities or social sciences to participate in the open science debates here or at Friendfeed result in much feedback from that end. However, I came across a piece recently (and read it today) that has a great potential to fill this gap (a case for UU, as discussed yesterday). It was written in a very personal and engaging style by Lisbet Rausing for a printed magazine (The New Republic), so its major drawback is that it has no hyperlinks and that the only non-text element is this image of a traditional library of paper documents. But the text was explicitly placed in the Public Domain, such that it can be adapted for the web, for which I have set up a document anyone can edit — please feel free to do so, and to tell your colleagues and friends in the humanities and social sciences about it.


For stimulation, I paste in below Lisbet Rausing's original of March 12, 2010 at 12:00 am, entitled "Toward a New Alexandria". The text (which should not be changed, though corrections may be added) is well worth a second read even in this non-enhanced form, and I will leave it to you to judge whether a more webby version can add value to that.

Parapsychology - Pro and Con

Where does parapsychology currently stand as a true science? Although aligned with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), most psychologists are not impressed by the work done by the parapsychology community. 

 "Despite the fact that psychologists have been in the forefront of paranormal studies, a study of 1,100 college professors in the United States found that only 34% of psychologists believe that ESP is either an established fact or a likely possibility. Comparable figures for other disciplines are much higher: natural scientists (55%), social scientists [excluding psychologists] (66%) and for academics in the arts, humanities, and education (77%). Of the psychologists surveyed, 34% believe psi is an impossibility, while only 2% of the other respondents maintained this position (Wagner and Monnet 1979)." (Skeptic's Dictionary

I have spent nearly 30 years investigating this field. However, I have not been impressed by what I have read or the non-published research I have conducted. I am, however, still opened to future research in the field. Alas, with every potential breakthrough in the field, there still remains the constant fraud, deception and incompetence by some of the field's brightest stars.

I would like to invite any scholars, scientists or educators, with advanced degrees, to submit 'pro' or 'con' chapters for the work "Parapsychology, a Science for the 21st Century?" Please submit your chapter proposals to Dr. Carl Edwin Lindgren - celindgren@panola.com The submissions must be scientific in nature and present a clear and coherent thesis.

Dr. Carl Edwin Lindgren