Computer scientists vs historians

November 12th, 2012

“Computer scientists would approach Borges’s library far differently. Employing the information theory that forms the basis for search engines and other computerized techniques for assessing in one fell swoop large masses of documents, they would quickly realize the collection’s incoherence though sampling and statistical methods – and wisely start looking for the library’s exit.”

As a history major, I often find everything about the internet confusing. I do not know if it is simply that my brain works differently or that I never seemed to grasp how to understand it. But either way when I, for instances, Google something I can never seem to find the right information I’m looking for. I always just come across broad articles that are slightly related to the topic I am searching. Reading through book after book seems to be more my style, as this poor sad man in Borges’s short story. However, it seems as though that is rapidly becoming a lost art and it seems as though I might have to learn how to deal with the internet head on.

When I was younger I dated a boy who was a computer science major. Now obviously it did not work out to well by the end he drove me absolutely insane. But I wonder if it was his fault? Were we simply just made from two different types of minds? He was always coding and on his computer and I did not understand any of it. I was always sitting and reading behind him. So unengaged with each other. It seems I am an old fashioned historian born in the wrong era. For it looks as though computer scientists and historians are going to need to learn to interact.

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