dodecahedron: (Default)
[personal profile] dodecahedron
I went to this lecture the other day. A professor of folklore talked about his collaboration with computer scientists to create tools for humanities research, and all the interesting new things he found. He was looking at Danish folklore: a researcher in the 19th century going around Denmark collecting ghost stories, fairy tales, and the like. In one example, he made a map of his path and realized that the guy was collecting stories in a completely different part of Denmark than he said he was in. In another, he made a graph of stories that had words in common, and realized that there were a lot of ghost stories that were unknown because they weren't put in the "ghost stories" box.

I love this stuff. I love collaborations between very different fields. I like to imagine the uses my software will have that I don't even know about yet. Whenever I go to a conference, I notice the other groups that are meeting in the same place, like a supercomputer conference in the same hotel with dentists and greeting card manufacturers, I imagine what kind of wacky projects would involve all of their expertise.

Side note: as he was talking about stories about ghosts, monsters, elves, peasants, kings, etc., he mentioned stories about "manalores." I wondered: what kind of mythical creature is a "manalore"? Are they like manticores? Minotaurs? A few minutes later I saw it written out, and I realized he was saying manor lords.

Date: 2010-09-29 05:41 pm (UTC)
digitalemur: (Default)
From: [personal profile] digitalemur
To the peasants, the manalores might as well have been monsters.

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