Uniqueness

"See an enormous range of work, but here as an optimist, it is possible to identify common needs, but won't mean a reduction to lowest common denominator. Yes is range, diversity, but in the end there are common practices" (Day 1, 1a)

"Don't lose the unique part in the hunt for commonalities: B1 is an art historian and a China specialist ... when the "common tool" doesn't fit the specialized needs of a scholar "diminishes what a specialized scholar can do" -- it's an impediment not a boon." (Ex 1, 1b-C)

"Importance of increasing number of humanities subdisciplines, emergent practices" (Ex 1, 1d-G)

"Internationalize the project, the services; critical to look at regional norms, challenges of diversity issue" (Ex 1, 1d-G)

"strike balance between generalizability research models and contextually-specific models? The boutique and contextually rich examples." (Ex 1, 1d-H)

"what qualifies as a good argument can vary widely from discipline to discipline" (Ex 2, 1b-A)

"They want to have tools that give maximum personalization options, so each scholar can tailor a program to his/ her process." (Ex 2, 1b-D)

"Best practices - seems in conflict. Hard to imagine it capturing the processes we are talking about. How do we build best practices? How do you distill it into a best practice? Tension betw algorithms and heuristics? Not codifiable. For the heuristic quality - to provoke rather than disclose" (Ex 3, 1d-G)

"Descriptive vs. predictive models? I've never been predictive. I've done predictive; did a search for the predictive feature, then went out searching for what it predicted. Model and hypotheses. Both descriptive and predictive models - "All Victorian novels can be marked up this way" - try to find one that doesn't work with it" (Ex 4, 1d-E)

"Highly heterogeneous. Cannot come up with a convergence because of variances. Need a common means for incubating these different approaches." (Ex 5, 1c-A)

"Most people like to think that what they're going is uncommon and unique. One person might be able to help them because he's seen people doing similar things before, but this can a hard sell. Not recognizing these themes is a barrier: people are slow to recognize that there might already be appropriate tools. One can take the notion that there are things that can't be captured in a normative way too far. People have a notion of the uncommon." (Ex 5, 1c-A)

"Certain things have to be done in a way that's peculiar to the case at hand. The uncommon observation is that it's idiosyncratic. Do not presume that things are non-idiosyncratic." (Ex 5, 1c-A)

"We're looking to accommodate the weirdest of the humanities. What should not be accommodated? What should be left open and not put within the rigid structures? It's the fuzzy stuff. Serendipity, eureka. You can't create metadata for that. It's a process that everyone goes through, so it's common, but it's uncommon because of the particulars of each." (Ex 5, 1c-A)

"I'm interested in the politics of mess. I'm interested in the process of knowing mess. I'm interested, in particular, in methodologies for knowing mess. My intuition, to say it quickly, is that the world is largely messy. It is also that contemporary social science methods are hopelessly bad at knowing that mess. Indeed it is that dominant approaches to method work with some success to repress the very possibility of mess. They cannot know mess, except in their aporias, as they try to make the world clean and neat. So it is my concern to broaden method. To imagine it more imaginatively. To imagine what method - and its politics - might be if it were not caught in an obsession with clarity, with specificity, and with the definite." (SN-0041 Methodology Statement: Making a Mess With Method, John Law, 12/23/08)

"Generally, scientists have workflow problems that often limit their abilities to effectively organize, preserve, and disseminate their data and research materials. There is also a need for better methods of retrieving, connecting, and relating data to published research accounts, especially beyond the data presented for publication. A lack of clear policies guiding the storage and preservation of data despite the requirements of funding agencies exacerbates the data problem. At the same time, standards, guidelines, and technological assistance, whether developed and implemented locally or nationally, all need to be sensitive to personal and disciplinary practices, which vary widely. The data challenges faced in the sciences may offer a prescient view of how humanities and social sciences scholars will confront their needs to preserve and make accessible increasingly complex research collections, many of which are data intensive in their right, especially in the social sciences." (SN-0043 Personal Research Collections- Data and Archival Preservation and Access in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Cecily Marcus)

"If we're successful, we'll create what is "new backwaters" in the humanities - places where there are unique needs not filled by kinds of things that PB is going to generalize into infrastructure. Got to recognize that - it's a risk." (W4, Program Document Section 3, Discussion of Poll #1, Faculty table discussion)

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