How did the library at Alexandria organize its books? What kinds of algorithmic structures did the Homeric poets use to generate live performance? What roles has record-keeping (of taxes, births, deaths) played in the production of governmentality? How do theories of translation, or magic, organize the relationship between the raw material of culture and its capacity for effective action at a distance—what we might think of as “letter” and “spirit”? What can engineering concepts like noise, redundancy, or entropy tell us about literary practice? Are we in an information society, or an era of big data? How would we know?
Goals: To build intellectual community. To ask, and answer, hard questions. To support and generate research at the intersection of information and the human sciences: any “information,” and any “human science.”