A thread on alt.religion.druid in 2003

 

From: Searles O'Dubhain (odubhain@comcast.net)
Subject: Monumental Past by Cornelius J Holtorf
Newsgroups: alt.religion.druid
Date: 2003-08-22 07:49:36 PST

Here's a site/work/person that is based in both archaeology and the
ways that knowledge is perceived and presented through memory,
monument, and hypertext. Although I do not see anywhere that the
author is Pagan or neo-Pagan (or even a follower of the Druid Way),
the work speaks for itself (and the author's own following of ways) in
these matters.

To read an excellent presentation in both archaeology and the ways of
stone/memory/mind:

http://citdpress.utsc.utoronto.ca/holtorf/0.1.html
(link no longer operational. C.H.)

Just click on the links and discover a document that lives in the ways
that Druids of old once taught.

Searles

From: Wade (xremovexwade180@comcast.net)
Subject: Re: Monumental Past by Cornelius J Holtorf
Newsgroups: alt.religion.druid
Date: 2003-08-22 13:06:06 PST
Though the work was interesting in its "object oriented"      
form, I'm not sure I agree with the author's assertions
about the supposed benefits of this sort of dissertation
modeling. While interesting, the author himself admits:
"Reading the work in its entirety. ..is not an easy task,
as there is no table of content." Without an underlying
structure, the hyperlink-rich pages present an amorphous
mess IMO. Tellingly, he had to add a table of contents
before he submitted the dissertation to his examiners.
Apparently, his "druids" were unimpressed with the
concept.
      
It seems unlikely to me that this sort of unstructured
model would parallel the way Druids learned or taught.
They would have imposed form and structure in many
layers (...)
      
Regarding the dissertation content, I found some of it
quite interesting, though some seemed quite tedious
as well; sort of re-stating the obvious in nicely dressed up
language. It's clear a lot of time and research went into
its construction, but the lack of underlying structure made
the experience somehow unsatisfying.
--
Wade

From: Searles O'Dubhain (odubhain@comcast.net)
Subject: Monumental Past by Cornelius J Holtorf
Newsgroups: alt.religion.druid
Date: 2003-08-22 20:56:47 PST

Actually, what I liked about the dissertation was its lattice-like
structure and the ways that knowledge went deep on subjects that
required clarity. It is tedious to *completely* study a subject but
sometimes *understanding* does not come until all of the information
has been assimilated and integrated. (...)

Searles

From: Wade (xremovexwade180@comcast.net)
Subject: Re: Monumental Past by Cornelius J Holtorf
Newsgroups: alt.religion.druid
Date: 2003-08-23 10:32:54 PST
That "lattice-like structure" is usually described in a
Table of Contents.(...)

We have come to expect indexes, table of contents and the
like to aid us in "tracking the pathways".  I personally think that
obscuring the underlying structure of the dissertation did not
improve its ability to transmit knowledge.
--
Wade

From: Searles O'Dubhain (odubhain@comcast.net)
Subject: Monumental Past by Cornelius J Holtorf
Newsgroups: alt.religion.druid
Date: 2003-08-23 16:47:17 PST

That'd certainly make reading the site easier in a linear or
piece-mill fashion but I think it'd take away the "adventure" of
discovering things in nooks and crannies (like in Myst for instance).
It's more like we experience things in life I think, but I also like
having reference works that are easily and directly accessed. Maybe
there should be two versions and one can select? It seems to me that
it would easy enough to make one. (...)

I suppose different people have different perspectives. I liked the
novelty of the approach myself. It reminded me of one of those books
with a variable plot and different pathways through it. One could have
a different learning experience each time it's read or studied.

Searles

From: Searles O'Dubhain (odubhain@comcast.net)
Subject: Monumental Past by Cornelius J Holtorf
Newsgroups: alt.religion.druid
Date: 2003-08-25 08:44:43 PST

(...)
The website in question consists of many lines/levels that are
interlinked.

I found that browsing the website taught one about archaeology as if
it was a "dig" in itself. Reading it and understanding it taught one
about layers and interconnections. As with any meal, all deserts would
of course be imbalanced. One must also have a salad or soup, an main
courses as well as appetizers.

First one catches a field of flax; then one "breaks" it; next one
combs it and then spins it onto spindles and into spools; then one
"sets" it in a loom; then one selects other spools and sets, and
selects, and sets, etc.; then one performs the logical operation of
weaving alongside the creative process of selection and innovation;
after a lot of work and repetition, something happens.

Searles

From: Wade (xremovexwade180@comcast.net)
Subject: Re: Monumental Past by Cornelius J Holtorf
Newsgroups: alt.religion.druid
Date: 2003-08-25 08:56:18 PST
(...)
The one thing I will say about a site with an uncertain hierarchy
or no directional aids is that it could be used as an excellent
personality profiler.  The links an individual chooses to activate
would give one clues into the individual's psyche. (...)

--
Wade


full thread here.

Note: Unfortunately I have not been able to establish contact with either Searles O'Dubhain or Wade via the email addresses given. I would like to do so now!

© Cornelius Holtorf, last updated on 21 December 2004