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The Text in the Age of Digital Reproduction=文字在數位化時代的再造
Author Wittern, Christian (著)=維習安 (au.)
Source The Fourth Chung Hwa International Conference on Buddhism: The Role of Buddhism in the 21st Century=第四屆中華國際佛學會議 -- 「佛教與廿一世紀」
Publisher中華佛學研究所=The Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies
Location臺北縣, 臺灣 [Taipei hsien, Taiwan]
Content type會議論文=Proceeding Article
NoteThe Fourth Chung Hwa International Conference on Buddhism:The Role of Buddhism in the 21st Century, Organized by Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies, DDMBA; January 18-20, 2002, Auditorium of Acemic Activity Center, Acemia Sinica. 第四屆中華國際佛學會議 -- 「佛教與廿一世紀」, 法鼓山中華佛學研究所主辦, 2002年1月18-20日, 中央研究院學術活動中心.
KeywordBuddhism in 21st Century=佛教與廿一世紀
AbstractAlmost seventy years ago,Walter Benjamin wrote an influential essay entitled The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. In this essay,he analyzed the changes that came along with the ability to mechanically and with high quality reproduce works of the visual arts. Texts have had this ability since the invention of printing,but there are other changes involved with the migration of texts to the digital medium,that require further analysis, for which this paper will try to provide some ideas.
The digital reproduction of texts, maps, still images, moving images and sound brings about a profound revolution in how we relate to cultural artefacts past and present. What was separated by time and in completely different media and realms, becomes reduced to bits and bytes and travels side by side in fiberoptic networks around the globe,made available to us immediately as we request it. This profoundly not only changes the cultural artefact itself,but also the way we relate to it.
In this paper,I will discuss some of the implications this has, but I will focus mostly on the technical side of this development. Also,instead of discussing new media in general,I will account only for textual material,not for visual or acoustic forms. In the process of digitization,there are important considerations to be made that have not been required before. While digitization seems to be a simple and straightforward technical process, it actually relies heavily on the interpretation of the underlying source material. This has to be based on thorough consideration and should be done carefully and informed.
Digitization can take place on several different levels and the level to choose depends on its intended use. I will focus my attention on the digitization of text and will use the digitization of the Chinese Buddhist Tripitaka as an example.
The questions I will try to answer are the following:What is the process of digitization? What assumptions are implied by digitization? What kind of different levels do exist and how do they relate to each other? What consequences need to be drawn from this?
It will be important to take these questions and their answers into consideration when dealing with digital media, since there are a number of decisions to be made. Digital media by itself have no a priori architecture,it is our interpretations that call this architectures into existence. But a digital text has to be considered a complex combination of the underlying textual content,the digital format this is encapsulated in and the application used to render it to the reader. For these reasons, it is important to make the underlying interpretations explicit and arrive at informed decisions, since this will very directly influence the usefulness of digital texts.
A number of different actors on the public stage that forms a society have vastly different agendas in regard to digital text. Publishers, 'Media Companies' as they call themselves now,have a vested interest in 'digital content' and have a strong lobby to move decisions into a direction that allows them to have maximum control over distribution,usage and lifespan of digital texts. This has immense consequences not only for academic projects dealing with digital text,but most importantly for an open society based on the free flow of information as a whole.
Table of contents1. Introduction
2. A General Model of Digitization
2. 1. First Try:A Simple Model for Digital Processing
2. 2. Second Try:A Modified Model of Digital Processing
2. 3. Finally:A Model of Digital Processing
3. From Letters to Characters
3. 1. The Process of Digitization
3. 2. Representation of Character Shapes
3. 3. The Character/Glyph Model
4. The Rendering Process
5. Digitization as Communication
5. 1. Markup:A Method to Imbed Information into Digital Text
5. 2. Limits and Shortcomings
5. 3. Future Directions
6. Conclusions

Created date2002.02.15
Modified date2016.08.18

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