From the Transcript:
…in the rush towards big data – the Longue durée, and automated network analysis; towards a vision of humanist scholarship in which Bayesian probability is as significant as biblical allusion, the most urgent need seems to me to be to find the tools that allow us to do the job of close reading, of all the small data, that goes to make the bigger variety.
One of the great ironies of the moment, is that in the rush to big data – in the rush to encompass the largest scale, we are excluding 99% of the data that is there. And if we are going to build a few macroscopes, I just want to suggest that, along with the the blue marble views, we keep hold of the smallest details. And if we do so, looking ever more closely at the data itself – remembering that close reading can be hugely powerful – humanist will have something to bring to the table, something they do better than any other discipline. They can provide a world of ‘small data’ and more importantly, of meaning, to balance out the global and the universal – to provide counterpoint in the particular, to the ever more banal world of the average.