(I am posting this even though it is late because I had it written and was delayed!)
I feel like I've kind of flip-flopped since last week, and now I'm apparently on the opposite side of the debate! After deciding that Ramsey's methods are at the very least interesting and perhaps quite useful, I've gone somewhere from "so what?" to an area much closer to "why not?" when consider the purpose of DH investigation. Have pinpointed my irritation as somewhere close to "let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater", I'm willing to admit that, just so long as everything that's come before isn't being devalued (as Jockers kind of did), DH explorations of data could probably provide additional illumination to the study of literature. This, of course, doesn't negate what is probably my main issue with technology, which is simply that it eliminates the physical book, and the feel, smell, etc. that go along with this. Are text mining and Moretti's network theory warm and comforting? Not really. Could they be useful in research? Perhaps.
This is probably why I was willing to give Moretti's discussion of network theory a bit of leeway, even considering the apparent issues many of you were finding. Or maybe I just find the blending of Shakespeare with a digital humanities approach rather charming. In any case, I found some of Moretti's thoughts quite useful, and I especially found that, rather unlike Jockers, his analysis seems to toe the line between close and distance reading quite well--examining both the what happens from just what it means that Horatio's absence can throw the play into chaos.
One thing I do wonder, at times, when we begin to read Shakespeare so very closely, or, I suppose, broadly, when "The past becomes past, yes, but it never disappears from our perception of the plot" (4), is if we're not in some way reaching too far, reducing too much. When we've so far surpassed what the average viewer of the play could possibly have been expected to understand, and surely whose comprehension of the play its success depended upon, does our analysis actually amount to much?