59 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2017
    1. This file was put together by Matt Jockers.

      Would it be possible for someone to take an issue of the equity and do this for ourselves?

    1. Instead of seeing how (and which) people are linked by their shared membership in organizations, we see which organizations are linked through the people that belong to them both.

      This is an interesting way to think outside the box. Instead of focussing on the people, focus on the institutions they are associated with, which might lead to some of their human associations. This is essentially history policing work.

    2. “information acquired does not include the content of any communications”

      On the question of 'who is hurt by this', the obvious answer is those being followed in this manner. Though the content of communications is not possessed by the government, those who are being followed are still at the mercy of this kind of surveillance. This of course brings us to the questions the exist in our post-Snowden world. Though this big data is not always used in this kind of context, it still possible. Imagine this scenario. Say we had no communications from Paul Revere and his only association with the the American Revolution was that he knew some of the key players and attended some of the same clubs. Based on this data and this reading we would make the assumption that he was a key player, perhaps unnamed. (This is maybe a poor example as Paul Revere's involvement in the revolution is so well documented) As historians we would be granting credit to a person who may not have had any. This is perhaps a danger of analysing big data in this way.

    3. Urann, Proctor, and Barber

      $ sed 's/Urann, Proctor, and Barber/Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs/g' thisarticle.txt

    4. Rather than relying on tables, we can make a picture of the relationship between the groups, using the number of shared members as an index of the strength of the link between the seditious groups.

      Does anyone know of a program that would be able to do this?

    5. (Harvard, you may recall, is what passes for a university in the Colonies. No matter.)

      This already my favourite article we've read in this class. I love it!

    1. ot convey the sheer magnitude of difference between earlier and later years

      This point is a significant one. Scale is vital in graphs and visualizations as it determines how others will see your data. If you pick a particular scale so that all the data can be seen easily, that may diminish the point you are trying to make with that visual. There are also issues with this chart. For example, what about the years BCE mentioned in dissertation titles? Are they included? Does 500 cover both 500 BCE as well as 500 CE? These questions just show that sometimes visualizations cannot entirely replace text, because sometimes visuals raise questions in addition to answering them.

    2. Exploratory visualizations like this one form a key part of the research process when analyzing large datasets.

      These types of visualizations are important because they allow researchers to simplify their research. Instead of searching through all of the data someone can run different simulations and visualizations in order to get the data points you need. These visualizations are also an important part of open research. Other researchers can use the visualizations as a starting point for original research.

    3. visualizations can be used to get a quick understanding of the structure of data being entered, right in the spreadsheet. The below visualization, of salaries at a university, makes it trivial to spot which department’s faculty have the highest salaries, and how those salaries are distributed. It utilizes basic functions in recent versions of Microsoft Excel.

      These visualizations may be simple but they are important and easy to understand. They can be jumping off points for future analysis but also can aid in clarifying and simplifying the raw data, making it easier to determine what kind of analysis a researcher might do.

    1. models language instead of topics

      I think this is one of the issues with bookworm. Though I love it with a passion and intensity it does only model language. Language can sometimes reflect topic (See Martha Ballard's diary) but that is not always true.

    1. DEATH

      Death is interesting. Obituaries can show the relationships between people between places. What can I do with this?

    2. MARRIED

      Another way to show relationships between people. Tracking the number of unions in different religious denominations?

  2. Jul 2017
    1. treat the digitized object primarily as a surrogate for its analog original, we jettison the best features of both modes

      I feel this does not adequately acknowledge the difference between the two formats. Digital preservation is not the same as the origional no matter how perfect the copy is. As all the exercises this week prove, digital copies are able to show us more, more efficiently. The allows us to search with intent, perhaps missing things possibly gleaned through searching the paper copy.

    2. After the Star was digitized and made available, however, it became far more prominent” in dissertations

      This is another example of something previously discussed; the caution we must use in letting big data influence research. It must be understood that big digital data is not all-encompassing. What is not digitized influences the observations made on what is digitized.

    3. Printed books will never be the equivalent of handwritten codices, especially since printed books are often deficient in spelling and appearance.

      Funny as this seems to be the attitude toward any innovation in the preservation of information. Academics still prefer the printed word to the digital ones. History repeating itself.

    4. new edition—in the full bibliographic sense of the word—which, while it “departs more and more from the form impressed upon it by its original author,”

      I believe this to be a significant thing to remember. Every iteration of a text is different. Even if the words are exactly the same, it is different. Even the format of a digital edition of a text will influence the interpretations of scholars of the text. If the version is presented in plain-text, a word document, a blog post, these formats influence the way people think about what they are reading.

    5. criticism may just as rightly be applied to any other point in the transmission of the text

      This is an interesting notion. As a student in the humanities, I work with specific translations of works that are assigned to me, often these translations are not the most readily accessible version of the text. However, according to this argument, the text in all its forms is able to be criticised. It is not necessary to look at the original or the best translation for criticism to be considered valid. Something to bring up with professors as they are assigning booklists.

    1. deserve access.

      I think this is an important notion. The study of history benefits greater society by helping everyone understand our nature and our progress as a species. History should not be exclusive, it should be inclusive and access to data is a big aspect of accessibility.

    2. academic publisher should have such a significantly different economic picture from standard publishers

      Academic publishers pride their content as distinctly 'better' than non-academic publishers, even when those non-academic publishers publish academic works. Those academic works are considerably more affordable and can thus be more accessible yet still have the years of research put into them by a hardworking academic. Universities themselves even see these as 'lesser' sources and I have even been told not to read anything about history not published by an academic publisher by a university professor. Such publications by non-academic publishers are targeted toward a wider audience of non-academics meaning the emphasis is different and possibly the 'drama' is played up. However this does not mean they are utterly useless. They are valuable as a way to find other sources as well as forming a cohesive picture of events. I think the reason academic publishers consider their work a premium good is pure elitism.

    3. National Institute of Health (NIH) has been a longstanding champion for creating open access

      This seems to be mirrored in the 'open research' idea. Scientists find the idea useful, effective and that it adds value to their field, and this idea is found also to be useful in other fields.

    4. database subscription seldom includes the most recent, current material and publishers purposefully have an embargo of one or two years to withhold the most current information so libraries still have a need to subscribe directly with the journals

      This is something which is important to keep in mind if you run straight to JSTOR for your academic research. JSTOR is one of these databases and tends to be three to four years out of date, something I only learned last year.

    1. cd..

      This command is listed as not found and I'm stuck in my repository from exercises 1-5.

    2. The response: Switched to a new branch 'experiment'

      NOPE! The response I got was -bash: syntax error near unexpected token `newline'. I don't know what that means. I've tried it twice.

    3. Helpfully, the Git error message tells you exactly what to do: type $ git config --global user.email "you\@example.com" and then type $ git config --global user.name "Your Name". Now try making your first commit.

      Here is where I hit a wall. I am no longer getting the $ on new lines to type commands. I now have > on new lines. Attempting to fix now.

    4. What you will do is create a new branch of your project from that point. You can think of a branch as like the branch of a tree, or perhaps better, a branch of a river that eventually merges back to the source

      What I really wish Git had was an actual visual of all the individual files in the main branch and all other branches, showing when and where they merge. That I think would be helpful to see the progress of the project for me.

    5. what you're trying to do

      Trying to do about what? I didn't understand what we were supposed to explain so I just typed "Trying to figure out DHbox".

    6. get things just right

      Me in first year trying to get pages (mac wordprocessor) to get page numbers to start on the second page rather than the title page.

    1. I really wanted to demonstrate that a junior scholar could mount their own digital project, have it peer reviewed in the open, and receive approval from a university press.

      This is an important experiment that, when successful can aid in emliminating some of the fears about being reduced to the amature which Kathleen Fitzpatrick discusses in her article on "Generous Thinking". Completing this project would show scholars in the humanities that they can display their work on a digital platform while still retaining the same professional accreditations that a standard journal article would have.

    1. the jobs crisis for humanities PhDs worsens

      This is another cycle which I have experienced firsthand, I have been taught by a professor over two years who is without a doubt one of the best professors I have ever had. He did not have a permanent position in the university though students had lobbied for his appointment. When less students are drawn to humanities, there becomes fewer posiitons for people to teach the humanities, which, as Fitzpatrick points out, perpetuates the decline of the study of the humanities.

    1. The commodification of ideas as currency in academia means that writing is often concealed until publication,

      This is closely related to Ian Milligan's point about historians rejecting open research because of the idea of "my research" is a commodity to them. Yet Moravec makes a good point. Seeing so many finished products, sparkling and flawless straight from the publisher, lessens the work that is put into academic writing. This might lead a historian to felling that they are inadequate because they have failures without seeing those of their peers.

    1. French names were less likely to be found amongst the death rolls of the First World War

      This perhaps reflects the French resistence to the war effort in the First World War, resulting in low enlistment and thus fewer deaths.

    1. “It’s true that one historian’s trash is another historian’s treasure. So, once I’m done with my treasure, I’ll share my trash for those who might want it.”

      This approach would be appropriate for authors who do not wish to share their work while it is in progress for fear there might be others who would take their ideas and publish them first. Thus the circle of people who would be open to open notebook history widens.

    2. The promise of open notebook history is the vast potential joy that could be ours if we chose to share our hoarded wealth.4

      Open notebook history also opens up the possibility for pet projects which publishers or universities hae rejected but the author still finds valuable and others may as well.

    3. “paranoid” lot, as William Germano has recently argued; our writing is often hampered by the paralyzing fear “that someone is always watching, eager to find fault.”

      I can agree with this argument. I think that most academic writers have enough pressure on them to keep them honest. Universities, peer-reveiwers, publishers, academics who read the work, there are countless levels of scruitiny on academic authors.

    1. write a post on your blog that poses the question 'what is digital history for me anyway?'
    2. THIS TEXT

      A tool I sense I will be using a lot as one of my pet peeves is the "notes" tool on Preview (PDF reader) for Mac.

    1. I explain that systemic misogyny rarely is

      I feel like this "unintentional" sexism is so often what plauges female scholars. I have been blessed with some incredible female professors but have noticed some of this unplanned sexism in my own education. The core humanities classes are full year courses and are team taught by two professors for each year. This means there are eight professors. Currently, and for a considerable number of years to my understanding, only two out of these eight professors are women. This does not mean that the male professors are any less encouraging to female students or that they are sexist or marginalizing, but it is an issue. This sexism is I think increased by the fact that the academic field is so competitive. Diversity becomes less important than job security, and departments do not want to open positions to females only lest they be accused of denying other qualified male academics the security that comes with a permanent university appointment.

    1. Recent research on digital humanities practices opened our eyes to how gendered the topical landscape of DH still is, and to the significant barriers to diversity still present among digital humanists

      The mere recognizing of the barriers to diversity in the field is an important thing in it of itself. I feel like the open climate of digital history means that historians themselves are able to be held accountable for issues in diversity. With paper publication the pressure is on the publisher to be aware and catch such inequalities. With open research and open publication and living documents these things can be corrected quickly and by the author themselves. This practice not only holds the author accountable but also teaches historians ways in which they are able to encourage diversity and discourage marginalization on a first-hand basis, with interactions from groups that need better inclusion in the field.

    1. Its forms of textual criticism

      That history is in fact textual criticism is a fact which I believe is lost on most high school and many university students in their early years. Though the inclusion of primary sources is getting better in high schools, I for one had a teacher who taught us well how to find good and relevant primary sources, often these sources are simply presented to students with no explaination as to how to find them. The analysis on these sources is also wrapped up in a neat package for students that is easy to digest. They are not challenged to find something new in the text, to explore their own ideas. The digital humanities has been working so hard on digitizing so mnay of these primary sources. I feel these big data programs would be of great use in enaging younger students in primary source data and analysis thereof. Textual analysis is a valuable skill that serves people in any avenue they may persue after their secondary education. Big data and digital history I think would be an incredible way for them to be introduced to this kind of analysis.

    2. We know that she was a little uncertain about her age, and we know who lived up one flight of stairs, and down another. Almost randomly, we can now know an awful lot about most nineteenth century Londoners, allowing us to undertake a new kind of 'close reading'.

      This is what I would like to see with the use of big data. The ability to both show overall trends, yet also be able to follow micro history narratives and still value those narratives.

    3. The same could be done with the works of George Elliot or Tolstoy (who both wrote essentially ‘historical’ novels),

      As an avid consumer of historical novels this would be a really interesting project for me. Showing themes in this way, without even having to read the text sounds so efficient but might make academics in literature cringe.

    1. specific locations and London addresses that social satires did not

      Is this possibly because political locations are so often more publically accessible and widely known? We know specific addresses of parliamentary figures (10 Downing, 24 Sussex) and thus publishing them is not a violation of privacy as everyone knows where they are already. Just a thought.

    2. Six Degrees of Francis Bacon

      I love this project and it never occured to me that it was digital history. It always seemed a fun tool to me. Now it occurs to me the level of significance the project has!

    1. novels about nineteenth-century London set against novels about nineteenth-century Paris

      "I'd love to see that visualization", I thought. So I tried using bookworm to come up with something akin to that. I posted it in the #offtopic slack!

    1. it suggests the importance of the stationer in the late-Georgian metropolitan marketplace as more than just an ancient incorporated trade, but as a permeable and osmotic category into and around which many businesses operated.

      This, I think, is one of the problems of using big data. It means taking the recorded data at its word. Nineteenth century businesses incorporate but there is no guarantee that that incorporation actually reflects what they are doing. For instance in that time period we know that often someone claiming to house boarders was often actually what in modern terms was a "don't ask don't tell motel". Thus big data needs micro history, the individual stories of these landlords and landladies, in order to inform analysis of big data.

    1. called for a comprehensive concordance of the works of St. Thomas Aquinas. A concordance provides a list of where a given word appears, in its context, everywhere in a given work:

      I have read Aquinas and this is no easy task. In latin I would assume it would be easier but attempting to discuss his question on free will (in english) without using the word "will" in near all its dictionary uses is impossible. Placing words in context makes it easier but to take such dense philosophical text and make a concordance is an insane undertaking. I would have gone mad about six times in the process.

    1. digital archaeology that sat within the digital humanities would worry less about that, and concentrate more on discovery and generation, of ‘interesting way[s] of thinking about this’.

      I can't help thinking about how digital archaeology could aid in perspective on so many things. Take the mycenean collapse for instance. This is an event which has puzzled historians for decades. Digitized big data for the period might assist in destermining which of the theories are the more likely ones. Plus it is just something I would love to have my hands on.

    1. It did not occur to Sophocles’ audiences that it would be sad for his plays to be lost; they enjoyed the show.

      This is profound in a way I can't describe. Yet we're constantly asking whether it is the right thing to document everything. Do we miss out on the show by making sure it is all preserved? Or do we ensure that people after have a chance to see it? Which is more important? Important questions (I think).

    1. Data Mining with Criminal Intent

      Reading titles of projects like these I'm astounded that people think of academics as dry and stuffy. Historians are funny too!

  3. www.themacroscope.org www.themacroscope.org
    1. ndeed, there is some valid hesitancy around the use of the term ‘data’ itself, as it has a faint whiff of quantifying and reducing the meaningful life experiences of the past to numbers

      This "wiff" that makes poeple uncomfortable means that the examination of "big data" needs to be in harmony with micro history. This way, nuances of micro events are not lost as they too are important.

    1. http://www.ehumanities.nl/ehg-annual-lecture-tim-tangherlini-ucla/)

      Wish I could find a transcript or video of this lecture. The link is just to an abstract and it looks so interesting!

    2. Microhistory involves the rigorous and in-depth study of a single story or moment in history, whereas macrohistory susses out long-term trends and eddies, such as Fernand Braudel’s longue durée

      I think I have ultimately been drawn to microhistory. I like knowing the progression of a single story. One person, one object. I do not think this is limiting to a historian. Anything we can learn about the past is valuable. Like scientists, even when historians do not find what they anticipated at the conclusion of their research, that research is still valuable.