46 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2017
    1. comparing patterns and shifts over time and space

      This makes it harder than simply being conscious about what we do, why we do it, how we do it. If we begin with a distant reading based on these papers, how can we possibly know what shifts will take place in order to focus on the right words/thoughts over time? Perhaps going into this process before knowing what we are looking for is useful. We might note significant usages/ shifts of words or topics over time and then have an idea that we should be looking for them more deeply.

    2. close reading.

      Just as we discussed previously, the use of "outside" context and close reading in addition to this digital work is essential for good scholarship.

    3. Linux)

      As a personal note, I appreciate seeing Linux included because all too often it is forgotten or ridiculed by others.

    1. emotion implied though metaphors or imagery patterns, or use satire and sarcasm

      Perhaps this wouldn't be a big problem for the analysis of newspapers, but for other things, it would most certainly matter.

    1. I'm not sure that we should too enthusiastic about interpreting results from machine learning which we can only barely steer.

      Fair point. It's an interesting technology, but perhaps we had better get a firm understanding of it before we jump right in.

    1. basic way to represent information about links between people and some other kind of thing,

      Simply put - but this really is the essence of what we are doing. Besides, this style of writing is intriguing and certainly a change of pace.

    1. If the user wanted to burrow as far down as a single publication, they can do that as well

      traditional essays are sort of the opposite. They start with specific information and research and move out to broader arguments. interesting how they connect and compliment each other.

    2. digital environment, assessing the quantity of information available also necessitates assessing the quality of the digitization process.

      Not sure exactly how this would look, but including these discussions in our papers seems important after all the previous readings we have done.

    3. We soon realized, however, that before we could begin to answer such a question w

      Lots of digital history seems to be like this ... start something, switch focus, go back to it and try again with a different tool or lens.

  2. Jul 2017
    1. Schedule time into every week to keep on top of security.

      Security, and as we learned in XLMing My Way to Data Management, keeping clean and organised filing systems.

    1. By using a standardised (if imperfectly aligned) set of encoding rules (TEI), my databases are instantly mine-able and manipulatable by any other academic, even I become unavailable.

      I can see this being very useful in large workplaces where the changes and documents created by one employee become almost impossible to find or understand after they leave. I recently experienced this when trying to make simple modifications to some quantitative data analysis. The previous person had saved the end files, but not their methods and calculations, so I had to guess and invent my own methods.

    1. The Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) is a consortium which collectively develops and maintains a standard for the representation of texts in digital form

      This only works if they are universally recognised as having done this. Otherwise, they are just one more group putting out materials that are not well taken up.

    1. This incredible speed and the use of microfilm originals comes at a cost, however.

      Wow, now I'm imagining thousands of university students blindly typing in words they think will get them useful information and consistently missing or misusing sources.

    2. But this historical approach generally usually remains unspoken, without a critical methodological reflection.

      Hmm, I hadn't really given much thought to critically including within my essays a section on how I located and decided to use journal articles.

    3. generally the results are beautiful, render relatively well, and are – crucially – immediate.

      I wonder if this is a positive or negative? Working with large amounts of data, I can see where easy results would be useful. However, with our society's obsession on immediate gratification, perhaps it would be good to have to work a little harder for important research findings.

    1. json2csv -i search.json -o out.csv

      I'm getting stuck at this step. It responds with "throw err; SyntaxError:/home/claremaier/search.json: Unexpected token {

    1. Likeeveryone else, we begin with Google.

      My high school teachers always said not to use Wikipedia for research - but to use it to broadly understand a topic before arming yourself with key words and ideas for in-depth research.

    1. A case can be made that this was the single largest repository of social historical resources ever generated, on the public facing World Wide Web (unlike Facebook).

      Put this way, its loss is truly horrific. However, as historians, I think the ever-present caution about ethics is important too. It would be fascinating information (for anthropologists as well), but should we really access it?

    1. If we don't start now, it'll be too late.

      At first, I wondered if the author was being melodramatic, but I see his point and hadn't thought about the types of situations he presents. Like him though, I don't have any solutions. I'd like to say people wouldn't do those things, but "we are only human".

    2. Digital Rights Managment. [Defective by design]

      I'm not sure I quite understand what DRM and TPM are. Perhaps someone could summarise or suggest a helpful video? Thanks

    1. I ended up arguing that it was precisely this fragmentary, mundane, and overlooked content that explained the dominance of regional geography over national geography

      I find this is often the case - even in daily life. In trying to set some colleagues up for a task this week, I wrote out what I thought were clear instructions. Soon found out that there were numerous details which I understood, but were not set out and were causing confusion and extra work to sort out. Useful, but unnecessary eye-opener.

    1. People already struggling for visibility and recognition within our cultural record might be lost amidst the overwhelming numbers of the safe and the sanctioned.

      Excellent point. While we champion digital history and public history as a way to make minorities visible, we have to still be aware of who is doing the work, coding the search formulas and such. I recall a conversation about the importance of including women programmers on projects to address online bullying and harassment because they bring a different perspective and work on the problem from a different angle.

    1. Elsevier says you can publish in open access, but in reality it means paying twice for the papers.

      Is this extra revenue passed on or is it pure profit for the journal publisher? Could we argue that online journals also cost money because they are considered valuable and Western culture typically associates value with high costs?

    2. The most important journals will always look pretty much like they do today because it is actually a really hard job.

      I'd be interested in knowing more about the work that goes into a journal production. I don't think we students appreciate this enough.

    1. Are we allowed to aggregate some kinds of data but not others?

      Interesting question I had not considered before. If data is aggregated poorly or presented poorly, is the researcher at fault (for example, faulty medical studies leading to harmful reactions to medicines?)

    1. by nudging us away from the notion that critical thinking and generous thinking are somehow opposed categories, in tension with one another, pulling us in different directions and requiring us to walk the tightrope between.

      It's kind of sad when it is put this way. Perhaps this is part of why there is such an emphasis (through annotations and slack) of working together in this class.

    2. and it is important to understand that this disagreement does not necessarily mean that my definition is wrong.

      I think in light of our discussions on open research, this point is valid. Just because we put ourselves out there for criticism and discussion doesn't mean that contrary opinions are wrong. Of course, sometimes it does.

    1. Nevertheless, most journals still insist on submissions in .docx format.

      This is something I encounter when I submit assignments for class. I don't have the Microsoft Office suite, I use LibreOffice (formally Open Office - Linux) and while the two programs are similar, they are not the same. I constantly need to consider formatting and how I save my files because while LibreOffice can open and use .docs, Microsoft will not open .odt. Frustrating.

    1. people of a country should be able to access, read, and even manipulate the data that a country generates

      This seems like a good idea, but the implications on census statistics and such seems dangerous somehow.

    1. Finally, I’m currently writing a third book: I’ll tell you more about it when it’s ready.

      Interesting... Not sure if he is attempting sarcasm or not, but it would seem that he would be interested in sharing his current thoughts on his new book. That way he would be not only writing about archives and such, but participating in their creation and active research collaboration.

    1. it’s our data, we collected it, and if somebody else wants the data, they should collect it themselves.

      When everything is boiled down, I do think this is likely the final underlying objection. Perhaps it is human nature and just as children grab back their favourite toy, we will always need to resist the urge to announce "that's my research".

    2. avoid duplication of primary collection of data

      Of course it is a good idea not to waste time, money, and effort collecting the same piece of data, but can't anything be said for the process of handling old documents or of taking in the fragile paper, faded text, or other contextual aspects? After all, people do still enjoy reading a paperback.

    1. Until we get around to including the non-cannonical, the non-Western, the non-textual and the non-elite, we are unlikely to be very surprised.

      As an anthropologist undergrad, the recognition that North American scholars unintentionally bias/focus on North American themes/literature/culture and see it as normative is important. It would be an adjustment in data analysis, especially when using different types of alphabets and we would have to develop different ways of analysing/ conceptualising/ interpreting connections between ideas and phenomena, but it is an exciting prospect.

    1. If historians are to take on the dual roles of arbiter of data for the public and investigator of forgotten stories, they will also need to take a more active part in preserving data and talking to the public about what is being preserved and what is not.

      Yes, historians need to continue playing a part in the conversation. However, I caution against excluding those who can best contextualise what we want to save - the bankers, farmers, trade ministers,stay-at-home mothers, and others. It really must be cross-disciplinary and collaborative.

    2. This challenge may have the effect of forcing historians to take a more active role in the many public institutions that govern the data about our past and future, not only government and activist data repositories but also libraries and archives, especially ones that run at cross-purposes with state-making projects where it would be convenient for certain political elites if the documentary evidence of particular ethnicities were erased altogether.

      I guess the counter-argument (not that I always agree) would be the issue of funding and the idea of "standing against" governments in some form. Could be problematic.

    1. As you will see, ‘visible’ is probably a better word for this as there is nothing ‘hard’ about the Digital History on offer: it doesn’t tell any truths, it doesn’t solve any problems, it doesn’t sit outside of interpretation. Rather – much like any abstraction from primary sources – it does work that I found useful

      This is good to remember about sources - they are useful, so if it is useful, we can use it in some way to inform us.

    1. Free tools, with open-source documentation written for and by humanists, allow us to unlock the potential inherent in big data.

      Hadn't thought of them like that before. Generally just saw them as free and a slight protest against big companies such as Microsoft.

    1. The shift towards widespread digital storage, preserving information longer and conceivably storing the records of everyday people on an ever more frequent basis, represents a challenge to accepted standards of inquiry, ethics, and the role of archivists.

      Interesting perspective. I often think about the ethics of companies storing and using digital information often unintentionally provided by users, but not about how historians should use it.

    1. thoughtful and careful employment of big data has much to benefit historians today

      Key here is thoughtful and careful - just like in all work.

  3. www.themacroscope.org www.themacroscope.org
    1. For us, big data is simply more data that you could conceivably read yourself in a reasonable amount of time – or, even more inclusively – information that requires or can be read with computational intervention to make new sense of

      Good, concise definition

    1. This is the goal of the macroscope: to highlight immediately what often requires careful thought and calculation, sometimes more than is possible for a single person.

      I like this explanation and it helps me to see how it is useful to understand history broadly as well as digging deeper into in order to understand smaller, more complex parts.

    2. It allows you to begin with the complex and winnow it down until a narrative emerges from the cacophony of evidence.

      I find this interesting - in order to see the large (macroscope), it is necessary to winnow down complexities. Perhaps it is fair to compare it loosely to zooming into a picture because to see the full picture, it is necessary to skim over all the little details.