Steve Bell, The Guardian (21 May 2013)
Sage words… “In my view, the study of connections has been dominated by images, more than any other branch of neuroscience. It’s rarely easy to say where ‘method’ or ‘analysis’ ends and ‘visualization’ begins.
This is not a bad thing – connectivity is spatial, by definition, and to understand space is to visualize it. But it does mean that in the connectome, there is always a danger of valuing aesthetics over accuracy, beauty above brains.”
“DH began in Italy (if we see Roberto Busa as its founding father). Much of the most exciting and innovative work in DH has taken place in Europe through figures such as Manfred Thaller, Jan Christoph Meister, Lou Burnard, Espen Ore or Claudine Moulin. Initiatives such as openedition.org, substantially supported by French government research organisations, or the comprehensive digitisation projects undertaken in the Netherlands show a maturity of infrastructure beyond much to be seen in the United States (where the Digital Public Library of America seems to be relying on a piecemeal voluntary effort rather than the comprehensive and systematic state-funded interventions of various European governments). Yet, for all its internationalist, interdisciplinary and collaborationist pretensions, much of the available literature on DH is dominated by internal North American debates, driven by MLA. Matthew Gold’s recent Debates in the Digital Humanities consisted chiefly of very parochial North American discussions – as far as I can see, only two contributors (Patrik Svensson and Willard McCarty) held posts in universities outside North America. The contents of Gold’s book are dominated by the kind of agendas being generated from within MLA, and suggest that there is a danger that DH will become annexed to the vacuous and anal preoccupations of the MLA.
I think this is possibly the true dark side of the Digital Humanities – that there is a risk that DH becomes one of the means by which an Anglophone globalization of world culture is implemented.”
“Though network analysis can provide us with ideas about how things are connected, they can’t tell us why. And that’s where traditional archival historical work comes back into play. Using this network visualization as a jumping-off point, we can then go into the archives to discover what made these two papers so strongly connected. Distant reading has to give way to close reading at some point to figure out causation.”
Excellent source flow chart by @mhbeals. If the majority of your research is ‘no’, ‘no’, ‘no’, ‘no’ and ‘no’, please try harder. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
“The advancement of scholarship relies on the timely communication of questions, methods, results, and reflections. The iterative publications Digital Humanities Now and the Journal of Digital Humanities are intended to facilitate this process. DHNow surfaces and distributes the conversations weekly in order to invite participation and feedback. The Journal of Digital Humanities then identifies the conversations that need a stable landing on which to pause and reflect before continuing onward.”
A model of scholarly communication that I personally am very much enjoying.
David Weinberger on the medium is the message is the transmitter is the receiver.
“The demand for transparent data to operate as a kind of substitute for knowledge or truth is part of a culture of ‘immediacy’,” [Thomas Docherty, professor of English and comparative literature at the University of Warwick] thinks, which is “anathema to knowledge, and to education, both of which require time, delay, and the mediations of thinking.”
Alma Swan: “…Good policy doesn’t refer to ‘gold’ open access as ‘author pays’ or ‘paid for’, because 66% of open-access journals do not charge. It uses the proper definition: journals that make their content immediately and freely available on the Internet. It doesn’t call ‘green’ open access ‘embargoed access’, because 60% of the time it is not. It defines it as literature that is made open access directly by the author, usually through a repository. It doesn’t assume that green open access harms publishers, because evidence shows that it does not…”
Trevor Owens, 'Born Digital Folklore and the Vernacular Web: An Interview with Robert Glenn Howard' (22 Feb 2013)
‘…Trevor: Right now you have the benefit of directly looking for source material for your work on the open web. Given your perspective, what kinds of online content do you think is the most critical for cultural heritage organizations to preserve for folklorists of the future to study this moment in history?
Rob: Wow. That is a great question; and a really hard one for me. Its funny, but back in the ‘90s most people weren’t really thinking “How can we archive this Internet stuff?” It seemed like it would always be there; but its clear now that as much as stuff stays online for a long time, it also so rapidly changes that our Internet of today looks completely different from the Internet of 1999. I am really happy I saved hundreds and hundreds of full websites I was doing work on way back then. I still get editors complaining that a website I have cited in an article or something no longer works. Well—yes! It’s the Internet! It changes! That’s why its cool! So there are certainly lots of great digital art pieces out there; and that should be saved—and it probably will be. But what of the everyday art? Like so much folklore of the past, its not so much what we save—but how richly we save it, I think. While its great to have hundreds of photoshops, to have a collection of all the top memes, to collect chain emails, archive that classic ASCII art, but what makes archives from the past most valuable, is the fully contextualized examples we have: not just everybody’s tweets (Though that is a fantastic thing!), but groups of people tweeting together, their biographies, their feelings about each other, the things they do other than tweet—those contextual details are what make particular archives stand out; and those are the things that will be hardest to recover. We will have lots of examples of video mashups from YouTube in 2013, but how many will we have with fully contextualized comments, interviews with participants, and documentation of which Facebook profiles posted which videos on their walls, and so on? That richness is what I think is hardest and most valuable…’