I found my posting inspiration from the article, “The Meta-Story: How Wired Published Its GitHub Story on GitHub,” tweeted by Jason Heppler. Most of the reason I persued this article because of the site it was published on, Wired.The subjected that was focused on in this article was GitHub, a website dedicated to helping software creators collaborate and share their most recent versions of software. GitHub had been deemed a useful technology so of course other fields, i.e. text editing, decided to try and utilize this new technology.Wired themselves ran an experiment by posting a story on GitHub, as a creative commons, to see what would happen. The result was, best worded by one of the text editors from Wired, that it became “a collaborative hell.” Multiple people were editing the same problem at once, there was a formatting problem and other little problems. to quote Moreover, “the experience was the strangest mixture of excitement and tedium.”
I find the new creation of GitHub to be a good contribution to digital humanities. Once a text editing version is created, GitHub will be super useful to everyone who has a need or reason to to share documents and updated versions of those documents. I know you can do a similar thing with documents on Google but I think the creators and site managers of GitHub will improve GitHub past Google Documents. From this example of GitHub having similar, yet better collaboration capabilities than Google Documents, we can see first hand how technology evolves. I believe this is neat because we have talked about early technologies of text such as the printing press and how it evolved and now we see a slightly smaller scale technology of text evolution it happening right in front of us. And lastly, to tie back into lecture, GitHub is a good example of the digital humanities priorities:
- collaboration with community
- helps accomplish time consuming tasks quickly
- public scholarship
- wider availability of resources
- Discovery/new perspectives/experimentation
- Developing new methodologies
- Looking more closely at the technology available to us/education
- Copyright, copyleft, creative commons, intellectual property, and scholarship
- Analyzing changes in language; understanding the future of communication
So I decided to do something a little different with this week’s blog post. Instead of talking about something we discussed in class or read/watched out of class, I decided I needed some help and where better to get some than on here! So, with that being said, I need your feedback. For my final digital project I originally asked Bill Van Ess for help and he immediately give me Father DePeaux name and number. Father DePeaux graduated in 1948 from St. Norbert and has been actively involved in a wide variety of campus activities ever since (For example, he was Bill Van Ess’ college and fraternity advisor). So I called him for an interview and he is excited to meet.
Here is where I need your help. Professor Cordell gave me an excellent idea for the interview: to talk about what St. Norbert College was like during World War II. Because he graduated in 1948, he would have been a freshman/sophomore when the War ended. I think this is a great idea however, I do not know what kind of questions to ask him. I have never interviewed anybody about war times because I know it can be sensitive depending on the person. I thought of some questions like “Were there any special classes to prep students for War at that time?” and “In general, what was it like to be a student of that time?” but I obviously need more. So as a class, what would you guys be interested in hearing about? Are there any main questions I should address to him?
Again, any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
You may be wondering why I quoted the movie, Tommy Boy… but I think you’ll understand once you read this post.
Dr. Cordell tweeted a link to a very interesting article that talks about wandering aimless on the Internet.
This article explains why people decide it is worthwhile clicking on, more or less, random websites when they really need to get things done during the day. I think I’ve seen a few of these people in the Mulva Library before. It turns out that the reason behind this unproductive trend is due to a lack of sleep.
A study showed that undergraduate students who did not sleep as long the previous night could not pay as much attention to a virtual lecture on a computer compared to students who got more sleep. This research actually showed a direct correlation between the amount of sleep someone got the night before and the amount of aimless surfing they did during the lecture.
“As predicted, the less students had slept the night before, the more they were likely to wander off from their assigned task. Conversely, every minute of sleep meant .05 fewer minutes surfing.” (Jones, 2012).
Christopher Shea, would conducted the study, said that a lot of overwhelmed people (almost everyone) try to catch up on work by going to bed later or getting up earlier, but he explains that might be worse for you because the less sleep you get, the less productive you could be the next day.
I think this is a common problem for many college students who feel overwhelmed with school and work and athletics and clubs, etc… Time management is something that students learn, but in the learning process comes many long nights and early mornings. My philosophy is that the more sleep I get, the better I feel and the more attentive I am the next day… and for those days when I don’t get enough sleep, I take a nap. But every now and then, one can catch me surfing the web without any purpose.
So the next time you see someone in the Mulva just wandering aimlessly on the Internet, you should suggest for them to go take a nap. Or when your mom comes into your room and says “GET UP!”, your response can be “Go away.. Need sleepy!” and your excuse will now be valid.
In today’s modern day, we have an abundance of information. With online advances, publication has become very easier. Anyone with access to the Internet can publish his or her work. This is a theme that has been in the back of my mind during our discussion over the Internet and whether it has created information overload and its implication. It is also why a certain tweet caught my eye. This tweet involved orphan works.
New In Custodia Legis post on Copyright: Orphan Works and FairUse in a Digital Age blogs.loc.gov/law/2012/02/
The problem associated with Orphan works is that the owner is often unaware of ownership or they have died. I became more interested at the causes behind it and did some research. I found through an excerpt of Neil Weinstock Netanel’s book, Copyright’s Paradox, it is mostly due to the fact that copyright terms are confusing and they are automatically renewed.
This has created a bigger problem for society. There are many instances when an owner cannot be found and their work is used anyways. Later, if the owner is identified, they can sue for copyright infringement. This has often hurts the availability of resources – an important objective for DH. I found this relevant to social media and the use of images. In the same article, they explained that around 80% of images online are unauthorized.
Many people have begun lobbying congress for them to solve this issue with legislation. They want congress to define the appropriate steps someone should take when they cannot find the copyright owner. They also want to congress to set reasonable fees that need to be paid if the copyright holder is later found.
There is a similar debate to this involving digitization and the fair use doctrine. The fair use doctrine allows various works to be used with acquiring permission. This has also been an issue that the law librarians of congress were studying in terms of how to balance the importance of digitization to the rights of owners. Google has been sued by many various book publishers.
There is an interesting study from the US Copyright Office:
It is fairly lengthy, but he executive summary raises some interesting questions:
1) How are the exclusive rights of copyright owners implicated?
2) What exceptions or limitations may apply, to whom, and in what circumstances? 3) To the extent there are public policy goals at issue, what could Congress do to facilitate or control the boundaries of mass digitization projects?
4) Are efficient and cost effective licensing options available?
5) Could Congress encourage or even require new licensing schemes for mass digitization?
6) Could it provide direction and oversight to authors, publishers, libraries, and technology companies as they explore solutions?
We’ve all heard about and, as women and men, have dealt with it…the notion that some fields are dominated more by one gender than the other. After taking a Women and Gender Studies course here at St. Norbert I have become even more interested in gender. I conveniently came across a tweet today by our Omeka guest speaker, George. He posted a link to an article about how to get more women in the field of programming. Here is the link in case you are interested in reading the entire article:
The article discusses that there usually are far more men in science and math fields and more women in the more “feminine” fields such as nursing and teaching, for example. The author discusses the “pipeline syndrome” in which middle school girls decide they aren’t good at math, and therefore don’t like it. Then in high school they don’t sign up for calculus, and in college feel as if they can’t take “intro to programming” because they feel like they are inferior and drop out. In order to encourage and get more women into the field of programming the author suggests a 2nd pipeline in which we look to other groups in related fields that would be deemed a good fit for programming. Some of these suggested are librarians, technical support and administrative assistants.
After reading, it really got me thinking about the ratio of genders of those in the digital humanities field that I follow on Twitter, those that have been guest speakers via Skype in our classroom and even how many men and how many women we have in this class. It seems to me to be a fairly even ratio of men and women. It actually surprised me when following people on Twitter how many women were involved in the field.
As I alluded to earlier, this article was really interesting for me as it looked at the relationship between the field of programming and gender. What would certain fields look like if they had more or less of one gender? This potentially could have a big impact on the field. We, in fact, are learning about just this in one of my Psychology courses. How would psychology be different today if they had not eventually allowed women to make some of the same contributions men were in the late 1800s, or how would the field be different if it remained that women were not to be granted Ph.D.s in psychology? The same can be said about the field of digital humanities and programming.
When checking up on Twitter, I saw that Brian Croxall had tweeted, “Great discussion on a great post. RT
@sramsay: Just wrote a long response to @miriamkp‘s piece on women and coding. miriamposner.com/blog/?p=1135&c…“. I read through the article and through Stephen Ramsay’s post…wow. I’m not even sure what to think about it. I find it sad that women who are talented and enjoy coding hit a dead end when they finally try to join the coding community. They are repulsed by the “culture” that resides there. While the men of coding are welcoming, they are almost too much so. I highly recommend reading the article and Ramsay’s post to see more in depth what was discussed.
How can this problem be fixed? I’m not sure. Maybe women could come together to form their own coding community first, and then join up with men? It should be able to be fixed by mutual respect, but it looks like that probably would take a while to learn.
Also, why should Digital Humanists be highly recommended to learn coding? Is it so they have more control over how they present and perform research, or something else?
The trend of moving things online (even things like our Walden text onto Kindle) is growing more popular. I think it’s important that we view both sides as we move forward with this trend. Moving archives and texts online seems to be great, convenient, (eventually) cheaper, and sensible. You lose some value of holding the actual book, paging through pictures, and having the original fonts, but many of these losses can be compensated with our considerate digital humanists and people striving to preserve these values.
A topic we haven’t really touched on yet in class is the idea of courses offered completely online. It’s an interesting idea with the spin of Texts of Technologies. We stated that the first means of displaying information was speaking, and then only after that was the written word. Well, with online classes are we also moving/progressing ahead? Some would online classes move us forward, others say backward, is it productive or a waste of time? Efficient and convenient or a hassle? “The popularity of online courses seems to drive the false notion of easiness.” This link to a Minnesota article was retweeted several times in the last week. Not only is it a great article with ideas I hadn’t thought of, but it also comes from a great state (don’t worry, I’m still a Packer fan) with some active digital humanists.
A point I took from this article is that online, or specifically the written way, of teaching is not necessarily always easier or better. We have to weigh out the pros and cons of our actions and decisions before committing to them, especially with our technologies.
Natalia Cecire directed my attention to an article in the New York Times about illegal immigrants and it was really good!
With the upcoming presidential election, the situation of illegal immigrants living in the United States has become more than an issue. There are supposedly as much as 11,000,000 undocumented immigrants living in our country and yet, not one presidential candidate in my opinion has addressed that fact as very serious. Many of these immigrants are family members of LEGAL immigrants living here who have obtained their citizenship’s. If you think about it, the biggest mistake these candidates can make is NOT focusing on this issue, since the population of Latin Americans here in America is growing and will continue to do so in the coming years. That is a TON more votes they would probably receive from Latin Americans and Mexicans living here now.
Now, when i say “issue,” i mean this is an issue that deserves attention not only for us, the citizens of the USA, but also these immigrants (legal or not). I think a lot of people get the notion that Mexican or Latin American immigrants have the tendency of being lazy and expecting a free ride, but upon reading many viewpoints of the situation, i have to say I disagree with that notion.
Here is the story in the New York Times:
This is why I disagree with the notion of Mexicans being lazy and expecting a free ride. Yes, I’m sure that there are a few who don’t follow the rules and create problems instead, but there are millions that are extremely hard-working and just want a fair shot at a better life. Living here in the United States, in their minds, is the only way to achieve that. However, with candidates like Mitt Romney talking about possible alternative immigrant removal methods like Self Deportation( making living conditions horrible enough for them that they’ll WANT to leave), it sounds like America isn’t the place for them after all.
I know having that many illegal immigrants is a problem, but I think the method of self-deportation totally contradicts what the United States of America is supposed to stand for. Immigrants are human beings, not fruit flies.
This week, @HASTAC has an interesting tweet about “the best way to save info from web sites in case they no longer exist in the future”. I think this topic is interesting, because we discussed early this semester the better preservation is one of the important advantages of the digital text.
Unlike traditional text on paper, the quality of the digital text won’t be reduced as long as the storage stays (e.g. hard drive, flash drive, CDs, etc.), and it is very easy to be copied and pasted. Today, many people would like to make two to three backups for their important local documents, and this is usually good enough to keep your local files safe. Then, what about your work on the internet like the blogs and tweets? What about one day the service provider tells you that they deleted all your data by a mistake and they could not get it back? You can, of course, blame your service provider, but your data would never come back! So, one though is preserver your project by yourself but not just rely on the service provider. In the article “Preserving Personal Projects” (http://hastac.org/blogs/coryduclos/2012/02/20/preserving-personal-projects), the author introduces a couple ways we can use to preserve our online works; it is worth to read it for people who care about their online works.
Furthermore, I am also wondering if there is one way we can backup the whole internet, including other people’s work. For example, after one hundred years, people can find a video that was completely deleted from internet for political reasons. There are three difficulties to do that. First, the information on the internet is huge today, and it is straightly increasing every second, backup it in a traditional way is impossible. Second, the copyright issue is so messed, but personally storing other people’s works could still cause a legal issue. Just some thoughts, never mind.
This past week I came across a very interesting tweet by digital humanist, Dana Bublitz. One of her tweets referred to the Vatican opening an exhibit recently that shows off some very rare archival treasures.
She tweets saying that she wishes that the Vatican would speed up their digitizing of archives because she, like many others, do not have the time or money to fly to Rome and see these one-of-a-kind treasures being put on display. After reading the tweet and then reading the article about the exhibit at the Vatican, I couldn’t help but think about our digital projects that we are construing for the end of the semester. As I think about and develop my topic and begin researching, I am more and more excited for what I am going to find. Even just looking at old pictures of St. Norbert College and the students/faculty here from the earliest days on the Center for Norbertine Studies webpage I get very interested in the history of the college and what went on before we were even being thought of.
The article explains that there are more than 100 original documents on display at the exhibit, ranging from a letter from the French imprisoned Queen Marie Antoinet after the revolution in 1789 to other letters written on birch bark from the chief of the the Ojibwa Native American tribe to Pope Leo XIII dating back to the 19th century. Organizers say that they hope that the exhibition “would help the search for truth and common good.” With such rarity on display in Rome, it is a shame to think of the many that won’t even get to see this exhibition! it is times like these, with the rise in technology, that I believe that people should have opportunities to be able to see such rare documents on display and such would be possible in the digitizing age. The Vatican has come a long way, just by the mere fact that they have decided to put such rare documents on display, and maybe the next step is digitizing some of the letters and other documents. Perhaps our digital projects can be some inspiration for them!