Introduction to Digital Humanities

RELI/ENGL 39, Fall 2015, University of the Pacific

Digital Humanities through the eyes of an Economist

First and foremost, my experience with technology specifically computers has always been marvelous. I have been around them since I was a small boy in Africa, and to this day ever strive to gain a greater understanding of them as a tool for the workplace and leisurely activity. From a young age, I was on the computer playing games, such as the old toy story game, which was a great time in my youth. Fast forwarding to when I was a teen, I started building my own computers and learning basic coding. Really it was more out of boredom, but it gave me a greater understanding of what the different parts did and how they operated. This allowed me to make custom parts and keyboards, which relates back to the reading, in that I was able to make things that which assisted me in my endeavours as they were made for my explicit use. One such thing was a keyboard I made from old typewriter keys and an ergonomic polymer which allowed me to be able to type without extra strain.

The importance of that goes into the question accessibility and ease of use. One of the main arguments was for a universal system that is easier to use overall, and is cross platform compatible. This is the thinking that comes out from an academic position, however, it is an argument that realistically speaking is unachievable and not practical. Arguably, advancement happens based off incentive, it is the reason why patents last for 20 years, so that people will create things and be able to profit from them. Software operates off the same principle, there needs to be a monetary incentive for their to be a real advancement in the industry.

An example of this is, whatever operating system you happen to be using on the computer or device you are reading this on. The system that operates what you are using probably cost millions of dollars to make, using research and development and doing testing on the software’s capability. So in turn the company that made it, are going to release it in such a way that they are the only ones that benefit from it, and it may lead you to buy more of their products so things are compatible, as it is the economically sound thing for a company to do. Now as people we would prefer if everything worked together, much like how the rest of the world hopes the United States will go the metric system sometime, however, neither are realistic goals.

1 Comment

  1. Me and you are like total opposites but I do think its a great thing that you do have such a good relationship with technology. Because now in this day and age you need it for so many things. Even applying for a job most of the time its online now.

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