Introduction to Digital Humanities

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

My thoughts on the Drucker and Kaufman readings.

Oh my goodness! That Drucker reading did not make any sense to me at first I felt it was all a foreign language. Since I was having such a difficult time with the reading I decided to read it “out loud” a few times and underline some important ideas and points. After trying my best analyzing and re reading over and over again I got a few things from her paper. So the whole “capta vs data” thing is still a little fuzzy but I kind of get what she is saying. Capta is “taken” actively while data is assumed to be a “given” that is able to be recorded and observed. When Drucker states that we must pay attention to the representation I think she means that any representation of knowledge is crucial to its cultural force and to its production. Drucker goes into graphs and charts and how sometimes they do and do not represent knowledge. I believe charts and graphs do represent knowledge but only to a certain extent. On the surface, it is basically given knowledge on topics and circumstances, but some info and knowledge from graphs and charts can be extremely bias in some ways. Drucker addresses important question that graphs do not exactly look into when it comes to the graph shown  such as ” what counts as a nation”? and “what kind of time span”? We must also keep in mind that graphs do change over the course of time as well.

Now onto the Kaufman reading! I thought it was really cool how all the info was visual. I really liked how their was a moving time line on the bottom of the visual. I learned some things about the Vietnam war and how Kissenger tried to negotiate peace meetings. Both readings were somewhat hard for me to understand mainly because I had no prior knowledge of visual texts like this.

2 Comments

  1. I enjoyed your post a lot because I also agree that graphs and charts do not represent knowledge. The data visualizations do not offer valuable information for individuals because bar and pie charts do not convey details. We tend to learn from reading and annotating more to develop a complete understanding for the topics and researches. Although data serves as a visual aid in helping individuals understand key concepts, they may not be able to create comprehensive information.

  2. Yes, I also agree that the passage was a bit rough to read. I agree with you that certain information from graphs may be biased, but I believe that for the most part, graphs and charts have been meticulously picked out. Unlike Drucker’s “improved” graph, typical graphs are simple because they are supposed to summarize information. They are summaries that are usually accompanied by analysis. It would be inept for a person to forego the analysis and focus solely on the graph. Additionally, the extra information Drucker wants to know may not be important in regard to the subject. They would just be superfluous when the overall picture is what is being focused on.

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