Introduction to Digital Humanities

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

Author: r_baig

Tiger Team: Facts

For this group project, we chose to cover the changes in multiple factors of the school: from tuition, to number of freshman applicants, to cost of room and board, to the number of freshman that actually enrolled each year. We looked at any possible correlation between any aspects, as well as looking at different patterns and any other possible reasons as to why they either increased or decreased. We gathered different data sets, created multiple spreadsheets, and then used that information to create charts that showed those results. This project was a great learning experience for each and every one of us. My group included Myself (Raheem Baig), Mimi Tran, Leslie Valencia, and Ahmanni Scott. To view our work, please visit our website by clicking HERE!

Thank You for viewing!

Link also Here– https://tigersdemographics.wordpress.com/

Network Uh-nal-uh-sys

Network Analysis… What does that mean to you? According to the internet, network analysis is defnied as, “the mathematical analysis of complex working procedures in terms of a network of related activities.” Now, this may seem like a daunting definition, but to put it in simpler words, its the connection between “types” of data.

Previously, we worked with a website named “Palladio,” which allowed us to take the data from the Cushman collection (photos) and place them throughout a map that we created, based on where the photos were actually taken. This was one of the basic functions of Palladio. As I worked with the website more, I began to understand more and more of the things you could do with it; not just maps.

Maps, however, were pretty intriguing. I was able to figure out how to place pictures on the map, and even make points BIGGER, dependent upon how many pictures were taken in that area.

Now, I wasn’t able to be in class on Thursday due to an incident that occurred, but I tried to keep up with the readings, and in-class work. I went through and read all the blogs about network analysis, and since I wasn’t able to do the in-class work with it, I am using the visualizations that “” had posted.

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This first image appears to be un-linked, and by that, I mean that the points are plotted on the map, but aren’t connected or interacting with one another. Basically showing that the points have no relation to one another.

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 12.42.00 PM

For this second mapping, I can see the relations and interactions between the points, and what is being represented. I can also see that Neuman(s) is receiving help from others.

My work with Palladio

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Here is my work with Palladio. I edited the Geocoordinates, the streets, and the terrain. It was interesting to see the different options for each layer.

“That’s a Map; not a Picture”…

When you think of a map, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? A paper with a 2D image of the earth? To me, that shouldn’t be what you think of. If we were in an earlier age, lets say the early 1900’s, then sure, that would be considered a map, but in today’s age, the word “map” has a different meaning. Today, we have so many advancements in technology, and one of them includes the invention of 3D (three dimensional) imaged. For example, the 3D map. Let’s take Google Maps for example; their maps give you a full global view of the world. Our technological aspects have improved by far; we are now able to view the entire world from a screen, pick a state, a city, a street, and then an establishment, and literally see the main entrance to a building from our computer screen. Through google maps and google earth, we have a ridiculous amount of insight.

I truly believe that digital technologies have improved maps, due to all the points listed in the above paragraph, but also because we now have instant access to a map of anything, at anytime, and at any place. According to Seed, there are a hefty amount of drawbacks to doing so. For example, she talks about how digitizing maps can cause discrepancies from the original paper map. That may be a huge issue to the people who use maps for the historical context of them, but for the people who use maps to go places, maybe not so much.

p.ethnic.2

Let’s look at the above map of the Middle East. A long time ago, Pakistan and India were ONE country. That is how previous maps showed the two; as one country. Now, Pakistan and India are two separate countries, but previous maps don’t show that.

“Data” vs. “Capta”

Data and Capta; what are they? Are they similar? or are they different? How so?

When I first read through the Drucker text, I was completely confused. So, I read it once more, and by that time, it started to be clearer to me. So addressing the question of what “capta” and “data” are,  data is supposed to be a sort of “given.” For example, somebody runs a mile and you time them with a stop-watch, and once they finish, you measured their time as 4 minutes and 14 seconds, that data is given to you. On the otherhand, capta is “taken” actively.  To me, I would classify “capta” as what is used in the process of creating a visual representation of such thing, using data to aid in the creation.

 

Also, in the Drucker text, she talks about why we must pay attention to the representation of knowledge, and why it is important for the visualization. Now, I say that this is important for visualization because  all graphs contain knowledge and data, so the information being conveyed by the graph or table, must be accurate and well-representative of the actual point. Another reason I believe this to be true is because knowledge and information is changing day-in and day-out. If we don’t find a way to quickly adapt to the changing of knowledge, we won’t be successful or intelligent to the matter.

 

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Do we really still need libraries?

In today’s day and age, everything is being pushed more and more towards the digital. Generations before us had this thing called library, where they would go when they needed a question answered. That is not the case anymore. Now, anytime we have questions, we go right for our smart phone or computer and ask google. In the Jerome article, he states that it would be increasingly difficult to digitize all the documents and texts inside of the library. Although this may be true, we are constantly forced to adapt to the changing world around us. The digital humanities are leading us to a new way of overcoming obstacles. I believe that as a student, having this new sense of the digital humanities, is actually aiding us in our everyday lives. This also ties into the Amy Earhart article.

In the article, Earhart addresses the change in the digital. As a professor, she finds that this new turn towards a more digital life, is actually for the better. She states, “Lost or excluded texts began to be published on the net, some developed by scholars, others by fans, and still others by libraries and museums. I remember the possibilities that these materials offered for the literary scholar. I could create a website for students that linked the recovered e-text of Harriet Wilson’s Our Nig, period images of slaves, and the variety of African American cultural and historical documents found on the then-fledgling Schomburg Research Center website.” Now, looking at this quote, we can see the power of the digital. A professor is able to show their students texts and documents that they normally would not have access to.

The digital is becoming more and more dominant, and it is being shown everywhere, including on our campus. Take this class for example, I believe each and every one of our assignments have been done digitally. (That explains the class name Digital Humanities) Previously, students would come to class prepared with a notebook and pen, but now all we really need is our laptops and a full battery.

 

What is Privacy?

Are you concerned with privacy? What does it mean to you? To me, it really is a big deal. I’ve always wanted to be able to say that my life was “private,” but when in reality, that’ll never happen. It doesn’t matter how many protectors you use, how many proxies you use, or “VPN’s” you use, your information will always be accessible. Doesn’t matter what you delete from your computer, it will always still be accessible as well. Back to my statement, I wished my life could be “private.” I’ve been wanting this for yours, but it never happened yet, nor do I think it will.

Anything that has been put on the internet, can be found again. Period. This is ridiculous in it’s entirety; it really bothers me that everything is so vastly available. You can literally find addresses, phone numbers, social media accounts, etc. Metadata falls into the same theory of finding information about someone so easily.

The article, Robert Hotz’s Wall Street Journal, was a great tool to learn more about metadata. What I found super interesting was the topic on social media sites. Everybody is perfectly fine with entering their information to sign-up for social media site, but they never know what the sites are doing with the data. They actually sell your information to anybody that is willing to pay for it. Then those companies take your information, and direct certain ads and commercials towards you. Weird, huh? Now you know why when you open up the internet, you get pop-ups from girls saying their “3 miles away from Stockton, Ca,” and want to “hang-out” with you? All because your location has been sold.

A Beneficial Relationship

We have all heard about technology in today’s day and age, but do you remember what technology was like when you were growing up? Whether it be the invention of the “flip” phone, new windows operating systems, or the evolution of the television, technology was advancing faster than we knew it. For me, my first interactions with technology had to do with computers. My brother was a mastermind behind a keyboard, and he always intrigued me with all the things he was able to do. Each and every time I would come home from school, I would sit and watch my brother work his magic on the screen.

In today’s world, everybody has some sort of connection with technology; whether it be a computer, your cell phone, a home security system, or something as simple as a washer/dryer. Let’s take college for example. When you were in high-school, your school work was all done on paper, not the internet. Now, looking at UOP as an example, we see that more and more assignments and quizzes are being administered on online websites. Why, you may ask? I believe its because we are making a way towards a technology led world, where we use it (technology) to aid in our everyday lives; like an alternative and easier way to turn in homework to a professor. Is this really the best option for everyone? I don’t believe so, and I can relate this to the article/podcast by Williams, on the topic of disabilities and the digital humanities.

Through his research, Williams’ found that the disabled do not benefit as much from technology, as the completely able people do. I believe this is completely true, to a certain extent. Sure, technology like computers, television, and basically anything with a screen, are not really beneficial to blind people, but there are technologies out there, such as braille readers, that are super beneficial to these types of people. I completely agree with Williams’ idea that technology should be created in a way that everybody is able to use it. If we were able to give the disabled people the same type of technology that we use, but in a way that they were able to use it, there’s no telling what they would be able to accomplish.

 

 

social network, communication in the global computer networks

 

Digital Humanities: What is it?

Since being in this class, we have been exposed to many things: Cybernetics, technology, text tools, etc. These are all a part of the Digital Humanities. Now, I have not yet been able to find a very straight forward definition for the term, but I believe it symbolizes so many things. The DH (Digital Humanities) can be referring to things such as: using a computer to type up a paper, using a cell phone to send a text message to your friend, or communicating with someone through skype.

The topic that most interested me throughout the beginning of the course, has to be the topic about algorithms, and whether or not we associate them with having god-like abilities. The culture of algorithms includes different aspects, including: Netflix recommending you watch things, based upon things you have previously watched, determining the retention rate at a university, or using text analyzing tools, such as Voyant, to find a deeper meaning to a set of text. This intrigued me because it opens up one’s thinking to other possible answers to various questions. The algorithmic culture that is upon is, is flourishing, and we are becoming more and more dependent upon things to just hand us information, instead of coming up, or thinking of it, ourselves.

The digital humanities is further examined by Mark Sample, and stated that it is not about building, but about sharing. Sample constitutes that a person is supposed to expand upon another person’s idea, or work, in order to move the development of that particular field forward. Lisa Spiro, in her essay, speaks more on behalf of “collaboration,” and how different humanists are supposed to share their work, including ideas about different technology, as well as their own personal points of views on certain aspects of the DH. When you factor in the matter of communication amongst humanists, the best way is through the technologies, because it allows them to communicate much quicker.

So all in all, the digtal humanities has been evolving day by day. Its been pushing more and more to a technological field, allowing the communication between humanists to be much easier, as well as being more centered around “collaboration”.

Voyant: Analyzing Text

Word Cloud Voyant

 

Going into the process of using Voyant as an analytical tool, I felt pretty confident. As soon as we began to use the tool, my mind was baffled. Voyant began to confuse me with all the different buttons, searches, highlights, and so forth. The more I began to use it, the more I started to learn a bit about it. Voyant was a program that I have never heard about before, so I did not know what to expect when going into using it. I chose to use the “test corpus” as my text of choice. After uploading it into Voyant, I could not make out what type of text it was. I then took out the stop words from the text, and it began to seem more clear. Words that came up quite often, were “God,” and “Christ.” So based upon these words, I began to view it as a religious text. This was pretty much the biggest takeaway I could get from the text. My Voyant skills have not gotten superb yet, so I’m still in the midst of bettering them.

Overall, I would say that I have at least gotten a little bit of insight into how Voyant is used. Just by going through it a few times and playing with the different tools, I have gotten better. I still have a bunch of questions about the program, but I’m sure that I will be able to figure them out as the class goes on.

-Ray Baig

Voyant: The Text Tool

Going into the process of using Voyant as an analytical tool, I felt pretty confident. As soon as we began to use the tool, my mind was baffled. Voyant began to confuse me with all the different buttons, searches, highlights, and so forth. The more I began to use it, the more I started to learn a bit about it. Voyant was a program that I have never heard about before, so I did not know what to expect when going into using it. I chose to use the “test corpus” as my text of choice. After uploading it into Voyant, I could not make out what type of text it was. I then took out the stop words from the text, and it began to seem more clear. Words that came up quite often, were “God,” and “Christ.” So based upon these words, I began to view it as a religious text. This was pretty much the biggest takeaway I could get from the text. My Voyant skills have not gotten superb yet, so I’m still in the midst of bettering them.

Overall, I would say that I have at least gotten a little bit of insight into how Voyant is used. Just by going through it a few times and playing with the different tools, I have gotten better. I still have a bunch of questions about the program, but I’m sure that I will be able to figure them out as the class goes on.

-Ray Baig

Test Post

Yaaaaay, this seems to be working. lol