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Dramatic elements

Laurel’s reference to the Apple promotional video, called Knowledge Navigator (see links below) reminded me of the earlier mention in the NMS of the Apple ad, called 1984 (a novel that featured prominently in an earlier activity of mine today). The Knowledge Navigator is interesting because it suggests such potential, yet it also seems dated: […]

Awash in Data 2014-04-03 18:27:29

Three terms from the Bill Viola reading resonated with my current efforts in other dimensions: memory, spatial movement, and storage (recording) of ideas (p. 467). The “Russian Flu” project is at the intersection of these three terms: how can the transmission of disease (spatial movement) be studied using newspaper reports (storage of ideas) in ways […]

Awash in Data 2014-03-20 01:32:33

  Part of the first sentence of “Personal Dynamic Media” provoked thoughts about the ways that images, both digital and non-digital, can represent quantifiable human behaviors. The relevant phrase is that the Xerox group is interested in “all aspects of the communication and manipulation of knowledge.” The two images posted below are two very different […]

Awash in Data 2014-03-06 19:38:36

Ted Nelson, like the other authors we’ve read in this seminar, offers a vision of computers that seems to have three elements that exist in some tension with  each other: the great potential to expand capacities for intelligence and creativity, the danger of routinizing behavior in ways that become dehumanizing, and the advantages of performing […]

Analysis and intepretation

Last week’s reading and discussion of the divide between rational and interpretive ways of thinking echoed a tension running through a research project that I am conducting this semester. I have a group of 11 students who are doing research on the Russian Flu (1889-1890). Some students have majors in history, but others are in […]

Choosing an image for the blog site

I’ve spent more time thinking about a graphic for this blog than I have about the content. I’m trying to find an image that captures the spirit and purpose of the blog, yet is also consistent with my scholarly approach as a historian and within my limited capacities as a designer and manipulator of images. […]

Welcome to Awash in Data

This site allows for reflections, observations, and suggestions about the implications of “big data” for research and teaching in the humanities and social sciences. The metaphor of being “awash in data” is both illustrative of my perceptions and suggestive of possible responses. More reflections to come…..