DH Lab 7 – Creating Data

As I have repeated many times to my classmates in Digital Humanities: the data doesn’t speak for itself. Part of understanding that comes from an insight provided by the Philosopher Karl Popper, who reminded a group of physics students that the first step in observation is choosing what to observe in the first place.

This is exactly what we were asked to do for our lab this week – choose what to observe and thus, create data. Every student evaluated the same data source, The Seventh Day Adventist Yearbook, but we each chose different information to make into our own datasets.

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DH Lab 5: The Implications of Interface

Googling ‘desktop’ shows a mix of technology and traditional desks. This search makes it seem that the tech definition of ‘desktop’ has gained more use than the original use of the word. . . but as pointed out in Data Feminism, even Google relies on socially inaccurate assumptions.

From my understanding, an interface is a medium of meaning-making. The UCLA Center for Digital Humanities defines any interface as, “an in-between space, a space of communication and exchange, a place where two worlds, entities, systems meet”. They go on to explain how terminology like ‘windows’ and ‘desktop’ imply real-world, tangible places to be looked through or worked on, parallel to their uses in technology. But as this article points out, an interface might not be as straightforward as looking through a window:

“As with all conventions, these [interfaces] hide assumptions within their format and structure and make it hard to defamiliarize the ways our thinking is constrained by the interfaces we use”

Drucker 2013, UCLA Center for Digital Humanities
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