Skip to content →

Tag: UNL_DHS

Not Looking Backwards

[This post is the text of my final essay for UNL’s Digital Humanities Seminar.] Not Looking Backwards: Understanding New Technology’s Transformative Power and its limitations For every study decrying technology’s negative societal impacts,1 a study detailing how it reinforces and improves society exists.2 The debate over digital technology is not whether or not it is changing society, but rather whether these changes are good or bad for society. A prolific writer on humans’ interactions with computer technology, Sherry Turkle addresses this issue in both Life on the Screen: Identity in the Internet Age and Alone Together: Why We Expect More… Read Not Looking Backwards

Comments closed

Digital (Urban) History

[In lieu of readings for the final class meeting of UNL’s Digital Humanities Seminar. Each student was to give a brief presentation on the digital humanities in their field.] As a field built around places, urban history has always been cognizant of space. Beginning with Phil Ethington’s Los Angeles and the Problem of Urban Historical Knowledge digital urban history has used the digital medium’s visual power to explore space. As an early digital history project, Ethington modeled the digital medium’s visual power for spatial analysis. Building on his Los Angeles and the Problem of Urban Historical Knowledge, Ethington developed HyperCities,… Read Digital (Urban) History

Comments closed

On #UNL_DHS & #hastac2011

Perhaps it was because I finished my reflection for Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together before hopping on my flight to Ann Arbor, but her argument and the UNL Digital Humanities Seminar was on my mind quite a bit during HASTAC V. Particularly Turkle’s argument that networked communication was making people isolated by distracting them from real relationships and giving them false relationships. Cathy Davidson began the conference with a wonderful talk in which she brought up a famous psychology experiment. (Check it out here before I spoil it) Davidson noted that when she first saw the video at a public talk,… Read On #UNL_DHS & #hastac2011

Comments closed

Alone Together

[This is a post for UNL’s Digital Humanities Seminar. The week’s readings was Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together.] In Alone Together, Sherry Turkle explores human interaction with technology, concluding that as technology provides companionship it also isolates individuals. Turkle presents this argument in two parts, first looking at “tomorrow’s story” of sociable robots and later examining “today’s story” of online networks and connectivity (17). Turkle suggests that as people and technology become closer, people grow further apart. While Turkle’s use of extensive examples make her point clear and understandable, as a historian, I found her analysis lacking genuine reflection on comparing… Read Alone Together

Comments closed

The Master Switch

[This post is a reading reflection written for UNL’s Digital Humanities Seminar. This week’s reading was Tim Wu’s The Master Switch.] Tim Wu contextualizes the Internet in communication technology’s long history of optimism. Like Lawrence Lessig and Evgeny Morozov, Wu suggests the free and open Internet may not always remain that way. With increasingly powerful companies such as Facebook, which virtually operates as an online ID card now, and Google, which has amassed an absurd amount of information on which many people daily rely, the Internet does run the risk of bowing to private corporate interests. Even if the Internet… Read The Master Switch

Comments closed

Four Stages of DH

[This mostly serious look at the four stages of DH reflect my own journey in learning about the digital humanities/digital history. The experiences of others may vary and I reserve the right to add stages at a later date.] Practical-ist You see DH as another way to make yourself stand out as a job applicant. While not really knowing what DH means or how to go about practicing DH, there is curiosity. What you should do if you are a practical-ist: Learn more about DH. Some good starting places are Dan Cohen and Roy Rosenzweig’s Digital History, Stephen Ramsay’s On… Read Four Stages of DH

3 Comments

The DH Delusion

[Brian goes to a dark place after reading Evgeny Morozov’s The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom and Jaron Lanier’s “Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism” for UNL’s Digital Humanities Seminar.] Evgeny Morozov examines the Internet’s relation to authoritarian states, arguing there is a Western misconception, rooted in the Cold War, that the Internet, and information systems more broadly, create political change. This “cyber-utopianism,” as Morozov dubs it, assumes that the Internet inherently favors democracy and works against oppressive governments. Morozov warns that cyber-utopianists, combined with a misguided strategy he calls “Internet-centrism” creates the “Net… Read The DH Delusion

One Comment

Code Version 2.0

[This post is a reading reflection written for UNL’s Digital Humanities Seminar. This week’s reading was Lawrence Lessig’s Code Version 2.0.] Facebook and Google have a hand most businesses and nearly every person’s lives. Seeing the interplay of commerce and the law is not a difficult task for a reader in 2011. While code and commerce are clearly connected to a number of issues of interest to scholars on a personal level including free speech and privacy, most valuable to academics is Lessig’s evaluation of intellectual property. The obvious examples for digital humanists are Creative Commons, which Lessig says has… Read Code Version 2.0

Comments closed

Writing History in the Digital Age

[In lieu of readings this week, our digital humanities seminar chose sections of Writing History in the Digital Age on which to comment during their open peer review stage. You can find my contributions under my name here, or when you read through the two essays on which I commented (I have a feeling these links may not be permanent so my apologies if future people find them to be broken).] Open peer review is a great layer of scholarly discussion that should be added to, not replace, current practices of peer review. Peer review’s current practices of total secrecy… Read Writing History in the Digital Age

3 Comments

Bruno Latour

[This post is a reading reflection written for UNL’s Digital Humanities Seminar. This week’s reading was Bruno Latour’s Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory.] Something tells me Bruno Latour would not like the analysis of “social networks” in my research. Latour breaks down both “social” and “networks,” as well as several other terms in a useful theoretical book. However, I find his deconstructions only partially useful, as his theoretical arguments do not always seem practical. In order for Latour’s reassemblage of the social to have significance, he must first object to the current definitions of social. Though he might… Read Bruno Latour

One Comment