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Intro to Digital History - HIST2809

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Shawn Graham

on 15 November 2012

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Transcript of Intro to Digital History - HIST2809

1800 2011 2005 Eurkea Moment: 1812 Today's agenda:
some computing history
the problem of representation in silico
some tools & approaches you can use How do we make history a thing that can be computed?
HIST2809 Session 11: An intro to digital history Jacqard Loom, photo by George P. Landow
http://www.victorianweb.org/technology/jacquard2.html http://steampunkworkshop.com/lcd.shtml Timeline not to any sort of scale at all! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kette_und_Schu%C3%9F.jpg Time immemorial Ada Lovelace - 1843 http://www.storyofmathematics.com/19th_boole.html George Boole - logical algebra Time line not to any scale at all! Some Heroes of Computing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quipu http://www.villagepulse.com/audio/Ganass_villagepulse.com_.mp3 if u cn rd thsu cn gt a gd jb! Babbage & Lovelace: before their time.
Turing’s work allowed the development of programming languages.
Shannon's work showed how information and its manipulation could be represented in electrical circuits.
Turing, Shannon, & Boole provided us with the conceptual know-how to create ways of writing what it was we wanted to do in a way that made sense to a machine – and to us. One last tech hurdle: the transistor and then the silicon chip, which replaced valves and mechanical gates.

Thus from entire rooms to more power in your Iphone than you know what to do with. Labor me vocat work me calls
Labor vocat me work calls me
Me vocat labor me calls work
Me labor vocat me work calls
Vocat me labor calls me work
Vocat labor me calls work me I have a dream for the Web [in which computers] become capable of analyzing all the data on the Web – the content, links, and transactions between people and computers. A ‘Semantic Web’, which should make this possible, has yet to emerge, but when it does, the day-to-day mechanisms of trade, bureaucracy and our daily lives will be handled by machines talking to machines. The ‘intelligent agents’ people have touted for ages will finally materialize.

– Tim Berners-Lee, 1999 (the man who gave us the World Wide Web – which isn’t the internet, eh?) Signalling Meaning TEI marked up text, an inscription
from Roman Tripolitania Wait! So what happens now, in the non-semantic web? Simple XML Voyant Tools
(formerly, 'Voyeur') http://voyant-tools.org/ Tools you'll need
in your toolkit. Farms Factories Document 1: cows fields plough brownfield grow Document 2: mill make smoke dark green men cows, fields,
plough, grow,
green mill, make,
smoke, dark,
men, brownfield See 'Topic Modeling for Digital Libraries' for a good quick primer on the basics, http://odai.yale.edu/node/195/attachment

See http://programminghistorian.org/lessons/topic-modeling-and-mallet
for a tutorial on installing & using Mallet. http://mallet.cs.umass.edu/ Mining the Dispatch by Rob Nelson
http://dsl.richmond.edu/dispatch/pages/home http://graeworks.net/topic-model/output_html/all_topics.html Gephi - gephi.org
excellent visualizations;
import, export, network statistics Visualized topic model:
topics & authors in Writing History
in the Digital Age size of node = centrality
colour = modularity visualizing topics in the
ancient historians -nb
this is probably most certainly wrong: a first pass! Visualized topic model:
topics & authors in Writing History
in the Digital Age The Punchline. The Internet has had at least 3 phases
-1, simply putting data online
-2, the users of data contribute data (W, TEI, Crowdsourcing)
-3, the ability of the computer
to ‘understand’ (compute with) the meaning of that data
(natural language processing, Watson) Online history is more useful to us when we include data on the meaning of the data, in the data.
That’s where we’re at now. Call it Web 2.5.

Historian’s Craft implications:

Every historian MUST think about, and create the best possible, signals on the internet

Every historian MUST learn how to engage with the code that makes digital media work I've bundled a number of links together that can
help you jump into the wider DH world
(plus a few links to some useful software):

Get a blog. Blog your research, your problems,
your questions, your successes.

Use an 80-20 rule where 80% of the time you're
'on topic'. Ditto for Twitter. Dan Cohen maintains
a twitter list of digital humanists. Follow them. Shawn Graham,
Assistant Professor,
Digital Humanities
Carleton University
http://bitly.com/tQtLck A fun little movie, absolutely.
The Victorians never had LOLcats, fortunately.
But they did have an Internet. They had computers, too.
a computer: one who computes. A person, not a machine.
internet: nodes, connected together. The telegraph!
Today's talk is not about the Victorian internet (see Tom Standage's eponymous book for that), but rather, about our own internet, our own computers. Ben Schmidt: Visualizing every American whaling ship's voyage. http://sappingattention.blogspot.ca/2012/10/data-narratives-and-structural.html
Full transcript