Why We Need to Talk About Indigenous Literature in the Digital Humanities

Screenshot from 1991 BBC Horizon documentary

I’ve just come across some important blog essays by David Gaertner. One is Why We Need to Talk About Indigenous Literature in the Digital Humanities where he argues that colleagues from Indigenous literature are rightly skeptical of the digital humanities because DH hasn’t really taken to heart the concerns of Indigenous communities around the expropriation of data.

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Carpenter: The Gathering Cloud

From the Modification of Clouds

The Cloud is an airily deceptive name connoting a floating world far removed from the physical realities of data.

The Gathering Cloud by J. R. Carpenter is a great interactive work that uses Luke Howard’s Essay on the Modification of Clouds from 1803 to meditate on the digital cloud. The The work “is a hybrid print- and web-based work by J. R. Carpenter commissioned by NEoN Digital Arts Festival 2016.”

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AIUCD Conference 2017

6th AIUCD Conference 2017 Il telescopio inverso: big data e distant reading nelle discipline umanistiche Roma, 26-28 January 2017.

This January I attended the AIUCD Conference 2017 in Rome, Italy. The AIUCD (Association for Humanities Informatics and Digital Culture) is the Italian member of ADHO and the conference brought together researchers and students not only from Italy, but also from Europe.

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How The Globe collected and analyzed sexual assault statistics to report on unfounded figures across Canada

Fourteen years ago, Statistics Canada stopped publishing unfounded rates, over concerns about the quality of the data. In “Unfounded,” The Globe and Mail has tried to fill the gaps in the data.

The Globe and Mail has been publishing a fabulous data-driven expose on how the police categorize one out of five sexual assault reports as unfounded. They have a web essay Will police believe you? that summarizes the investigation. There is another article on How The Globe collected and analyzed sexual assault statistics to report on unfounded figures across Canada. While this isn’t big data, it shows the power of data in showing us that there is a problem and prodding police departments to start reviewing their practices.

Brianna Wu appalled at FBI’s #GamerGate investigative report

Screenshot of text from FBI Report
From FBI #GamerGate Report

The FBI has released their report on #GamerGate after a Freedom Of Information request and it doesn’t seem that they took the threats that seriously. According to a Venturebeat story Brianna Wu (is) appalled at FBI’s #GamerGate investigative report.

Wu, who is running for Congress, said in an email that she is “fairly livid” because it appears the FBI didn’t check out many of her reports about death threats. Wu catalogued more than 180 death threats that she said she received because she spoke out against sexism in the game industry and #GamerGate misogyny that eventually morphed into the alt-right movement and carried into the U.S. presidential race.

It sounds like the FBI either couldn’t trace the threats or they didn’t think they were serious enough and eventually closed down the investigation. In the aftermath of the shooting at the Québec City mosque we need to take the threats of trolls more seriously as Anita Sarkeesian did when she was threatened with a “Montreal Massacre style attack” before speaking at the University of Utah. Yes, only a few act on their threats, but threats piggy-back on the terror to achieve their end. Those making the threats may justify it as just for the lulz, but they do so knowing that some people act on their threats.

On another point, having just given a paper on Palantir I was intrigued to read that the FBI used it in their investigation. The report says that “A search of social media logins using Palantir’s search around feature revealed a common User ID number for two of the above listed Twitter accounts, profiles [Redacted] … A copy of the Palantir chart created from the Twitter results will be uploaded to the case file under a separate serial.” One wonders how useful connecting to Twitter accounts to one ID is.

Near the end of the report, which is really just a collection of redacted documents, there is a heavily redacted email from one of those harassed where all but a couple of lines are left for us to read including,

We feel like we are sending endless emails into the void with you.

Daily Nous: A Visualization of Influence in the History of Philosophy – 

Grant Oliveira has created a social network visualization of A History of Philosophy. That graphs how philosophers influenced each other using information from the Wikipedia. His network uses Kumu and the interactive graph is here. The Daily Nous has a blog entry on the map, A Visualization of Influence in the History of Philosophy.       

Continue reading Daily Nous: A Visualization of Influence in the History of Philosophy – 

Nintendo Switch Announcements

I’m watching Nintendo Treehouse Live with Nintendo Switch™ which follows key presentations and hands-on sessions in Tokyo and elsewhere. This are all part of Nintendo’s major promotion of the forthcoming Switch system which will be released March 3rd at a cost of $299.99 (otherwise known as $300) according the web site. I assume that is USD.

As I watch(ed) Shigeru Miyamoto and others were talking about and playing the new The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for Switch. I am usually bored by live public relations presentations, but this one was nicely handled with translators sitting with the others. It was a bilingual conversation where the translators seemed comfortable adding thoughts.

Here is some of the news about the presentations:

 

Never Again pledge

Today we stand together to say: not on our watch, and never again.

Thanks to Bettina a link to the Never Again pledge not to help build databases to manage people based on their religious beliefs.

We refuse to participate in the creation of databases of identifying information for the United States government to target individuals based on race, religion, or national origin.

The web site neveragain.tech includes information about how the pledge was developed. (The group that developed it reject “tech solutionism.”) There is also a page of resources and a page on how to take action.

I, Geoffrey Rockwell, hereby commit to the neveragain.tech pledge. Please stand with me and hold me to it.

DIAGRAM :: Intensities of Need and Press Variables as Expressed in Stories Told by Men

Conductors Work Report (found document)

From Granta I found a link to this online magazine DIAGRAM that gathers writing and diagrams, like the one above. The diagrams are found representations of things like Intensities of Need and Press Variables as Expressed in Stories Told by Men. (I can’t quite figure this out, but it looks like some sort of manual sentiment analysis.)

The interface is simple which makes it hard to get to back issues. Edit the URL to do so.