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Contents contributed and discussions participated by jatolbert


How America Went Haywire - The Atlantic - 2 views

  • We all have hunches we can’t prove and superstitions that make no sense. Some of my best friends are very religious, and others believe in dubious conspiracy theories
    • jatolbert
      Don't like how he's equating religion with irrationality.
  • anything-goes relativism
    • jatolbert
      This bears explaining
  • Much more than the other billion or so people in the developed world, we Americans believe—really believe—in the supernatural and the miraculous, in Satan on Earth, in reports of recent trips to and from heaven, and in a story of life’s instantaneous creation several thousand years ago.
    • jatolbert
      Disagree on a number of levels. But mostly I object to his repeated claims that belief in these things is stupid/irrational.
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  • By my reckoning, the solidly reality-based are a minority, maybe a third of us but almost certainly fewer than half.
    • jatolbert
      What in the world does he mean by this? Who (besides himself) does he view as "reality-based"?
  • Remarkably, the same fraction, or maybe less, believes that the Bible consists mainly of legends and fables—the same proportion that believes U.S. officials were complicit in the 9/11 attacks.
    • jatolbert
      Misusing the genre term "legend"
  • Of course, various fantasy constituencies overlap and feed one another—for instance, belief in extraterrestrial visitation and abduction can lead to belief in vast government cover-ups, which can lead to belief in still more wide-ranging plots and cabals, which can jibe with a belief in an impending Armageddon.
    • jatolbert
      What does he mean by "lead to"? There's a causal factor between disparate beliefs? Where's his proof? His "truth" is truth by fiat, which is as bad as the other truths he attacks.
  • that there is some ‘public’ that shares a notion of reality, a concept of reason, and a set of criteria by which claims to reason and rationality are judged,
    • jatolbert
      Now he's just pissing me off.
  • merican moxie has always come in two types. We have our wilder, faster, looser side: We’re overexcited gamblers with a weakness for stories too good to be true. But we also have the virtues embodied by the Puritans and their secular descendants: steadiness, hard work, frugality, sobriety, and common sense.
    • jatolbert
      There is no such thing as national types or traits. This is a step away from eugenics.
  • We invented the fantasy-industrial complex; almost nowhere outside poor or otherwise miserable countries are flamboyant supernatural beliefs so central to the identities of so many people.
    • jatolbert
      And now he's just being an outright bigot. Also, I doubt this claim about which countries have prevalent supernatural beliefs is even close to accurate.
  • national traits
  • Essentially everything that became known as New Age was invented, developed, or popularized at the Esalen Institute.
    • jatolbert
      This is, in fact, overstatement.
  • Reality itself is a purely social construction, a tableau of useful or wishful myths that members of a society or tribe have been persuaded to believe.
    • jatolbert
      doesn't understand constructivism
  • perceptions
  • Over in anthropology, where the exotic magical beliefs of traditional cultures were a main subject, the new paradigm took over completely—don’t judge, don’t disbelieve, don’t point your professorial finger
    • jatolbert
  • the idea that nothing is any more correct or true than anything else
    • jatolbert
      This is not what relativism is.
    • jatolbert
      False equivalencies, unclear links, and general unsubstantiated grouchiness. This guy is an idiot.
  • Exciting falsehoods tend to do well in the perpetual referenda, and become self-validating. A search for almost any “alternative” theory or belief seems to generate more links to true believers’ pages and sites than to legitimate or skeptical ones, and those tend to dominate the first few pages of results. For instance, beginning in the ’90s, conspiracists decided that contrails, the skinny clouds of water vapor that form around jet-engine exhaust, were composed of exotic chemicals, part of a secret government scheme to test weapons or poison citizens or mitigate climate change—and renamed them chemtrails. When I Googled chemtrails proof, the first seven results offered so-called evidence of the nonexistent conspiracy. When I searched for government extraterrestrial cover-up, only one result in the first three pages didn’t link to an article endorsing a conspiracy theory.
    • jatolbert
      This is just stupid. He SEARCHED for terms that validate these claims-- "proof; cover-up"--so of COURSE the majority of results were from the perspective of belief.

Scholarly, digital, open: an impossible triangle? | Goodfellow | Research in Learning T... - 1 views

  • Scholarship is discussed below from both institutional and individual perspectives. The view I am starting from is that ‘scholarship’ refers to a set of epistemological and ethical practices that underpin the social construction of an enduring record of objectively validated knowledge. By this definition teaching and learning is not scholarship, although it may draw on scholarship and be done by scholars.
    • jatolbert
      Hugely disagree. The first part may be reasonable enough, although I disagree with the notion of "objectively validated knowledge" as a necessary component of scholarship (how is it "objective"? how can it be "validated"?). But to claim that teaching is separate from scholarship is problematic.
  • Research in this area always runs the risk of collapsing into reflexivity, as digital scholars turn the lens of enquiry onto themselves, but grounded and critical research into situated practice in areas of research, teaching and public engagement where both scholarship in all its forms and digitality in all its manifestations are prominent is possible and should be pursued.
    • jatolbert
      Is reflexivity a bad thing? In the social sciences it's a sine qua non.
  • There is an inherent tension between practices that aim to open up the social construction of knowledge to universal participation, and those which aim to deepen the understanding of specialist communities and establish a stable and enduring record. Nevertheless, it is the role of many scholars to be involved in both. To bring scholarship, teaching and public engagement closer together must surely be the aim, but first we need to understand the ways in which practice makes them different.
    • jatolbert
      I mostly agree with this bit, although I prefer the proper reading of Boyer's model, i.e., that research, teaching, and "public engagement" (which falls into Boyer's category of Application) are -all- forms of scholarship.

The "Digital" Scholarship Disconnect | EDUCAUSE - 0 views

  • Digital scholarship is an incredibly awkward term that people have come up with to describe a complex group of developments. The phrase is really, at some basic level, nonsensical. After all, scholarship is scholarship. Doing science is doing science. We don't find the Department of Digital Physics arguing with the Department of Non–Digital Physics about who's doing "real" physics.
  • Soon, people wanted to start talking more broadly about newly technology-enabled scholarly work, not just in science; in part this was because of some very dramatic and high-visibility developments in using digital technology in various humanistic investigations. To do so, they came up with the neologisms we enjoy today—awful phrases like e-scholarship and digital scholarship.

    Having said that, I do view the term digital scholarship basically as shorthand for the entire body of changing scholarly practice, a reminder and recognition of the fact that most areas of scholarly work today have been transformed, to a lesser or greater extent, by a series of information technologies:

    • High-performance computing, which allows us to build simulation models and to conduct very-large-scale data analysis
    • Visualization technologies, including interactive visualizations
    • Technologies for creating, curating, and sharing large databases and large collections of data
    • High-performance networking, which allows us to share resources across the network and to gain access to experimental or observational equipment and which allows geographically dispersed individuals to communicate and collaborate; implicit here are ideas such as the rise of lightweight challenge-focused virtual organizations
  • We now have enormous curated databases serving various disciplines: GenBank for gene sequences; the Worldwide Protein Data Bank for protein structures; and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and planned successors for (synoptic) astronomical observations. All of these are relied upon by large numbers of working scientists. Yet the people who compiled these databases are often not regarded by their colleagues as "real" scientists but, rather, as "once-scientists" who got off-track and started doing resource-building for the community. And it's true: many resource-builders don't have the time to be actively doing science (i.e., analysis and discovery); instead, they are building and enabling the tools that will advance the collective scientific enterprise in other, less traditional ways. The academic and research community faces a fundamental challenge in developing norms and practices that recognize and reward these essential contributions.

    This idea—of people not doing "real" research, even though they are building up resources that can enable others to do research—has played out as well in the humanities. The humanists have often tried to make a careful distinction between the work of building a base of evidence and the work of interpreting that evidence to support some particular analysis, thesis, and/or set of conclusions; this is a little easier in the humanities because the scale of collaboration surrounding emerging digital resources and their exploitation for scholarship is smaller (contrast this to the literal "cast of thousands" at CERN) and it's common here to see the leading participants play both roles: resource-builder and "working" scholar.

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  • Still, in all of these examples of digital scholarship, a key challenge remains: How can we curate and manage data now that so much of it is being produced and collected in digital form? How can we ensure that it will be discovered, shared, and reused to advance scholarship?
  • On a final note, I have talked above mostly about changes in the practice of scholarship. But changes in the practice of scholarship need to go hand-in-hand with changes in the communication and documentation of scholarship.
    Interesting short piece on challenges of digital scholarship

DLAx | The Digital Liberal Arts Exchange - 0 views

shared by jatolbert on 08 Jun 17 - No Cached
  • Many schools have recently embarked upon initiatives in digital scholarship – those forms of scholarship largely in the humanities and humanistic social sciences that emphasize digital tools and infrastructure, as well as accompanying expertise and support.
    • jatolbert
      Why is it "largely in the humanities and humanistic social sciences"? I don't buy this.

Open Stacks: Making DH Labor Visible ← dh+lib - 1 views

  • DH librarians, whose highly collaborative work is dedicated to social justice and public engagement, may be one particularly vital community of practice for exposing the changing conditions that create knowledge.
  • like the fish who asks “what is water?”–most scholars are unaware of the extent to which their work, professional interactions, and finances are imbricated with the global technology Stack.
    • jatolbert
      Also not sure that this is true.
  • Many DH programs, initiatives, and teams have arisen organically out of social connections rather than centralized planning.
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  • the myth of scarcity
  • Scholars often presume that because libraries acquire, shelve, and preserve the print books that they write, that the same libraries will acquire, shelve (or host), and preserve digital projects.
    • jatolbert
      This is a natural assumption, and in fact is true in many cases.
  • digital scholarship
  • DH
  • digital scholarship

The one word that doubles liberal arts grads' chances of getting hired | EAB Daily Brie... - 0 views

  • Burning Glass reports that when liberal arts job seekers add the word "digital" to their resumes—or otherwise demonstrate digital competencies—they double the number of job openings they qualify for.

Trends in Digital Scholarship Centers | EDUCAUSE - 2 views

  • Although sometimes confused with digital scholarship centers, digital humanities centers are often specialized research centers led by a group of faculty and serving only select disciplines rather than a broad campus community. Also, libraries often play only a peripheral role in digital humanities centers.1 In contrast, libraries or IT organizations have a key role in digital scholarship centers.
    • jatolbert
      This is important.
  • Digital scholarship centers can build institutional capacity to address emerging and future scholarship needs.
  • Considering options for presenting or publishing completed projects
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  • A key attribute that distinguishes digital scholarship centers from more traditional research institutes (such as digital humanities centers) is that they are service organizations, staffed by individuals with specialized skills, who support work in the digital environment.
  • Whether a digital scholarship center needs a dedicated facility or can be a distributed set of physical spaces and services — or even a virtual service — are open questions. A physical center that brings together specialized equipment and services in one convenient place has the advantage of visibility and provides a venue for an array of programming, including workshops, guest lectures, and displays of completed projects. In other cases, an office or set of offices might serve as the hub for center staff, while equipment and services are dispersed in physically separate media production areas, GIS facilities, data visualization labs, and makerspaces.
  • The case studies also illustrate the importance of tailoring a digital scholarship program to the needs of the institution; there is no "one size fits all."
  • The Sherman Centre has taken a "design-build" approach: Spaces were rendered with maximum flexibility in mind — with minimal enclosed spaces and with a strong focus on moveable furniture and adaptable technology. Design work has continued long after the center was officially opened: Key service and space components have been added as the needs of the campus community have become more clear.
  • Thus, the Sherman Centre was not serving an established collection of self-identified digital scholars — it was growing its own.
  • First, we have learned the critical importance of clearly defining the Sherman Centre's scope and purpose for the campus community.
  • We often find ourselves having to turn people away when their work is not advancing the digital scholarship agenda. Saying no is not easy, but it must be done to protect the center's integrity.
  • Digital scholarship centers represent a model of engagement for libraries and information technology units. They both support and encourage new directions in research, teaching, and learning and provide the infrastructure (technical and human) to encourage experimentation in new areas of scholarship.
  • Experiences gained from existing digital scholarship centers can help uninitiated institutions better launch their own efforts and thereby increase support for the research, teaching, and learning needs of their campus communities.
  • Digital scholarship centers focus on relationships, extending the ways in which librarians and academic computing professionals relate to and work with faculty (and often students) and their scholarly practices.
  • Here, we examine centers that go by a variety of names — including digital scholarship center, digital scholarship lab, and scholars' lab — but that nonetheless share common features. These centers are generally administered by a central unit, such as the library or IT organization; serve the entire campus community (including undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty); and address the needs of a range of academic departments and programs.

The Challenges of Digital Scholarship - ProfHacker - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Ed... - 0 views

  • Scholars with digital projects often need to explain both their work and to justify the field of the digital humanities itself.
    • jatolbert
      Conflates digital scholarship with digital humanities. Also suggests (wrongly, I think) that DH is a singular, unitary field.
  • Traditional humanities scholarship rewards the solitary endeavor (such as the single-authored monograph) and looks askance at collaboration (e.g. edited volumes), but many digital humanities projects are often collaborative in nature.
    • jatolbert
      Again conflates DH with all of digital scholarship
  • In short: we are on the brink of a tipping point in history, where blogging is going to become the norm for the initial exchange of ideas.
    • jatolbert
      Overstating the point
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  • These challenges are both important and productive. They encourage new, heated and serious debate as to what constitutes standards of excellence in the humanities.
    • jatolbert
      Again, constant waffling between DH and digital scholarship more generally. They simply are not coterminous.

Does Digital Scholarship Have a Future? | EDUCAUSE - 1 views

  • Although the phrase sometimes refers to issues surrounding copyright and open access and sometimes to scholarship analyzing the online world, digital scholarship—emanating, perhaps, from digital humanities—most frequently describes discipline-based scholarship produced with digital tools and presented in digital form.
    • jatolbert
      A couple of points. First, there's no reason to assume that DS comes from DH. "Digital" was a term and concept before DH claimed it. Second, I would suggest that DS can be produced with digital tools OR presented digitally OR both. It isn't necessarily always both. I did digital scholarship that was both printed in a conventional journal and published online. Semantic difference, but still important.
  • Though the recent popularity of the phrase digital scholarship reflects impressive interdisciplinary ambition and coherence, two crucial elements remain in short supply in the emerging field. First, the number of scholars willing to commit themselves and their careers to digital scholarship has not kept pace with institutional opportunities. Second, today few scholars are trying, as they did earlier in the web's history, to reimagine the form as well as the substance of scholarship. In some ways, scholarly innovation has been domesticated, with the very ubiquity of the web bringing a lowered sense of excitement, possibility, and urgency. These two deficiencies form a reinforcing cycle: the diminished sense of possibility weakens the incentive for scholars to take risks, and the unwillingness to take risks limits the impact and excitement generated by boldly innovative projects.
    • jatolbert
      I'm not sure about any of this. There's plenty of innovation happening. Also, galloping towards innovation for its own sake, without considering the specific needs of scholars, seems like a mistake.
  • Digital scholarship, reimagined in bolder ways, is cost-effective, a smart return on investment. By radically extending the audience for a work of scholarship, by reaching students of many ages and backgrounds, by building the identity of the host institution, by attracting and keeping excellent faculty and students, by creating bonds between faculty and the library, and by advancing knowledge across many otherwise disparate disciplines, innovative digital scholarship makes sense.
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  • Yet, other aspects of the changing digital environment may not be encouraging digital scholarship. The large and highly visible investments being made in MOOCs, for example, lead some faculty to equate technology with the diminution of hard-won traditions of teaching and scholarship. Using new capacities in bandwidth, MOOCs extend well-established patterns of large lectures to audiences otherwise out of the hearing range of those lectures. Unlike digital scholarship, however, MOOCs make no claim to creating new disciplinary knowledge, to advancing the scholarly conversation, to unifying research and teaching.
    • jatolbert
      I don't see why any of this is necessarily a problem--unless you reject the notion of lectures as useful pedagogical forms entirely
  • In other words, digital scholarship may have greater impact if it takes fuller advantage of the digital medium and innovates more aggressively. Digital books and digital articles that mimic their print counterparts may be efficient, but they do not expand our imagination of what scholarship could be in an era of boundlessness, an era of ubiquity. They do not imagine other forms in which scholarship might live in a time when our audiences can be far more vast and varied than in previous generations. They do not challenge us to think about keeping alive the best traditions of the academy by adapting those traditions to the possibilities of our own time. They do not encourage new kinds of writing, of seeing, of explaining. And we need all those things.
    • jatolbert
      Somewhat melodramatic. What kind of innovation does he want, exactly? And what doesn't he like about the formats he mentions here? He lists things that scholars do, suggests they need to change, but makes no compelling case re: WHY they need to change.
  • Interpretation must be an integral and explicit part of the fundamental architecture of new efforts. Insisting that colleges and universities broaden their standards and definitions of scholarship to make room for digital scholarship is necessary, but it is only a partial answer. To be recognized and rewarded as scholarship in the traditional sense, digital scholarship must do the work we have long expected scholarship to do: contribute, in a meaningful and enduring way, to an identifiable collective and cumulative enterprise.
  • By way of example, the Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond is attempting to build one model of what this new scholarship might look like. The lab combines various elements of proven strategies while also breaking new ground. With the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the historians Robert K. Nelson and Scott Nesbit and their colleagues are creating a digital atlas of American history. The first instantiation of the atlas, Visualizing Emancipation, will soon be followed by an amplified, annotated, and animated digital edition of The Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States, first published in 1932. Over the next three years, chapters of original and dynamic maps and interpretations will focus on key aspects of the American experience since the nation's founding. The digital atlas will allow scholars to see patterns we have never been able to envision before while at the same time it will make available to teachers of all levels visualizations of crucial processes in American history.
    • jatolbert
      This one example doesn't seem all that innovative--story maps, etc. have been around a long time. Also, what he's doing is still basically a repackaging of print scholarship. It could be useful, but it's not nearly as radical as he seems to think.
  • Does Digital Scholarship Have a Future?
    • jatolbert
      A problematic think piece about digital scholarship in general. Has some useful definitions. Unfortunately Ayers is doing a lot of hand-wringing over what he sees as the lack of meaningful innovation in digital scholarship. It's not at all clear, though, what he means by this. He argues that what innovation has happened isn't sufficient, then gives an example of a project--a digital atlas of American history--that he seems to think is radically different, but isn't in any way I can discern from his description.

Digital Scholarship Considered: How New Technologies Could Transform Academic Work | Pe... - 1 views

    • jatolbert
      The existence of an office like DP&S mitigates this.
  • The variable pace of technological adoption and change within higher education can be seen as the result of several factors: education has more components than a pure content industry, such as assessment and accreditation; that higher education qualifications such as the undergraduate degree have a social capital that is not easily changed; that there is a fundamental conservatism in and around higher education.
  • These studies demonstrate some evidence for the existence of disciplinary differences in technology adoption, which suggests that there is not a homogeneous form of “scholarship” within academia.
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    • jatolbert
      Digital tools facilitate collaboration
  • From the individual scholar’s point of view using open educational resources allows access to high quality materials although this might require a new skill set in re-appropriating these tools to meet local and course specific contexts. There is also the question of recognising and valuing the creation and recreation of these learning resources as academic outputs, in a way that is analogous to the value of producing physical textbooks previously.
  • These kinds of figures far exceed the sales of scholarly books and journal article access; so we can see that new technologies are facilitating access to a new audience that is disintermediating many of the conventional channels. Key to realizing a personal brand online is an attitude of openness. This involves sharing aspects of personal life on social network sites, blogging ideas rather than completed articles, and engaging in experiments with new media.
  • It is clear from the foregoing discussion that new technologies hold out very real possibilities for change across all facets of scholarship. In each case these afford the possibility for new more open ways of working. Academic work has always contained a significant element of collaboration within academia but now it is increasingly easy to collaborate with more colleagues within but also beyond the academy and for the varied products of these collaborations to be available to the widest possible audience.
  • These new web based technologies are then a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for a radical opening up of scholarly practice. In this sense digital scholarship is more than just using information and communication technologies to research, teach and collaborate, but it is embracing the open values, ideology and potential of technologies born of peer-to-peer networking and wiki ways of working in order to benefit both the academy and society. Digital scholarship can only have meaning if it marks a radical break in scholarship practices brought about through the possibilities enabled in new technologies. This break would encompass a more open form of scholarship.
    Makes the important argument that "digital scholarship" as a term is only meaningful if it denotes something radically different from other types of scholarship. Their argument is that what should distinguish DS is its openness, as digital tools enable open processes, collaboration, etc.

Robin - 2008 - Digital Storytelling A Powerful Technology Tool f.pdf - 3 views

    Dated, largely descriptive, but still useful discussion of digital storytelling in the classroom. Touches on issues like digital literacy/multimedia skill development. Implies connections between creative and scholarly output.

Boyer- Enlarging the Perspective.pdf - 2 views

    Boyer outlines four types of scholarship, with implications for DP&S' work.

    Boyer notes that scholarship is often equated with research, and argues here for a more flexible, open-minded approach to definitions of scholarship, reminding us that "scholarship in earlier times referred to a variety of creative work carried on in a variety of places, and its integrity was measured by the ability to think, communicate, and learn." The crux of his argument is what he sees as the relationship between theory and practice, which enable and reinforce one another.

    Outlining four types of scholarship-discovery, integration, application, and teaching-Boyer makes it clear that scholarship is more than siloed, disciplinary research. It also includes those activities which make the findings of scholarship comprehensible to others, and the application of those findings to specific problems beyond the Ivory Tower.

    In Boyer's four-part model, discovery is essentially research, i.e., the creation of new knowledge. Integration involves drawing connections between existing knowledges, and making those knowledges intelligible to audiences outside the academy. Application is the use of scholarly understanding to answer questions and solve problems. It overlaps to some extent with the notion of service, though not all service is scholarship: "To be considered scholarship, service activities must be tied directly to one's special field of knowledge and relate to, and flow directly out of, this professional activity. Such service is serious, demanding work, requiting the rigor-and the accountability-traditionally associated with research activities." Teaching, the final component of Boyer's model, is self-evident, and for him "teaching, at its best, means not only transmitting knowledge, but transforming and extending it as well."

The Differences between Digital History and Digital Humanities | Dr Stephen Robertson - 0 views

    A useful article that challenges the "big tent" model of digital humanities and has important implications for digital scholarship more generally.
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