Been there, done that: Art history as a model for the effect of technology on disciplinary developmentPosted: July 29, 2012
Evidence of why it is useful to read outside your main areas of disciplinary interest…
I’ve been reading my way through Revisualizing visual culture (Ashgate 2010), on a number of titles I bought from the Ashgate stand at the the recent DH 2012 conference in Hamburg. Most of the chapter thus far have been relevant to work we are doing with the Visionary Cross project, especially now that we are starting to get usable 3D meshes (as time allows, I hope to post some other small posts about the various chapters in this and my other recent reading). Read the rest of this entry »
The Romney campaign doesn’t seem to know how to respond. For centuries, business leaders have been inept when writers, intellectuals and politicians attacked capitalism, and, so far, the Romney campaign is continuing that streak.
Brooks has been paying attention the last three decades, right? Intellectuals and politicians winning a rhetorical war over the value of capitalism in the face of rhetorical ineptness on the part of business interests? Seriously? Since Reagan and Thatcher?
I think that film must be playing in the other theatre.
One of the striking things about the streetscape in Hamburg is the Stolpersteine. These are small brass memorials to Holocaust victims placed in the sidewalk outside the door of the house in which the victims lived. Here’s an example of one:
In Hamburg for the Digital Humanities conference, and staying at the NH Norge Hamburg, I was struck by the number of these stones that I pass. And perhaps more interestingly, how many were within view of each other. From Schäferkampsallee 28 (where Felix, Melanie, and Otto Spiro lived before they were deported in 1941) indeed, you can see every building that suffered a loss represented by the stones.
I once lived in a street where the immigration police raided an apartment next door to ours. Although I had not seen the raid (or known that the apartment was de facto dormitory for illegal immigrants), the raid impressed itself on my consciousness and that of our other neighbours. How much worse must it have been in the 1930s and 1940s in the Schäferkampsallee to see this number of people disappear in the course of approximately a decade.
Since I’m experimenting with use of KML–the markup language used to interface with Google Maps–I thought I would experiment by visualising this idea of the sightline: what it was like to see your neighbours disappear over time.
View Sightlines: Holocaust and the Schäferkampsallee in a larger map
This is a preliminary attempt, using the Google UI and based solely on the information on the Stolpsteine. In future iterations, I hope to work directly with the underlying markup language, in order to add features like yearly snapshots, more detail about the victims, connections to political and historical events, and the state of the street (which appears to have been heavily bombed judging by the architecture) on a year-by-year basis.
Just to be clear, outsourcing is only one source of the huge disconnect between a tiny elite and ordinary American workers, a disconnect that has been growing for more than 30 years. And Bain, in turn, was only one player in the growth of outsourcing. So Mitt Romney didn’t personally, single-handedly, destroy the middle-class society we used to have —Paul Krugman
When I was a student in high school and university I used to work summers as a factory hand at Rowntree Macintosh (the candy company who made Smarties, Aero, and Black Magic–later bought out by Nestle). It was a great job I got via my neighbour, an old Yorkshireman who’d been a bombardier in the Lancs during the war. It was a union job that paid exactly the price of a dozen beer an hour (in the old, highly regulated Ontario system). I used to watch the clock, counting the beers.
Th other night I realised that I have no idea what it is like to work in a factory now. And more importantly, I don’t think any of our politicians do. Read the rest of this entry »
Ideas have consequences: Prometheanism, the university as corporation, and the leadership debacle at the University of VirginiaPosted: July 1, 2012
One of the books I am currently reading is Public no more: a new path for excellence for America’s public universities. This is a book by Gary C. Fethke and Andrew J. Policano, two business school administrators who explore how market-focussed techniques that apparently are common in U.S. business schools could be applied to the larger enterprise of running a public research university.
One of the thrilling things about this book is just how far out of line it is with what I (and the authors) imagine to be mainstream thought on the purpose of higher education, its relationship to societal and personal benefit, and the definitions of quality and success. The authors take a fundamentally and completely market-based and competition-driven approach to their analysis, and seem genuinely unable to see any value in (or at times even literally understand) more traditional approaches. Read the rest of this entry »