Digital Humanities Assignment
Individual portfolio of reflective, digital, critical writing in response to the readings and topics of this course
For this critical writing I am going to delve into each reading which we have done throughout the module. Each reading and discussion was very interesting and also extremely eye opening. Before doing this module I never knew or fully understood where the internet came from let alone how a lot of people fought for the internet to be how it is today. From articles of how the internet is ever changing to how people fought for privacy and internet rights, these articles are just fascinating, entertaining, full of knowledge and information. In my opinion the internet is a huge and scary place and it’s important that people understand fully what they are signing up for when they enter that world. The simple push of a button can really change and effect some people as there are many scams and hackers out there so people need to know their rights and know how to protect their data and privacy properly. Thanks to these readings I now understand how it all works, so I would say that it’s important for other people to read these articles so they can be aware of how technology really works in today’s world. Digital Humanities is an open world of endless information that every person should have access to in order to fully appreciate the digital world, especially nowadays as everyone has access to the internet with the click of a button or the swipe of a phone.
‘A domain of one’s own’ is a very interesting read. It has a heavy emphasis on the importance of students developing their digital knowledge and know how. This article explains how students developing Clouds can enhance the students experience in and out of institutions, in doing so it helps the students guard and protect their work and have it in a safe place where they can go back to it to develop it or even reuse it. However, the key point in this article is pointed out to be a “flawed system”, that having your own domain is the best way for students and teachers to enhance their digital skills. ‘A Domain of One’s Own Matters’ by Watters is a great read as it gives her own opinion on just how the web is important to us and by going into a bit of detail on its benefit she mentions just how great of a creation the web is as it allowed us to start virtually communicating but also start sharing knowledge and exploring new things. She also tells of how trends can be a huge concern, but by rephrasing them they can become a starting point for us to start thinking outside the box about technology and the web and being able to start forming our own opinions on how technology and the web is of great use to us and just how creative we can be with it as it has many different use’s which she also speaks about in the article. The web holds a lot of creative possibilities as you can create so many different things all while building on your knowledge, skills and internet portfolio. In my opinion I think the purpose of this article was for Watters to get everyone to understand the importance of having digital skills and having your own views and thoughts as it helps us enhancing our creating and thinking when it comes to technology.
The Mark Marino article is a very interesting article and is very relevant in today’s society. It states how quickly and ever evolving our way of connecting with one another can change. Blogging was a form of communication when it was first introduced but it quickly broadened into different forms such as reddit and Instagram. People can still express themselves but just in many different ways now as technology is ever changing. Nowadays, majority of people read articles or posts in short snippets rather than taking the time to read long articles, this is due to the fast world we live in, everyone just wants to have a quick fix and then move on rather than taking time to read some interesting news or articles. However, Marino’s article is accurate, the use of blogs will still be useful to certain people in certain aspects of life as some people can learn and grow from them depending on their situations. For example, today’s world the most popular app on the internet is of course ‘TikTok’. Tiktok is an app that people post short snippet videos of literally anything, dance videos or comedy videos. But the reason it’s so popular is because we as people like a quick fix of a short video as we don’t like to take too long watching something as we live in such a fast paced world. Each way that was mentioned in this article regarding how we read online, were simply ‘fads’ that had a limited time of relevancy for us. It is evident from the progression that the attention span of humans has become shorter due to the internet. There is a big difference in our attentions spans as people much prefer to watch a YouTube video which has flashy images and diagrams rather than reading a lengthy blog post. This proves that people’s attention span nowadays is just not what it used to be, which Marino’s article states, we live in a quick and fast moving and ever evolving world, it’s hard to keep up.
‘The Internet’s Own Boy’ is a very interesting and intriguing film. Aaron Swartz was a very smart and passionate young man. What he stood for was very influential in how our world is run today. He fought against the government to abolish acts which were preventing people access to material in which they were entitled too. He put his life on the line to make the internet world a better place for everyone. He broke into MIT and hacked into JSTOR which resulted in his arrest. His legal battles caused him a lot of stress and ended up in him taking his own life. Watching the documentary, sparked me to consider an aspect of accessing, creating and sharing data that I have never considered before. I personally felt that the repercussions from what Aaron Swartz was doing were far too extreme. He was not given a fair chance to explain himself and why he was doing what he was doing. His punishment and how the government handled him and his situation were far too harsh. Swartz was a founder of many sites such as Reddit. If it was not for Aaron and all his hard work we wouldn’t have most of the internet access and materials that we have today. It just goes to show that you just don’t know what is going on in the world of internet and who is controlling what and what access is limited to people. This film really is something, it really shows us that if Aaron didn’t do what he did then we wouldn’t have the internet in which we have today.
‘A contract for the web’ and Eli Parisers TED talk were very compelling. TED talks are extremely helpful and interesting to help people learn more and understand about a specific topic. After reading the topics I found that principles 5 & 8 do indeed coalesce. Principle 5 is all about how the responsibility companies have to protect people’s privacy and their personal data when they are using their online facilities. The principle allows for people to have control over their privacy and data rights. Principle 8 focuses on citizens building strong communities and relations that respect both human dignity and civil discourse. By doing so this allows everyone to feel safe and welcome when using online services. Principles 5 and 8 both interact and overlap with each other. Both are focused on factors including online trust, security and people’s privacy. Both are trying to make the internet and the web a safe place. They give us an insight into how to protect our privacy which I think is very important to know and to do.
In conclusion, principles five and eight are the two sides of the same coin that support human rights in a Web with open access, open knowledge, and open data practices.
‘Most memorable museum trip’ was when I was 10 years of age and I went to visit my local museum in Clonmel. It is the Tipperary County Museum and it tells of the great history and the roots of Tipperary. I remember I found it very interesting as it was my hometown place and I was discovering new things about my local area that I found very fascinating. The rich history of Tipperary to a young Tipperary boy was something unimaginable and just out of this world at the time. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and it really helped me see how great my local area was and why I should appreciate it more. From my memory it shows a lot of sports stuff such as Tipperary GAA. Most young boys dream of playing GAA for their county so seeing those winners and trophies in the museum just made me want to be like them, however my sports skills were nowhere near good enough. However, one can dream. I think it’s important for people to visit their local museum’s as it reminds us of how important and valuable our hometowns are. Or if you are visiting the museum of a different town or city then it’s nice to see what each of those places has to offer and it’s great to get to know the history and heritage of that place.
‘Vision, Immersion, New Technologies’ were three very interesting articles. Each have something of importance and value to bring to the table. But after reading them I found there was something that linked them all together and that is “Innovation”. Creating new things and doing something that hasn’t been done before is very innovative and can give people a new lease of life and spur them on. However, on the other hand there can be a lot of criticism towards new inventions as people are fearful of them or can be very judgemental and have hatred towards something new as its clear in today’s world that a lot of people do not like change, people like things just how they are and can be worried when things start to change. The models display how technology show a major improvement in how we are able to study things that happened in the past and even help us look into things that might happen in the future. These article’s are about improvements in technologies over the years, the printing press is the main example in this article. The printing press was the main form of printing and when it started to change society did not agree. This shows how we as a society do not like change. This statement is interesting as yes we as a society do not like change but we also embrace it in today’s world. For example, apps such as Instagram and twitter are forever changing their layouts and how they operate and when it changes for the first few hours we do not agree or like it but then a few hours pass and we forget about how the app used to be. Just proving that while we do not like change we eventually adapt and overcome the change and embrace it.
‘Data capture for mixed reality’ is a well-known topic in today’s society. Everything is now on some form of digital platform and the use of drawings and papers and practically non-existent. All images have been remade for digital purposes and that’s where the importance of 3D-scanning comes into play. Having everything in 3D is crucial in today’s society as everything online is 3D. Photogrammetry plays a key role in the making of these 2D and 3D models. The introduction of VR headsets has become something very cool and trendy, VR head sets and gaming is very popular amongst the younger generation. I feel as though this is something difficult to learn and to understand how to do, you would have to be real tech savvy and have a good understanding to be able to do this 3D models. This form of technology is very cool and very relatable to the younger generation as they love to live in a virtual world which we can see from things such as the ‘Metaverse’ which is extremely popular amongst the younger generation. I personally do not understand it and therefore don’t have much of an interest in it however it is cool.
To conclude I found all these articles, videos and websites very helpful in broadening my knowledge and understanding of why digital humanities is so important for people. It is clear that without the likes of Aaron Swartz and many other people we would not be living in the digital world that we live today, there is a valid reason why people like those stood up for what they believed in. The privacy we have with our online data, being able to post whatever we want, being able to keep information private and so much more would not have been possible without those types of people. People need to have a better understanding for all of the above and then people might appreciate the digital world more. People really do take it for granted, for example, when you click into a website and “accept all cookies” appears everyone will always press “accept” even though you do not know what you’re accepting, you could be giving access to anyone, you just never know. Digital humanities as a module or a course, while it can be challenging, is a topic which is needed in people’s lives especially given the fact we live in a such a digital world. If people and society had better knowledge and a clearer understanding of the digital world then it would help people be more appreciative and respectful towards people who work in this line of work. Even if people could get a crash course on how the internet works then this would be beneficial and helpful to everyone and it could help keep our world a safer place when being online. To quote Aaron Swartz ‘A piece of knowledge, unlike a piece of physical property, can be shared by large groups of people without making anybody poorer’.
“Aaron Swartz Quotes (Author of the Boy Who Could Change the World).” Goodreads. Goodreads. Accessed December 16, 2022. https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/6893150.Aaron_Swartz
“Contract for the web” Contract for the Web. (n.d.). Retrieved December 16, 2022 https://contractfortheweb.org/
Home. Accessed December 16, 2022. https://www.hiddenhistory.ie/
Insider, WIRED. “A Domain of One’s Own.” Wired. Conde Nast, August 7, 2015. https://www.wired.com/insights/2012/07/a-domain-of-ones-own/
Marino, Mark C. “Teaching Writing in the Post-Blogging Era.” Medium. Medium, August 23, 2019. https://markcmarino.medium.com/teaching-writing-in-the-post-blogging-era-ab7848247e33
YouTube, 2014. https://youtu.be/9vz06QO3UkQ
YouTube, 2011. https://youtu.be/B8ofWFx525s