[Humanist] 23.661 on WWW: interface ecology; open-source history

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Thu Feb 25 08:35:32 CET 2010

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 23, No. 661.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>          (29)
        Subject: interface ecology

  [2]   From:    renata lemos <me at renatalemos.org>                         (20)
        Subject: Can History be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future of the

        Date: Wed, 24 Feb 2010 11:34:38 +0000
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: interface ecology

This is to draw your attention to the work of the Interface Ecology Lab, 
Texas A&M University, www.ecologylab.net. On a recent visit to Texas A&M 
I was fortunate enough to be shown a couple of projects, both of which 
were seriously impressive. The current state of one of these projects, 
combinFormation, is described thus:

> a mixed-initiative system that uses composition for browsing,
> collecting, and arranging information samples from web pages. The
> samples act as visual, semiotic, and navigational surrogates for the
> documents from which they are extracted. The initiatives are the
> system's generation of composition, and the user's direct
> manipulation. The system's generative actions -- collecting
> information samples, and composing them visually -- are conducted
> iteratively, based on a user model. The system presents the ongoing
> generation of the composition to the user in an interactive
> information space. In this space, one of the user's initiatives is to
> directly manipulate the composition through interactive design
> operations, which enable samples to be displaced, layered, annotated,
> and removed. The user can also express positive or negative interest
> in each sample. Expressions of interest affect the model, creating a
> feedback loop through the visualization.

There's a link to the tool, with a YouTube video (which should not be 
run when being quiet is a good idea).


Willard McCarty, Professor of Humanities Computing,
King's College London, staff.cch.kcl.ac.uk/~wmccarty/;
Editor, Humanist, www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist;
Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, www.isr-journal.org.

        Date: Wed, 24 Feb 2010 13:42:31 -0300
        From: renata lemos <me at renatalemos.org>
        Subject: Can History be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future of the Past

Can History be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future of the Past
Roy Rosenzweig

See <http://chnm.gmu.edu/essays-on-history-new-media/essays/> This article was originally published in *The Journal of American History* Volume 93, Number 1 (June, 2006): 117-46 and is reprinted here with permission.

History is a deeply individualistic craft. The singly authored work is the
standard for the profession; only about 6 percent of the more than 32,000
scholarly works indexed since 2000 in this journal's comprehensive
bibliographic guide, "Recent Scholarship," have more than one author. Works
with several authors–common in the sciences–are even harder to find.
Fewer than 500 (less than 2 percent) have three or more authors.1 <http://chnm.gmu.edu/essays-on-history-new-media/essays/?essayid=42#f1>
 Historical scholarship is also characterized by *possessive* individualism.
Good professional practice (and avoiding charges of plagiarism) requires us
to attribute ideas and words to specific historians–we are taught to speak
of "Richard Hofstadter's status anxiety interpretation of Progressivism."2 <http://chnm.gmu.edu/essays-on-history-new-media/essays/?essayid=42#f2> And
if we use more than a limited number of words from Hofstadter, we need to
send a check to his estate. To mingle Hofstadter's prose with your own and
publish it would violate both copyright and professional norms.

p.s. i still can not believe humanist is not on twitter yet. i´ll keep waiting

--renata lemos

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