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Shawn, Page 3

Regarding Slack

Zach Whalen is team teaching a course using Slack at the moment. He writes up his initial observations on using it here. It’s a face-to-face course with Slack serving as the catalyst bringing all of the different sections together. I quizzed him and Lee Skallerup Bessette this morning on Twitter, to see how their experience has differed from my own.

The Robotic Edward Gibbon

Continuing on from yesterday’s post and the suggestion of Steve Leahy: @electricarchaeo Feed it the complete text of Gibbon's "Decline & Fall…": & let it (re)write history:-) — Steve Leahy (@oz_penguin) February 17, 2016 I have fed The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire into my neural network.

A Newly Discovered Greek Play

What if you discovered a ‘new’ ancient greek play? Yeah, not likely to happen, at least for me: ancient greek was probably my worst subject. But… given the time, the place, and the context of writing… maybe we could generate a ‘new’ play from the writings of the ancients.

On Punctuation

Posters of various literary works by Nicholas Rougeux – as represented by the punctuation therein- have been doing the rounds lately. They’re lovely; in the absence of words we intuit something of the nature of the work from the pauses, the parenthesis, the short staccato dashes and dots; a kind of telegraphy of meaning. Adam Calhoun posted some of his own reflections on this kind of work, and helpfully, posted some python code for doing the same.

In Support of Doug’s Archaeology

Dear Doug Rocks-MacQueen is an archaeologist who performs a vital service to our community. I write as an academic archaeologist,  and I find that ‘Doug’s Archaeology’ is an important vector for connecting academic archaeologists with professional archaeologists, students, and the public, and vice-versa.

Can we fix it? Yes we can! #DHAnnotates Feb 8-12

With apologies to Bob the Builder, and perhaps also Obama. Preamble In my graduate seminar on digital/public history, I framed the course as ‘Digital History Methods as Public History Performance’. I did this deliberately to riff on my colleague David Dean’s amazing seminar and research on perfoming history; students in that class were making videos, writing music, putting on vignettes. It’s been amazing to watch.

The Minimal Viable Digital History Virtual Machine

I have three classes on the go, all of which are heavily digitally inflected. In the past, I’ve always figured it was better to teach students how to use the machines they have to hand, rather than trying to get them all on a single virtual machine; after all, most of the students come to my classes with only the vaguest idea of what their machines can actually do. Being able to click around madly in Word or Powerpoint is not digital literacy.

A quick exploration of

My quest to find a good open notebook approach for my tech-hesitant students continues. Today, we’re playing with : another note taking app; lives in browser or on desktop or as app within chrome.

Reactions to Battlefield Recovery episode 1

Battlefield Recovery, an execrable show that turns the looting of war dead into ‘entertainment’, was shown on Saturday on Channel 5 in the UK. I won’t dignify it by linking to it; instead see this article in the Guardian. I wondered however what the tweeting public thought about the show – keeping in mind that Channel 5 viewers may or may not be the same kinds of folks who engage with Twitter.

Crafting Digital History…. engage!

The term has started. Students are filing into HIST3907o and HIST3970-open-access. Conversations are starting to happen in our respective Slack spaces! (Reminder, if you’d like to lurk or follow along or participate, you can get yourself going here). We’ve already encountered, discussed,and solved some problems with Git-it! And it’s just the second day.

A Map of Archaeogaming

Andrew posted a mindmap of the kinds of things that fall under the ‘archaeogaming’ rubric. He mentioned that it’d be nice to have it with that xkcd aesthetic. The different kinds of archaeogaming were laid out like a ‘Reingold-Tilford’ tree As it happens, there’s a package for R that will take the standard plot() commands and format the output – complete with stickfigures – like an xkcd comic.

gnōthi seauton, or, mine your own tweets

Sometimes, one of the best ways to understand a method is to run it on data that you know very well indeed. In which case, the ability to request one’s twitter archive and to feed it into R is quite handy. You make the request, download the csv, then paste the ‘text’ column into its own csv. Clean it up with regex to remove http and special characters etc, then feed it into this script: This can take a while.

Marky Markov Moodie

I’m playing with this ruby gem which generates Markov chain texts. I’m feeding it that well known gem of Canadian literature, Susanna Moodie’s Roughing it in the Bush. Here’s my script, once marky_markov is installed: #!/usr/bin/ruby require 'marky_markov' markov = markov.parse_file "moodie.txt" puts markov.generate_10_sentences 10 puts markov.generate_200_words 2 markov.

Teaching History in/with/via Video Games

Prompted by Lee, I’m collating here materials that I’ve put out there regarding my teaching/thinking related to video games & history and archaeology. The list below is in no recognizable bibliographic style (mostly because I’m tapping this out and can’t be bothered this AM). 2006 The Year of the Four Emperors – CivIV scenario that started it all 2012 Stranger in These Parts http://playfic.

Book Launch: ‘Exploring Big Historical Data: The Historian’s Macroscope’ Nov 17

We’re launching our book on November 17th, at 11.30 in the History department lounge, 4th floor of Paterson Hall. Drop by if you’re around! I’m also going to undertake to stream the conversation on youtube. I’ve never set a livestream up (there seems to be an assumption round here that if you’re the digital guy, you’re also totally au-courrant with audio/vidsual tech and the ins and outs of broadcasting.

The humane hack – a snippet of an argument

[this is the snippet of an argument, and all that I’ve managed to produce today for #AcWriMo. I kinda like it though and offer it up for consumption, rough edges, warts, and all.  It emerges out of something Shawn Anctil said recently about ‘the Laws of Cool‘ when we were talking about his comps which happen this Thursday. In an effort to get my head around what he said, I started to write. This might make it into a piece on some of my recent sound work.

If I could read your mind – Sonifying John Adams’ Diary

Maybe the question isn’t one of reading someone’s thoughts, but rather, listening to the overall pattern of topics within them. Topic modeling does some rather magical things. It imposes sense (it fits a model) onto a body of text. The topics that the model duly provide us with insight into the semantic patterns latent within the text (but see Ben Schmidts WEM approach which focuses on systems of relationships in the words themselves – more on this anon).

The Video Game and the Archaeologist – draft

[this is a draft of a short piece I am writing for a society journal, hence not peer reviewed. I would therefore welcome comments, keeping in mind that I wrote it in one sitting this AM. When it comes out formally – if – I’ll post the link here and direct folks to read the final product there. I think it hangs together more or less ok.