historical tourism

There was a news item on Västerbottensnytt (regional TV channel) yesterday about the historical tourism project we have been involved where GPS technology and PDA:s have been used to create a location-based experience of the 1809 Battle of Sävar north of Umeå. The video clip (in Swedish, available for a week) can be played from here.

Added note: There was an article in Västerbottenskurien (regional paper) on December 30.

Goldberg Open Lecture

Yesterday I had the chance to attend a lecture by David Theo Goldberg, Director of the University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI) and Professor of African-American Studies and of Criminology, Law, and Society at the University of California at Irvine. It was an intense experience as terms such as ‘Race’, ‘Racilization’ (a term we were advised not to use by Professor Goldberg), ‘Racial’ and ‘Racist’ were examined in the contexts of history, society and conflict.
Continue reading “Goldberg Open Lecture”

Visiting the KMI at the OU

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit the Knowledge Media Institute here at the Open University campus in Milton Keynes. The Head of the Centre for New Media, Peter Scott, kindly showed me around the lab and told me about some of the many interesting projects they are running there, such as the Making the News project and the Xtreme Webcasting project. Apparently, my Moblogging Jokkmokk colleagues and I share some experiences with the Xtreme Webcasters, in that we have all tried blogging in thick gloves, but I have to say doing so while climbing a mountain does sound a bit more extreme than from a freezing market.

I was also shown some examples of projects in which they experiment with the notion of presence. For instance, one of the PhD students, Yanna Vogiazou, recently finished her PhD, in which she has combined virtual and physical presence in games like the location-based multiplayer game Cititag. At KMI, they have also developed different platforms with the notion of presence in mind, like BuddySpace and Hexagon. In the latter, you are represented by a video image which appears in a grid together with the images of the others (or of their empty offices if they happen to not be present at the moment). The platform facilitates synchronous voice and text chat, and thus provides an advanced instant messaging and presence indicator service.

The physical environment at KMI is also quite impressive, with a large area for demonstrations and many plasma screen displays. They also have a big hall where they webcast seminars, and in order for the online audience to get a chance to participate more actively in these, they use the Hexagon platform. This is similar to what we do in HUMlab, where we live stream our seminars and let distance participants interact via text chat. Our online audience is not represented by video images, though, but the mere appearance of their names in the list have a similar affect, in that their presence is indicated to both the speaker and the audience in the physical lab. Maybe we should try having video links as well at some point, to see how this might affect the dynamics of our seminars?

You can read some more reflections in my blog, Emerging Communications.

David Theo Goldberg

Tomorrow David Theo Goldberg will speak in HUMlab.

“A Manifesto for the Humanities in a Technological Age”
1.15 pm CET (live streamed)

And on Tuesday he will talk about “Racial Europeanization” at 1.15 PM (Hörsal E, Humanities Building).

Here is an excerpt from his bio:

David Theo Goldberg, Director of the University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI) and Professor of African-American Studies and of Criminology, Law, and Society at the University of California at Irvine.

David Theo Goldberg, Ph.D., was appointed director of the University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI) on July 1, 2000, following an extensive international search. In addition to his post at the UCHRI, he holds a full tenure appointment with the UC Irvine African American Studies Program in the School of Humanities, as well as an affiliated appointment with the UC Irvine Department of Criminology, Law, and Society in the School of Social Ecology. […]

Dr. Goldberg is an expert on South Africa, where he was born and raised. He is also a leading scholar in the fields of race and racism, social and political theory, and socio-legal studies. […]

Professor Goldberg is the author of numerous books, including The Racial State (Basil Blackwell, 2002); Racial Subjects: Writing on Race in America (Routledge, 1997); Racist Culture: Philosophy and the Politics of Meaning (Basil Blackwell, 1993); and Ethical Theory and Social Issues: Historical Texts and Contemporary Readings (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1990/1995).

Among the numerous books he has edited or co-edited are Relocating Postcolonialism (Basil Blackwell, 2002); A Companion to Racial and Ethnic Studies (Blackwell Companions in Cultural Studies, 2002); Race Critical Theories: Text and Context (Basil Blackwell, 2001); Between Law and Culture: Relocating Legal Studies (University of Minnesota Press, 2001); Multiculturalism: A Critical Reader (Basil Blackwell, 1994); Jewish Identity (Temple University Press, 1993); and Anatomy of Racism (University of Minnesota Press, 1990).

Works in progress include Companion to Gender Studies, co-edited with Philomena Essed and Audrey Kobayashi, which is currently in press (Basil Blackwell, 2004); tRACEs: Race, Deconstruction, and Critical Theory, co-edited with Kim Furumoto and Dragan Kujundzic (Duke University Press, forthcoming 2005); and The Death of Race, a manifesto for Basil Blackwell.

He is founding co-editor of the scholarly journal Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture, and serves on the advisory editorial boards of various international journals in humanities and social sciences.

Professor Goldberg holds degrees in philosophy and economics from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and a Ph.D. in philosophy from City University of New York. In the immediate years following the completion of his doctorate, he ran a small film and video production company in New York City, Metafilms, producing and directing independent films and music videos. He produced the first rap music video to air on MTV, Kurtis Blow’s “Basketball,” in 1985. Dr. Goldberg gave up film production in 1987 to take up a full-time academic appointment. He has taught at New York University; Hunter, Baruch, and Lehman colleges of the City University of New York; Drexel University (Philadelphia); Oxford University; University of Cape Town, University of the Western Cape, and University of Durban-Westville; and at UC Berkeley and UC San Diego.

Seismic Riffs

From today’s workshop:

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Christina McPhee talking about her art, multi-perspectival representation, complex and rich data sets/material, micro-macro perspectives, subjectivity, the sublime, composition and other things (my interpretation).

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datamining workshop day 2

It is soon time for the second day of our datamining workshop. Yesterday turned out really well I thought and I quite like the composition. I will write a longer piece on datmining in the humanities later. For now, a picture of professor Lars-Erik Edlund from yesterday.

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He did a great piece on dialectology, linguistic databases and the importance of relating directly to the source material. And he also pointed out the importance of qualitative studies and carefully planned visual representation. He is a great storyteller (as you can probably tell).

Practical Data Mining

Some live blogging from HUMlab. The opening presentation for the Workshop Around Data Mining is now going on. Lars Sköld is presently giving a presentation entitled Practical Data Mining. It is centered around the program Clementine 9.0.
The definition given to data mining by Sköld was in part: “Data mining is the process of discovering new correlations, pattern and trends by sifting through large amounts of data stored in repositories”.
The base method referenced by Sköld is the Cross Industry Process for Data Mining (CRISP-DM).
Clementine seems to be a quantitative based data mining management program that uses layers of information and process which can intersect. One of the interesting points that I have picked up from the demonsration is that it is visually intensive with a icon field being the main work area. This has interesting implications to the nature of data mining technologies and can be seen as the necessity for a visual object form of representation for large bodies of information.
Initally based around quatative based methods, there is also the possiblity to undertake Text Mining that seems to work on terms and tags rather than numbers. To include tags would open up the possibilities for information processing I believe

Identifying the Other

Today I will present my paper, ‘Identifying the other: Unmasking the unnamed blogger using linguistic markers’ (draft will be posted next week) at a student forensic linguistics mini-conference. I have been working on this paper for quite some time and am excited about where the findings are leading me. In this paper, I have made a distinction between pseudonymous blogs and ‘other identity’ blogs. A pseudonymous blog is written by someone under an anonymous identity, who fully admits that his or her identity is secret. an ‘other identity’ blog is one that the blogger writes under an identity that is not his or her ‘true‘ identity and is not disclosed to be ‘other’. I have decided to use the word ‘other’ to remove moral implications that words such as false or fake carry. I also italicize truth because truth is a subjective concept upon a large continuum of experience.

(disclaimer: names have been changed to protect bloggers’ identities)
Jack and Jill

A short summary of my findings. The two bloggers that I compared for markers of identity has a large number of qualitative markers in common; my favorite being the use of ‘teh’, not as a typo of ‘the’, but as a noun modifier. when conducting a more quantitative analysis, however, i got some strange results. For example, both bloggers have a very similar writing style – similar sentence structure and length. But when writings were compared between two texts known to be written by the same person, the writings showed very different writing styles. I am a bit unsure why this is, but it may suggest a certain blog style that goes beyond jargon and conventions and affects sentence structure…a harder thing to fake when writing in the ‘other’. My next step in this process is to compare current findings with random blogs which I know not to be written by either of the blogs in question.

Jack and Jack

(based on this post)