Archive for the ‘Cultural Anthropology’ Category

Cultural Heritage Markup (Pre-Balisage)

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

Cultural Heritage Markup Balisage, Monday, August 10, 2015.

Do you remember visiting your great-aunt’s house? Where everything looked like museum pieces and the smell was worse than your room every got? And all the adults has strained smiles and said how happy they were to be there?

Well, cultural heritage markup isn’t like that. All the real cultural heritage stuff we have maiden aunts and Norwegian bachelor uncles to take care of that stuff. This pre-Balisage workshop is working with markup and is a lot more fun!

Hugh Cayless, Duke University introduces the workshop:

Cultural heritage materials are remarkable for their complexity and heterogenity. This often means that when you’ve solved one problem, you’ve solved one problem. Arrayed against this difficulty, we have a nice big pile of tools and technologies with an alphabet soup of names like XML, TEI, RDF, OAIS, SIP, DIP, XIP, AIP, and BIBFRAME, coupled with a variety of programming languages or storage and publishing systems. All of our papers today address in some way the question of how you deal with messy, complex, human data using the available toolsets and how those toolsets have to be adapted to cope with our data. How do you avoid having your solution dictated by the tools available? How do you know when you’re doing it right? Our speakers are all trying, in various ways, to reconfigure their tools or push past those tools’ limitations, and they are going to tell us how they’re doing it.

A large number of your emails, tweets, webpages, etc. are destined to be “cultural heritage” (phone calls too if the NSA has anything to say about it) so you better get on the cultural heritage markup train today!

Computational Culture

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Computational Culture: a journal of software studies

From the about page:

Computational Culture is an online open-access peer-reviewed journal of inter-disciplinary enquiry into the nature of the culture of computational objects, practices, processes and structures.

The journal’s primary aim is to examine the ways in which software undergirds and formulates contemporary life. Computational processes and systems not only enable contemporary forms of work and play and the management of emotional life but also drive the unfolding of new events that constitute political, social and ontological domains. In order to understand digital objects such as corporate software, search engines, medical databases or to enquire into the use of mobile phones, social networks, dating, games, financial systems or political crises, a detailed analysis of software cannot be avoided.

A developing form of literacy is required that matches an understanding of computational processes with those traditionally bound within the arts, humanities, and social sciences but also in more informal or practical modes of knowledge such as hacking and art.

The journal welcomes contributions that address such topics and many others that may derive and mix methodologies from cultural studies, science and technology studies, philosophy of computing, metamathematics, computer science, critical theory, media art, human computer interaction, media theory, design, philosophy.

Computational Culture publishes peer-reviewed articles, special projects, interviews, and reviews of books, projects, events and software. The journal is also involved in developing a series of events and projects to generate special issues.

A few of the current articles:

Not everyone’s cup of tea but for those who appreciate it, this promises to be a real treasure.

Discovering User’s Models (Instead of Selling One)

Saturday, July 13th, 2013

Cultural Anthropology/Anthropological Methods (wikibook)

From the homepage:

Ethnography is a qualitative research method used in social sciences like Anthropology where researchers immerse themselves in other cultures for the purpose of recording information about their lifestyle for comparative research.

The built-in semantics of the TAO model (actually of the TMDM) have been discussed recently. Capturing the semantic models of our users is more important than to imposing a default model on their data.

How would you react to someone who was trying to sell you a service on the basis that your model for data is obviously inferior to what they are offering?

Not the start of a great sales pitch?

But that is what the Semantic Web and Topic Maps have been pushing. Abandon your current model! Salvation is just a new model away!


I don’t dislike the TAO model. We need a model to start the conversation about the user’s model.

But does every user of topic maps have to march in lock-step with the built-in semantics of the TMDM or can they fashion their own semantics?

A sales pitch that starts “We can help you capture your data model, for preservation/migration and add new capabilities to your existing infrastructure.” is a lot less threatening.

What do you think?