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From Punched Cards To "Big Data": A Social History Of Database Populism, Kevin Driscoll Aug 2012

From Punched Cards To "Big Data": A Social History Of Database Populism, Kevin Driscoll

communication +1

Since the diffusion of the punched card tabulator following the 1890 U.S. Census, mass-scale information processing has been alternately a site of opportunity, ambivalence and fear in the American imagination. While large bureaucracies have tended to deploy database technology toward purposes of surveillance and control, the rise of personal computing made databases accessible to individuals and small businesses for the first time. Today, the massive collection of trace communication data by public and private institutions has renewed popular anxiety about the role of the database in society. This essay traces the social history of database technology across three periods ...


The Digital Future Is Now: What The Humanities Can Learn From Escience, Christine L. Borgman May 2010

The Digital Future Is Now: What The Humanities Can Learn From Escience, Christine L. Borgman

Christine L. Borgman

As the digital humanities mature, their scholarship is taking on many characteristics of the sciences, becoming more data-intensive, information-intensive, distributed, multi-disciplinary, and collaborative. While few scholars in the humanities or arts would wish to be characterized as emulating scientists, they do envy the comparatively rich technical and resource infrastructure of the sciences. The interests of all scholars in the university align with respect to access to data, library resources, and computing infrastructure. However, the scholarly interests of the sciences and humanities diverge regarding research practices, sources of evidence, and degrees of control over those sources. This talk will explore the ...