Blog Post 2/22

Part 1:

In “Quantitative History Makes a Comeback” written by Marc Parry, he discusses using different methods you would typically see in science of math to investigate history. He focuses in on a man named  Peter Turchin, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Connecticut. A quote I found very fascinating in this article was “As Turchin sees it, historians generally neglect the scientific method. The example he likes to use is the Roman Empire.” I never had really considered using the scientific method when researching historical information.

The illustration used in the article “Its about Russia” written by Dan Cohen was very interesting. I looked at this visual a long time reading all the names and thought it was a good way to show everyone was connected. I do agree with Cohen’s quote “Make sure your visualizations expose something new, hidden, non-obvious.”

In “Seven ways humanists are using computers to understand text written” by Ted Underwood. Obviously computers and technology have become a big contributor to the way people write today. It can help with visualizations to make writing more appealing or help with word choice. My favorite way Underwood mentions was “Model literary forms or genres.” I am a very much a visual learner so seeing a model presenting information to me instead of simply all text is much more beneficial. I liked that it gave different types of models, not just 3D models but could also be graphs presenting relevant information.

Part 2:

I used the Gender Guesser website provided to see if it could guess my gender based on a writing sample. I have provided the results below.

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The website for both formal and informal guessed male, which was incorrect. I think this kind of application is pretty silly but can be interesting to get some kind of insight on how you write. I dont think you can really tell what gender a person is based off of their writing and no other contexts, because depending on what kind of writing it is (Essay, diary, text message) writing style and word choice can vary a great deal.

Part 3:

I will use voyant tools to analyze different long articles to see what the main subjects of the pieces are before diving into too much detail. I can also use it to see trends of words that appear a lot in different articles to possibly have new key words to search when looking for sources and narrow my searches.

Part 4:

I used voyant tools to analyze one of my primary sources I found using DPLA. This particular article focused on the savannah slave trade so I would like to research this more to see if I could focus my research and project on this specifically. I will return back to the primary source websites and search for “savannah slave trade” and see what findings I get.

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