As a reaction to Professor Riva’s post, I tend to side with the notion that the DH can effectively provide a new way to generate data– that the way we construct knowledge can grow to encompass data that without digitization could not be expressed. In a practical application I was struck by the Omeka Exhibit Builder which allows a curator to present digital objects to a group of diverse people who will then contribute their own meta-data to each object. (http://omeka.org/codex/Plugins/ExhibitBuilder) I see this type of experiment as a good opportunity to introduce a cross disciplinary approach to what this meta-data can look like. In my past blog post I believe I started to mention my interest in haptic technology, the easiest example perhaps being an iPad screen, I think it is very effective to react to an object through touch and that we can learn a lot about what an object means to a person via the responses of their other senses. In looking at a painting where do a person’s eyes move? Whose eyes move in the same pattern, and are their statistically significant similarities across ages, cultures and genders? I think that the measurement of a “non-linguistic” data can perhaps be thought of a new paradigm for the DH.
This said I do think that a large portion of the time dedicated in the advancement of DH must look back in time to the fuzzy data. “Humanities to Digital Humanities” clearly lines up the facets of what the DH must come to terms with to clean up data: Enhanced critical curation, where the changes that have happened have led to an exponentially fast growing collection mean that many things are left unprocessed and therefore certain things are valued above others. Augmented Editions and Fluid Textuality, where standards for mark-ups must be created within editions but also when approaching the distribution of materials. Visualization and data design, where there must be an effort made to not mislead the viewer/participant. The animated archive, where history should be thought of as a living organism ready to become participatory. Reading and authoring, where the invitation is extended to the civilian curator. I see this last aspect as a way to gather data that can be used by institutions to better understand their public and thereby be better able to gear funding and programs to them. This last point should not be a patronizing one however. The data should also become of value to the institution as a necessary evaluation of their own curatorial scholarship.
In clicking through the links provided in the texts, I came away with a sense of play and the power of play. When something is fun it is easy to create data. For this reason I am pasting a screen shot of this text through an n-gram.