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Friday, May 18, 2007

More Thoughts on "Digital History"

This is a cool video on Digital Futures.

The following quote is taken from William J. Turkel's Digital History Hacks and is good reading for historians, caretakers and providers of digital history:

Having more changes our ideas of what history and memory are. Roy Rosenzweig's essay on scarcity and abundance should be required reading for all historians. I've already written about information costs, so I won't go into detail here, except to say that historical projects have largely been defined by what we can't find or know, and that's about to change. Having nearly frictionless access to vast amounts of source material makes it possible to undertake projects that hinge on attested, but very-low-frequency evidence. Having more of everything also means that attention becomes a scarce resource. As scholars, our reputations and careers are increasingly shaped by the logic of the gift.

Finally, more is about to become an awful lot more. Technologies like RFID and MEMS make it possible to create vast sensor networks that continuously record data in unimaginable quantities, or that can track the history of practically any object of interest. CARPE researchers study the capture, archival and retrieval of personal experiences across a lifetime. If you thought Samuel Pepys left a lot of material, you haven't seen anything yet.

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