Storage is the ‘dead art’ of data!

Has technology killed our imaginations or is it in the process of doing so? I believed that technology would trigger our thoughts, make us mentally active and fire up our imagination. But I have come to the idea that maybe it has the opposite effect. Technology can encourage laziness. You need not learn a new skill, there’s an app for that, somewhere! Why draw when you can duplicate?! Time and energy is saved but valuable skills are being lost! Think of the Wii games versus sports training in the flesh. It is great fun and encourages people to get active, however, the skills do not transfer from the Wii console to the field of sport! How much of an active role do you play in the time you spend online? Do you actively engage with the material? Do you create content? It is very easy to be a passive internet citizen, consuming every meme, image and piece of information in plain sight. But how do we enable creativity and fire up our imaginations online? Through storytelling! Creating stories is a craft and must be adapted for new technological mediums. There is plenty of information or data being mined for a variety of purposes, however, we need to make this information useful for the wider public. We need to make the data tell a story. Why should we bother? We need to make sense of the world of information which surrounds us. And by doing so we will make our lives easier and more beneficial. Think of a library. There are large numbers of libraries throughout the world filled with materials and books, each has a story to tell. The information is grouped, managed and organised collectively. Standards are set as to what materials and books are to be taken in, choices are made and first preferences are given. Following such a model will allow us to prevent laziness and intellectual staleness setting in. Making use of open data. The idea of Open Knowledge Ireland holds sway: “open data is the public library of the 21st century”. Will your data come alive and tell a story? Publish or perish was the old adage…the new is create content collaboratively for the world to openly interpret and visualise or become storage, the ‘dead art’ of data!


Digital Humanities, the Internet and You…

What is the value of Digital Humanities? The very nature of Digital Humanities is collaborative in its approach. There is not one set definition to explain what it is exactly. There are a number of definitions out there, and each one contributes to the larger picture, or maybe pictures. So why bother with it? If it fails to be boxed, or categorised, what is the use of it? We cannot nail it down to any one thing and that is important, if not vital, in the digital age. It is ever-changing in the dynamic multiverse and digisphere. It is akin to attempting to define the internet itself, what the internet means to everyone is different because our experiences of it are very different. We find common ground sometimes and this manifests itself in for example memes we might share or enjoyment we derive from some video. Presently, the internet is a very individual experience, it is in its infancy, we need to work towards a common goal a community of internet users just the same as any city, town or village. We will do this through shared experiences. One project that I have come across recently is:

The purpose of this project is to explore the idea of reconciliation through the power of storytelling.

Already we have seen pages such as Humans of New York, Humans of Cork etc. These are pages that explore the ordinary yet thought-provoking stories of ordinary people everyday that at times can restore our faith in humanity.

Also check out Facebook.

This concept and approach is quite mesmerizing for me personally, the idea that nothing has to die or become extinct anymore. Languages, for example, can be brought to life. One example of this is the Irish language music videos made by Colaiste Lurgan on YouTube.

We can attempt to reconcile our differences, and pave the way towards preservation of what we consider to be important to us collectively. One voice need no longer supersede the other, however, one voice may speak stronger than the other to individuals in certain cases and we have to bear this in mind. Building our future together, driven by data, data that tells the bigger picture, that is all-inclusive. One that is modelled on the very essence of Digital Humanities. To reconcile, we must understand what it means to respect one another, we need suitable individuals to lead us there. People who understand the importance of data, its successes and failures, ethics, the power of its core – people themselves. People who understand the past, the present and the future, and the implications of a data-driven future, those who respect others in every way and have an understanding of and appreciate the value of this collaborative effort. Yes the future includes you but who will take you there? Can you?

Digital White Collar Crime!

It’s 2016 and I am back after an extended Christmas break!

What is bugging me today?

This new ruling in favour of employers:

Now I have an issue with this for the following reasons:

You are entitled to have and speak your own mind, your private thoughts are your private thoughts not that of your employer! Where’s freedom of speech gone?

Would your employer follow you into the bathroom or attempt to read your mind if devices would allow?

I think not!

If you are factored to work, how can you possibly prove you were on your break at the time you sent that message when in fact someone else may have sent it? We cannot possibly control what other people may send to us in the round of the day, and sometimes we do have to respond, if phones are not allowed then you may have to access social media messaging sites amongst others on technology provided by the workplace.

I understand that the idea is that you are there to work.  But many people are making use of social media messaging sites due to the extortionate pricing of messaging outside of such sites.  Many people are low-income earners in low paid jobs which exacerbates the problem.  Some might even believe that such low-income earners are slaving for multinationals who have contributed to bringing about this issue to begin with, the creation of a need for all these devices and related sites and now they want to add insult to injury by monitoring ordinary people going about their daily business trying to keep motivated through keeping in contact with people throughout parts of the day via messaging.

Need I remind that this new style model of multinational corporations and such have driven people away from those they genuinely care about, away from the simple life, rural people have been driven into the cities, that causes huge psychological problems and trauma, being removed from their natural setting not to mention people who have emigrated.  All for what?  A better life?  There is no such thing in this corporate driven gluttony and greed, taking people away from what matters to them and acting as a threat to them through monitoring and holding their job, the very thing they need to survive, over their heads.  The job that they have travelled huge distances to come by.

The digital is a new concept which has infiltrated every part of ourselves emotionally, physically, mentally, socially…

It is new. Enough studies have not yet been completed on the impact it can have.

But for many it acts as a comfort and solace.

To attempt to remove people from this digital world by monitoring them is outrageous. It is a form of digital white collar crime. Employees are people not machines! It is a violation of digital human rights if someone dared to concoct such a charter!

Decide for yourself.

That is all. Rant over.