Agarwal, Kritika. “DOING RIGHT ONLINE: ARCHIVISTS SHAPE AN ETHICS FOR THE DIGITAL AGE.” American Historical Association. Accessed January 27, 2019. https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on- history/november-2016/doing-right-online-archivists-shape-an-ethics-for-the-digital-age.
Agarwal makes the claim that due to online archives and databases, law enforcement could monitor and use evidence of online presence against parties demonstrating their free speech, such as Black Lives Matter. Agarwal also discusses the use of ethics in online archives and states how some groups are working to ethically create archives by contacting groups or individuals who would be included in them for their consent.
Online archives are easily accessible to the public and therefore, may have unintended consequences if materials can be seen by anyone seeking to exploit people or groups within those archives. Digital databases store information that can include personal information individuals may not want to share with the public, therefore asking for consent is essential to monitoring an ethical database.
Though free speech is a right in America, it is not free of consequence. However, ethics must be taken into account when collecting data and information, regardless of what media or format, when creating an archive. Privacy and consent must be protected for all individuals going onward to ensure people are represented correctly online and in real life.
Bourdieu, Pierre. “Public Opinion Does Not Exist.” Sociology in Question, 149-57. EBSCO Publishing.
Bourdieu argues that public opinion does not exist due to the varying perspectives and personal interpretations of those surveyed when asked vague questions. As a whole, the “public” is diverse, consisting of people from different cultural backgrounds, financial statuses, religions, and morals, making it ineffective to conclude an answer to a question by generalizing the public.
The ineffectiveness of public opinion polls may be the reason why people may want to create them; by muddying the waters of the question, the person who asks the question can manipulate the participants to give the desired answer. It is impossible for public opinion to exist therefore, public opinion polls should be viewed skeptically to avoid misleading information.
Public opinion research is not an effective way to gauge the beliefs of people regarding political or social issues because varying perspectives and interpretations change the way people answer vague questions. Public opinion polls are biased in the context of questioning groups of certain privilege, to produce an assumed or expected answer, making authentic public opinion an unattainable concept.
Hall, Peter. “Bubbles, Lines, and String: How Information Visualization Shapes Society.” In Graphic Design: Now in Production, 170-87. Walker Art Center, 2011.
Hall stresses the importance of data visualization to help readers better understand what information is given to them. The use of graphics helps readers see and understand numerical and textual information when presented in an aesthetically appealing and cohesive way. Color, shape, and typography are all factors that affect how an audience will view data given to them to interpret, given the clarity of the composition.
Data visualization expresses data in a clear and objective way. The use of art, journalism, and science can help viewers think more deeply about the information presented to them. Data should be accessible and easily viewable for readers to understand, but it should also encourage readers to think critically.
Data visualization is an important factor to consider in publishing information of any kind because it takes into consideration the viewers’ ability to retain and process the information. It is an interdisciplinary practice that combines art, statistics, and science and should be accounted for in the representation of all fields of information.
Owens, Trevor. “What Do You Mean by Archive? Genres of Usage for Digital Preservers.” Library of Congress. Accessed January 27, 2019. https://blogs.loc.gov/thesignal/2014/02/what-do-you-mean-by-archive-genres-of-usage-for-digital-preservers/.
Owens lists and discusses the different genres or contexts the word “archive” is referred to in his article but stresses it is not his sole intention to define the different variations of archives. He states the misinterpretation or misunderstanding of the types of archives available makes it difficult for researchers and those involved in digital preservation to communicate clearly.
The understanding of archive is different for most people depending on their background and experience with research as well as information storage. The understanding of archive referred to its type can only be beneficial in institutions and academia to focus on various aspects of culture and data.
Understanding the different genres of archives is a useful tool to effectively label and organize information according to its topic and media. The generalization of archive as a collection of mixed information with no sense of clarity or organization defeats the purpose of using archive genres as a tool for research.
Irigaray, Luce, and Luce Irigaray. “Approaching the Other as Other.” In Between East and West: From Singularity to Community. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002.
Irigaray argues that in order for people to truly understand what and who they do not, people must approach learning without any preconceived notions or biases. Approaching the “other” as its own entity or form and without one viewing the “other” in relation to oneself allows for an open-minded appreciation and acceptance of the unknown, rather than fear and hostility.
Assumptions and stereotypes prevent people from making attempts to understand what they do not, therefore demotivating people from taking chances to learn what they do not know for certain. Curiosity sparks human intellect and imagination; without curiosity and with only false knowledge, humans would not make efforts to step out of their assumed comfort zones.
In order to cope with the unknown, some people create assumptions but with the absence of wonder comes the absence of freedom for exploration. Human life without curiosity would lack joy. People must learn to coexist with who and what they do not understand, given there is respect for the understanding that individuals are just part of the whole of any type of system they may be a part of.
Eklund, Lina, and Darcy Thompson. “Is Syria Really a ‘climate War’? We Examined the Links between Drought, Migration and Conflict.” The Conversation. September 19, 2018. Accessed January 31, 2019. http://theconversation.com/is-syria-really-a- climate-war-we-examined-the-links-between-drought-migration-and-conflict-80110.
Due to global warming, many Syrians are forced to evacuate the places they inhabit and must escape as refugees from rural to urban areas of Syria. The mass migration of Syrians because of the drought associated with global warming changed the population landscape of Syria, but the violent conflict is not directly linked to the mass migration.
The exploitation and neglect of lower-income Syrians located in the rural areas of Syria is a contributing factor as to why they had to relocate. The Syrian government did not implement a proper drought strategy to help alleviate drought conditions. Socio-political tensions between the Syrians and the Syrian government have been increasing for years, leading to the mass violence.
The Syrian migration narrative is heavily manipulated in media to convey a certain bias or to support a certain political opinion. Realizing and understanding the relationship between climate change, drought, and migration shows the real-life effects of climate change and why people must view the pressing issue seriously.
Lu, Denise, and Anjali Singhvi. “See How the Effects of the Government Shutdown Are Piling Up.” January 8, 2019. The New York Times. Accessed January 31, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/01/08/us/politics/government- shutdown-calendar.html.
Lu and Singhvi discuss the effects of the partial government shutdown so far up to the 19th day. They express how the detrimental effects not only affect the security of the country but also the unpaid government workers and they are about to miss yet another paycheck.
Several departments including The National Park Service and The Food and Drug Administration that are funded by the government were forced to reduce service due to the government shut down. With the agitation of TSA workers building up due to unpaid work, many began to call in sick or refusing to show up to work. The lack of these programs and services caused a threat to the health and safety of Americans and America as a whole.
As the longest government shutdown in history, America and Americans have paid the price of a stagnant government, while 800,000 federal workers were affected the worst. Continuation of the shutdown would only cause more harm to America and even harm the economy.
Zukin, Sharon. Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.
Zukin discusses the paradox of Union Square as a public space controlled by a private group of property owners. The goal of the Union Square Partnership which was founded in the 1980s was to revamp the park, keeping the area clean and safe. However, with a private group controlling the area, certain groups of people such as street cart vendors, young artists, and especially the homeless.
Privatized public spaces enforce social inequality and critics of BIDs (business improvement districts) argue that private management over public spaces has too much control, diminishing the authenticity of democracy. The ability to deny people and remove people in public spaces is an attack on their rights to freedom of speech and assembly.
Throughout history, Union Square has been known for groups gathering in protest and rallies. It has become a location for freedom and the expression of speech, especially after the events of 9/11. Though BIDs pay extra taxes to have the ability to control and upkeep an area, the rejection of social groups is unfair and discriminatory.
Zeisel, John. Inquiry by Design Tools for Environment-behaviour Research. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1991.
Zeisel claims that observing physical traces is an unobtrusive method to systematically look at a physical surrounding, attempting to find reflections of previous activity. Researchers use the observation of physical traces to observe how people interact. He also discusses the different ways researchers collect data as well as how different “props” affect a physical space and its inhabitants.
In order to be a full participant in one’s research, Zeisel suggests one should become a full participant by observing the behavior of people and empathizing with them. When researching, one should always observe data in context and always be aware of the setting. In addition, researchers would ask themselves what do they not see in an area, instead of only relying on visual impressions.
Researchers need to use their discretion when observing data, such as understanding the difference between official and illegitimate messages displaying in communities and their social side effects. The way in which people display their self or identity can represent how a community functions through its culture. Ziesel’s book offers insight on how to more effectively research and observe through an analytical, yet open-minded method.
My Brooklyn Documentary
In My Brooklyn, the topic of gentrification is discussed through the lens of the director, Kelly Anderson, as she explores her own involvement as a “gentrifier” in Brooklyn. Anderson shows the different perspectives of the various stakeholders in the gentrification process of Brooklyn. She features the insights of Brooklyn-natives and their opinions on the changing population and landscape of Brooklyn, as well as how it contributes to the disappearance of the community’s history and culture. Anderson specifically explores the tension involved with the plans to tear down Fulton Mall. Eventually, gentrification forces Anderson to move elsewhere in Brooklyn, as the gentrifier has faced gentrification.
Omnibus, Urban. “Toward a Stronger Social Infrastructure: A Conversation with Eric Klinenberg.” Urban Omnibus. October 31, 2017. Accessed March 01, 2019. https://urbanomnibus.net/2013/10/toward-a-stronger-social-infrastructure-a-conversation-with-eric-klinenberg/.
Klinenberg discusses social infrastructure and its existence in urban communities and cities. He explains how social infrastructure can help a community stay safer through built trust and communication. Natural disasters are catalysts to see the changes in social infrastructures. In cities, people are likely to like by themselves, secluded, but Klinenberg suggests this can be dangerous and lead to negative impacts on mental and physical health. The existence of social infrastructures are bolstered by the existence of public spaces for people to congregate and socialize.
Hiss, Tony. The Experience of Place. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1990.
Hiss explains the topic of “simultaneous perception,” which is the general awareness of different things all at once. He begins linking simultaneous perception with the experience of being in the main concourse of Grand Central Terminal and how awareness through sensation leads to a sense of disjointedness and connectedness. Design affects people chemically in their brains and this is why brain-body systems are a health matter. The location and proximity of buildings and structures affect whether or not people will take advantage of them and interact with them. Researchers can expand their knowledge by their own observation of local places. To have a simultaneous perception, one picks up cross-sensory patterns of information. Simultaneous perception is useful for ethnographic research because it forces one to monitor one’s own surroundings on a subconscious level.
Padilla, Thomas. “Engaging Absence.” Thomas Padilla. February 26, 2018. Accessed February 28, 2019. http://www.thomaspadilla.org/2018/02/26/engaging-absence/.
Padilla speaks about the acknowledgment of missing data in scholarship and research. He asked a question on Twitter regarding the visualization of absent data in archives and shared the responses he received. Missing data is a commentary on how the archive was created, as choices are never neutral. Taxonomies and categorization imply the bias of research and the omissions of information can tell a researcher context of data collection. At the end of his article, Padilla states that data absence should be embraced rather than denied or ignored.
Onuoha, Mimi. “On Missing Data Sets.” GitHub. Accessed March 01, 2019. https://github.com/MimiOnuoha/missing-datasets/blob/master/README.md.
Onuoha describes what a missing data set is and how missing data sets can show how people choose to focus on some information rather than other parts of information. Hidden data shows social and cultural bias and indifference, which can show and give context. Missing data can be a result of many different reasons; omissions can hide information from those looking for answers, such as in the case of police brutality. Difficult topics and controversial conversations often have missing data sets, as people are scared to confront these topics, as Onuoha describes. Sometimes, when people collect data, they only include research that fits in with their categories or labels, which can lead to the omittance of information that is not so easily labeled. The absence of data, however, can also function as protection to sensitive topics or marginalized people.