Report on the Killing Floor

by Lee Childs

Last night’s symposium shed little light on Mr Reacher. In fairness, it was chosen as a lighter read to follow the highly appreciated but magnitudinally-challenging biography of Hamilton. In that light I think it passed the bar – although lighter it was also definitely darker. I think the consensus was that it did not masquerade as higher literature, offer intricate plot or character development but it did end up delivering predictable entertainment. Continue reading

Using Onodo to Learn Network Analysis and Visualisation

During our seminar on Network Analysis and Visualisation in DH6010/6019 this past semester as a group we enjoyed a case study involving network analysis of the Star Wars characters presented by Evelina Gabasova (http://evelinag.com/blog/2016/01-25-social-network-force-awakens/index.html#.V7Mn5WXi-f4). She does a superb job of combining analysis, explaining her methodology, deriving some fascinating deductions – all with a fun cinematically familiar network. The familiarity combined with Gabasova’s well crafted blog posts really helped everyone grasp the basic precepts of graph theory and set up hands-on network visualisation instruction using Gephi.
Screenshot 2016-08-16 16.33.22
One of the challenges in approaching and using Gephi (http://gephi.org) is that it has so much flexibility, power and such powerful capabilities that is can be off-putting for new users. The interface is not immediately intuitive and even with many of its panels minimised it tends to scare people off. It takes time and a deeper understanding of graph theory to appreciate its benefits and to be able to use it effectively – especially for analysis.

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Report of the Silk Roads

by Peter Frankopan

Thanks again to Brian for sharing his thoughts in advance. A fine review covering in fine detail aspects which certainly helped stimulate our discussion.

There were mixed, but I think generally favourable reactions to the book as a whole – noting that some were reading it and others having it read to them by a rather poor narrator. Continue reading

Pondering Sidenotes

Screenshot 2016-07-11 10.09.19The last week found me teasing out techniques for working with sidenotes as alternative to footnotes or endnotes. In a contentually brilliant PhD Dissertation on timelines as a digital collection visualisation tool – I was concurrently impressed by the quality of the layout of the entire dissertation to enhance readability. Florian Kräutli’s dissertation 1 is a great example of having some latitude to take the reader into account and make the content of a PhD dissertation usable beyond merely submitting it to check a box. Continue reading

Report on Five Socratic Dialogues

by Plato

Thanks all for thoughtful discussion and was very pleased to see the great engagement with Plato’s Socratic Dialogues. I think all expressed pleasure at having read the dialogues – in varying measures. All seemed to have engaged in different ways: attempting to fill gap in allusions from other reading or to take learning from the process and methodology of the discursive method demonstrated. Continue reading

Playing with Hexagons in Northern Ireland

[Cross Posted from QUBDH]

NI-Hex-2016-2011-ResultsSo what about those hexagons? They were all the rage during the UK General Election last year – the BBC actually constructed a physical jigsaw in their atrium out of them. At the time I mused on there usefulness for providing a pseudo-spatial representation of return data. At the time I was largely positive and have subsequently experimented with their usage in place of heat maps – as in the example below looking at healthcare coverage. On a popular basis they appear to have been a passing fancy with the major media organisations abandoning them just a year later during the UK local and regional elections. I haven’t abandoned them yet myself and found that for the NI election this week they offered a useful sense on the allocation of seats by constituency.

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Incompetence, Irresponsibility and the Value of Data for Knowledge

oHalpinIn what appears to be a second Trinity-flavoured posting, I share my thoughts on a provocative talk and session at Dr Steeven’s Hospital this noontime.
Dr Steeven’s in conjunction with the Edward Worth Library invited Prof Eunan O’Halpin of TCD History to speak to their 1916 commemoration programme. His talk: ‘Cherishing All the Nation’s Children Equally: Civilian Deaths in 1916’ entertained and elicited though beyond his specific subject matter. I can only characterise his presentation as ribald, off the cuff, passionate and directly speaking to the humanity of knowledge.

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