Upward of 40 sessions (at MLA) are devoted to what is called the “digital humanities,” an umbrella term for new and fast-moving developments across a range of topics: the organization and administration of libraries, the rethinking of peer review, the study of social networks, the expansion of digital archives, the refining of search engines, the production of scholarly editions, the restructuring of undergraduate instruction, the transformation of scholarly publishing, the re-conception of the doctoral dissertation, the teaching of foreign languages, the proliferation of online journals, the redefinition of what it means to be a text, the changing face of tenure — in short, everything.
Monthly Archives: December 2011
“The current shape of the Web is the same shape as the Internet hardware,” says Mr. Gelernter. “The Internet hardware is lots of computers wired together into a nothing-shaped cobweb. The Web itself is a lot of websites hyperlinked together into a nothing-shaped cobweb.”
The failure of the Internet to organize itself into a more useful metaphor is precisely what needs fixing. “It is impossible to picture the Web. It’s a big fuzzy nothing. I sort of tiptoe around tiny areas of it shining a flashlight.”
[. . . .]
The idea, though, of lifestreams has been catching on. A lifestream is a way of organizing digital objects—photos, emails, documents, Web links, music—in a time-ordered series. A timeline, in essence, that extends into the past but also the future (with appointments, to-do lists, etc.). . . .
Mr. Gelernter believes streams are a more intuitive, useful way to organize our digital lives, not least because, as the past and future run off either side of our screen, at the center is now—and now is what the Internet really is about.
This was a blog post pointed out by one of my classmates. The writer is obviously very familiar with Drupal (although she claims not to be a programmer), which is not my case at all, but at least it gives me some idea of what can be accomplished in a day with Drupal once you become familiar with it.
This is an example of a fairly simple VRE (virtual research environment).