42 Ways in Which Google Gives You the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything

Carr’s article indicates that the internet has changed the way in which we read, think, and speak. That is, “It’s becoming our map and our clock, our printing press and our typewriter, our calculator and our telephone, and our radio and TV.” It has taught us to value efficiency over, say a close-reading of a novel. […]

The Democratization of History and Its Audience – An Urban-Rural Divide?

The essay in the Graham reading discusses relinquishing control of the historical voice in order to crowdsource cultural heritage and history. It begins by stating that while a successful crowdsourcing site like Wikipedia have led to a “democratization of history”, it does not yet  allow the “democratization of audience”. The essay argues that digitization is […]

Lake Ontario – From Military Fortifications to Recreational Fishing

In the past few weeks, our class did readings on and talked about the history of the Great Lakes. In terms of fresh water in Canadian history, the Great Lakes Public Forum briefed us on strategies for the assessment, restoration, and protection of the lakes, which had to meet the commitments stated by the Canada-United […]

A Historian’s Guide to Making Use of GIS

According to Knowles’  Placing History: How Maps, Spatial Data, and GIS Are Changing Historical Scholarship, despite of the fundamental characteristics of GIS that make it difficult for historians to use, the use of GIS will exponentially increase over the next decade. This is because GIS require expertise visual and mathematical characteristics, which “count[s] against the […]

Opening the Floodgates on Natural Catastrophes and Social Production

According to Castonguay, both historians and social scientists have linked natural catastrophes to social production such as social structures, human action, and elite discourse. While social structures refer to different levels of social equality/inequality, human action action refers to the creation of human infrastructure, and elite discourse refers to the businesses or the ruling elite who […]

Citizens of the Web: Wikipedia, Crowdsourcing, and the Amateur

In the Swartz reading, we get a brief overview of Wikipedia’s history, which can be described as “just like any other project: a small group of colleagues working together toward a common goal”. However, what is remarkable about the creation and contributions to the online encyclopedia is that it was the “world’s largest encyclopedia in four years […]