Blog Profile / Electric Archaeology

Filed Under:Academics / Archaeology
Posts on Regator:229
Posts / Week:0.7
Archived Since:July 9, 2011

Blog Post Archive

updating the ol’ teaching philosophy

I’m updating my teaching philosophy statement; periodically this is necessary for both cynical and genuine reasons. Cynical, because of paperwork requirements; genuine, because I think I actually believe this, when I see it written out. It helps me remember what the hell I’m trying to do in any given class, and reminds me that not […]

Recurrent Neural Networked Trump

I fed a number of interviews with Donald Trump into a recurrent neural network. An RNN can learn to predict what letter ought to come next, depending on how well it has learned. The more data you can feed it, the more working memory your machine has, the better the eventual results. Once you’ve trained […]

Romans Must Die

Terry Pratchett is mentioned for all of 2 seconds in the video; why youtube chooses that one still for this… anyway…

‘Big Data Gothic’ & Data Day 3

I’ve got between 12-15 minutes tomorrow, at Carleton’s 3rd data day. That’s not a lot of time. I’ve written out roughly what it is I want to talk about – but I go off-script a lot when I speak, so what’s below is only the most nebulous of guides  to what’ll actually come out of […]

Horses to Water

The prof looked around the room brightly (or at least, as brightly as one can on a monday morning in March). “So let’s talk about your final projects. Where are we at? What’s working, where can we trouble shoot?” Murmurs from the class. Some volunteered. “Going well, just have to meet later today to talk […]

I don’t know how to do this

I don’t know how to do this. I worry that whatever I did say, would only make it worse. How do you help? Your students never stop being your students. You work with them days on end, through periods of intense frustration on either side, through times of amazing energy and excitement, to joy (graduation!) […]

Where I’m speaking next

March turned into a busy month. Silly me. Anyway, hard on the heals of last month’s address to Ottawa’s public high school history teachers (materials here; Rachel Collishaw’s write up of the day here) I’ll be next at: Colder Than Mars, a series out of the University of Regina. I’ll probably be doing something regarding […]

Regarding Slack

Zach Whalen is team teaching a course using Slack at the moment. He writes up his initial observations on using it here. It’s a face-to-face course with Slack serving as the catalyst bringing all of the different sections together. I quizzed him and Lee Skallerup Bessette this morning on Twitter, to see how their experience has […]

Mancis the Poet; or, what you get when you feed Cape Breton fiddle tunes into a recurrent neural network

My experiments with Karpathy’s recurrent neural network (rnn) continue (see this, and this). Other folks have experimented with feeding music in ‘abc’ notation into the rnn, so I thought I’d give it a try too. I found a collection of Cape Breton fiddle tunes. I can fiddle, a bit; can my mac? Turns out, yes, yes it […]

The Robotic Edward Gibbon

Continuing on from yesterday’s post and the suggestion of Steve Leahy: @electricarchaeo Feed it the complete text of Gibbon's "Decline & Fall…": & let it (re)write history:-) — Steve Leahy (@oz_penguin) February 17, 2016 I have fed The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire into my neural network. What truths about Gibbon’s writing will […]

A Newly Discovered Greek Play

What if you discovered a ‘new’ ancient greek play? Yeah, not likely to happen, at least for me: ancient greek was probably my worst subject. But… given the time, the place, and the context of writing… maybe we could generate a ‘new’ play from the writings of the ancients. Maybe we could identify patterns of […]

On Punctuation

Posters of various literary works by Nicholas Rougeux – as represented by the punctuation therein- have been doing the rounds lately. They’re lovely; in the absence of words we intuit something of the nature of the work from the pauses, the parenthesis, the short staccato dashes and dots; a kind of telegraphy of meaning. Adam Calhoun posted […]

In Support of Doug’s Archaeology

Dear Doug Rocks-MacQueen is an archaeologist who performs a vital service to our community. I write as an academic archaeologist,  and I find that ‘Doug’s Archaeology’ is an important...Show More Summary

Can we fix it? Yes we can! #DHAnnotates Feb 8-12

With apologies to Bob the Builder, and perhaps also Obama. Preamble In my graduate seminar on digital/public history, I framed the course as ‘Digital History Methods as Public History Performance’. I did this deliberately to riff on my colleague David Dean’s amazing seminar and research on perfoming history; students in that class were making videos, […]

The Minimal Viable Digital History Virtual Machine

I have three classes on the go, all of which are heavily digitally inflected. In the past, I’ve always figured it was better to teach students how to use the machines they have to hand, rather than trying to get them all on a single virtual machine; after all, most of the students come to […]

A quick exploration of

My quest to find a good open notebook approach for my tech-hesitant students continues. Today, we’re playing with : another note taking app; lives in browser or on desktop or as app within chrome. Stores your notes in a database in browser storage documents also copied onto classeur servers; can get a URL […]

Reactions to Battlefield Recovery episode 1

Battlefield Recovery, an execrable show that turns the looting of war dead into ‘entertainment’, was shown on Saturday on Channel 5 in the UK. I won’t dignify it by linking to it; instead see this article in the Guardian. I wondered however what the tweeting public thought about the show – keeping in mind that […]

Crafting Digital History…. engage!

The term has started. Students are filing into HIST3907o and HIST3970-open-access. Conversations are starting to happen in our respective Slack spaces! (Reminder, if you’d like to lurk or follow along or participate, you can get yourself going here). We’ve already encountered, discussed,and solved some problems with Git-it! And it’s just the second day. I’m trying […]

A Map of Archaeogaming

Andrew posted a mindmap of the kinds of things that fall under the ‘archaeogaming’ rubric. He mentioned that it’d be nice to have it with that xkcd aesthetic. The different kinds of archaeogaming were laid out like a ‘Reingold-Tilford’ tree As it happens, there’s a package for R that will take the standard plot() commands and […]

gn?thi seauton, or, mine your own tweets

Sometimes, one of the best ways to understand a method is to run it on data that you know very well indeed. In which case, the ability to request one’s twitter archive and to feed it into R is quite handy. You make the request, download the csv, then paste the ‘text’ column into its […]

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