This week’s readings and videos all had a similar theme around the theories of critical thinking in digital humanities. All of the articles we read spoke to how digital humanities is both changing and its growth over the years and the ones we watched made me question the purpose of it.
The written articles also show the different controversial viewpoints surrounding digital humanities, how it is changing, how the digital world is being used, how much power it has, and how interconnected it is with almost all areas of social, political, and educational fields. I think one thing that they all agreed on was the fact that the digital world is growing thus, so is digital humanities. In what direction DH might go, nobody is really sure. With globalization and the current state of how connected society is to the online world right now, I could see there being a fight over who has control of the digital world. I could also see society taking a more collaborative and solution focused approach and come together with the use of digital humanities techniques.
The videos we watched this week really highlighted the potential unfairness that can happen in the digital world. I would have to say, Cathy O’neil’s Ted Talk was by far my favourite video to watch. She explained how there are algorithms in our everyday lives that can determine whether we succeed or not, some may not even be created by us. They are political algorithms that we may not be able to win even if we were ‘the best’. Cathy also explained how algorithms are simply opinions embedded in code, so no matter how had we can try they will be full of biases unless we continually audit them and not fully trust them. The Cambridge Conversation video talked about how “technology is human culture” which they are not wrong. In today’s society in first world countries, there are not many people that go without technology or don’t own a piece of technology. They stated that technology cannot replace us, it cannot imitate human language, culture, etc, but digital humanities allows us to do and see things differently. One thing they said in the Cambridge conversation that stuck with me is that “digital humanities is not only engaged with technology but it also investigates it”.
Many researchers have conflicting views on the past, present, and future of digital humanities. There are many different opinions on the idea of progress and whether we are going in the right direction or not. There are conflicting views on the political aspects and how much power the digital world and technology gives a person. There is simply so much more to learn with the use of digital humanities technology. Society is adapting and changing every day and so is the digital world, we have to accept that and collaborate together to move forward with positive progress.