Currently on repeat at my house.
This advice is half-joking, but only half. For Auden is reminding his Harvard audience that all the official apparatus of the university is extraneous to its highest purpose, which is to cultivate freedom and inwardness. It is a message that still needs to be heard today, when the expense of higher education forces so many students to look at it as an investment, rather than an adventure. — Adam Kirsch in A Poet’s Warning | Harvard Magazine Nov-Dec 2007
Useful advice from Cornell historian Ed Baptist about how to read and understand the WPA Slave Narratives:
@KidadaEWilliams @cliotropic I discuss my techniques for reading WPA a bit in a chapter here http://t.co/006re1cwRg. 1) read ALL of them— Edward Baptist (@Ed_Baptist) February 5, 2014
@KidadaEWilliams @cliotropic 2) think with your brain (!) i.e. assume the interviewees are smart and using strategies— Edward Baptist (@Ed_Baptist) February 5, 2014
@KidadaEWilliams @cliotropic3) attend to statements recorded against interviewers’ interest 4) don’t think you are smarter than interviewees— Edward Baptist (@Ed_Baptist) February 5, 2014
@jmjafrx @KidadaEWilliams @cliotropic Read them all so you “get” the strategies, understand them as window on long process of talking.— Edward Baptist (@Ed_Baptist) February 6, 2014
Mr. Hancock recounted, for example, one extraordinary moment in Stockholm in 1967, during a performance by the quintet. “This night was magical,” he remembered. “We were communicating almost telepathically, playing ‘So What’”—one of the group’s signature pieces. “Wayne [Shorter] had taken his solo. Miles was playing and building and building, and then I played the wrong chord. It was so, so wrong. In an instant, time stood still and I felt totally shattered. Miles took a breath. And then he played this phrase that made my chord right. It didn’t seem possible. I still don’t know how he did it. But Miles hadn’t heard it as a wrong chord—he took it as an unexpected chord. He didn’t judge what I played. To use a Buddhist turn of phrase, he turned poison into medicine.” — The Genius of Miles - WSJ.com
The Haitian Declaration of Independence disappeared in the 19th century and was considered lost for over a hundred years. This is the remarkable story of how it was found - as told by Julia Gaffield, who discovered it.
The writer operates at a peculiar crossroads where time and place and eternity somehow meet. His problem is to find that location. — Flannery O’Connor (via amandaonwriting)
Again and again, Word is defeated by the basic job of contemporary writing and editing: smoothly moving text back and forth among different platforms. — Microsoft Word Is Cumbersome, Inefficient, and Obsolete. It’s Time for It To Die.
Do digitized images carry ghosts? Is haunting doubled and complicated by the conversion of memory into property? — "Slavery, memory, property" by John E. Drabinski
Not always the case, but … (via xkcd: Automation)
Humanists and scientists alike, trained in the language of survey research, tend to ask of data sets: “Is it a representative sample?” I doubt there is a single dataset of interest to historians that is. But while attempting to normalize away the biases in a sample is the best scientific solution to the problem, the humanistic approach is to understand a source through its biases without expecting it to yield definitive results. — Sapping Attention: Reading digital sources: a case study in ship’s logs