DH 102 // how the web works

Prof. Mackenzie Brooks

September 11, 2018 // Day 2



  • 2-3 main points of the article
  • 1 thing you didn't quite understand
  • 1 question for the rest of the class to answer


  1. Digital_Humanities, pages 3-16
  2. Digital_Humanities, pages 16-26
  3. "The Limits of the Digital Humanities"
  4. "Defining Data for Humanists"

D_H, pp. 1-16

  • "humanities" as traditionally text-based disciplines
  • "generative humanities" - we're making things now
  • digitization of print cultural record > changes learning
  • digital environment brings new conventions, need for standards, and a focus on design
  • DH not a replacement for "traditional knowledge skills and methods"
  • interfaces are important, but they can change, even with the same data

D_H, pp. 16-26

  • computation depends on disambiguation at every level
  • core activities: curation, analysis, modeling, editing
  • humanistic values affect digital environments/structures
  • versioning, prototyping, and FAILURE
  • value of humanities?

D_H, projects


  • DH suffers from an identity crisis
  • DH is overstating the effect the "digital"
  • DH makes assumptions and observations that aren't grounded in facts
  • DH seeks to make traditional humanities obsolete
  • DH tools are only good for "understanding things in mass," they still require a knowledgeable scholar to ask the right questions
  • DH should resist and critique the digital

"Defining Data"

  • Data is an artifact
  • Data can be interpreted as texts
  • Data can be computed/processed
  • Data is not evidence on its own, but can be used as evidence
  • Humanists can use their own skill-set and apply it to data

Credit: now defunct http://www.justinrominedesign.com/


On a Mac:

* Type cmd + space to open Spotlight search
* Type "terminal" and hit enter
* Type "traceroute www.yourdomain.com"
* Type Control + C to cancel

On Windows:

* Search for "cmd.exe" program and open it.
* Type "tracert www.yourdomain.com"
* Type Control + C to cancel

more proof!


  • URL = Uniform Resource Locator
  • TLD = top level domain
  • DNS = Domain Name System
  • HTTP = Hypertext Transfer Protocol
  • FTP = File Transfer Protocol
  • IP = Internet Protocol
  • TCP = Transmission Control Protocol

HyperText Markup Language

<!DOCTYPE html>
<title>Page Title</title>

<h1>My First Heading</h1>
<p>My first paragraph.</p>


Cascading Style Sheets

body {
    background-color: #d0e4fe;

h1 {
    color: orange;
    text-align: center;

p {
    font-family: "Times New Roman";
    font-size: 20px;


Complete activities 3-5 in Unit 0.

For Thursday

  • readings
  • look over Programming Historian lessons
  • finish up activities 3-5