Staying Anonymous Means More Creativity

This past Tuesday’s class we did a collaborative essay on “the Circle”, a book that we had been reading for the last week of class. It was the first time that I had been introduced to something of this nature. It was an interesting to watch the interactions that went on. For example, have the class stayed anonymous when they logged in to Google Docs, whole the other half had their names visible for everyone. I noticed for the most part that the people that stayed anonymous on the essay were more inclined to write more and throw out more thoughts than the people that were logged in. I think this is because they felt that since they were anonymous and nobody knew who was contributing what information, they were more likely to put out more creative thoughts. This was interesting to look at because it kind of dealt with the TruYou aspect of the book, in that in the book your anonymity was taken away when you went to a website and it caused things to be more civil and in a way less creative. Thinking back on the task of the collaborative essay, I wonder how it would be different, or if it would’ve been different if everyone had been told to stay anonymous as opposed to logging in, and vice versa. In my opinion based on my observations, I believe that everyone staying anonymous would have led to more free flowing ideas than there already were because people would not have been worried about the opinions of their peers.

Observations for March 10th

Since the weather has been warming up, and all other observation options that I could think of had been exhausted, I decided to use the same set of observations I used last time. I.e. What people were wearing, laptops out, etc.…The fact that I was sick on Thursday and could not get all of the data didn’t help much either. Anyway, the things that I found were what I figured. There was a spike in the amount of shorts that were worn on Tuesday and the number of boat shoes such as Sperry’s increased from 0 to a little over a third of the class. These findings were what were expected, but like I said there weren’t many options for observations that have not been used. The full list of observations that I made can be found below.


February 10, 2015

Temp: 61

People in class: 28

Drinks: 7

Sweat shirts/Jackets on in class: 4

Collared shirts: 5

Long Sleeves: 3

Short Sleeves: 15

Glasses: 5

Hats: 0

Nike shoes: 10

Boat shoes/Sperrys: 10

Laptops: 21

Things Written on board: 5

Khakis: 3

Sweatpants: 1

Shorts: 20

Jeans: 3

Leggings: 1

Davidson Apparel: 5



New Wave of Technology

​The next wave of technology to hit the market and takeover the materialist minds of America has a slightly terrifying side. As the Apple Watch hits the market in the next month or so, there will be an influx of data on every person wearing an Apple Watch that Apple has access to. Apple will be able to monitor all of the wearers and have a personal look into all of their lives. This simple fact begs the question, “Is this an invasion of privacy?”
​Other devices that are in their infant stages of release and popularity include the Whistle, a dog tracker, and the “Smart Nursery” from Mimo Baby that monitors an infant’s room in order to determine if its healthy, hungry, and happy. As awesome and useful that all of these new devices are, they still make me wonder whether or not they will remove part of the human element from living life. When you don’t have to ever check on your baby, because there’s a computer to do it, will you lose part of the child-parent relationship that so many people cherish today? Will we lose part of our humanity because of the advancement of these technologies?
​So as awed and blown away as I am by these astounding technologies, which truly are amazing and seemingly out of the movies, I am utterly terrified of the power which they give to the companies selling them and the government, who could take advantage of them. Also I do not want to slowly lose our grip on what we have left of our humanity due to dependence on computers and gadgets.

Inaccuracy of Maps

In class the other day we were told to draw maps around campus to other places that we may or may not have known the location. After thinking about the drawings that were made and talking about how different maps could be inaccurate. I wanted to see what different ways in which a map could be inaccurate. So as I was looking on the internet I came across a study done by Colorado University at Boulder looking at the different types of inaccuracies that can be found in maps. The article, “Error, Accuracy, and Precision” talks about “the problems caused by error, inaccuracy, and imprecision in spatial datasets.” Throughout the article it talks about the different inaccuracies. The different types that they bring up are format of the data, age of the data, relevance, density of observations, map scales which all deal with the characteristics of the map itself. It also goes over inaccuracies made through general error such as numerical error and analyzing the data gathered. It was interesting to see the different types of inaccuracies, and it goes with the notion that was brought up in class stating that all maps have errors and are inaccurate.

Questions are constantly brought up about how to make maps more accurate. The article raises some of these questions. How accurate are positional and attribute features? What projection, coordinate system, and datum were used in maps? These are just two of the many questions that can be asked on how to make maps more accurate. What can cartographers do to make sure their maps are as accurate as possible? What are the most important aspects of a map that need to be the most accurate in order for amble data to be taken from it?


Observations of 2/10 and 2/12

I was not really sure what I was going to observe at first, so I put a list together of some of the observations that I made during class. A lot of it ended up having to do with what the class was wearing on Tuesday and Thursday and whether or not the weather becoming colder than it had been would make any difference in what people were wearing. Overall I noticed that the numbers were pretty close to each other over the two days.

February 10, 2015

  • People in class: 28
  • Drinks: 9
  • Sweat shirts/Jackets on in class: 10
  • Collared shirts: 8
  • Long Sleeves: 27
  • Short Sleeves: 2
  • Glasses: 5
  • Hats: 0
  • Nike shoes: 7
  • Laptops: 14
  • Things Written on board: 1
  • Khakis: 7
  • Sweatpants: 5
  • Shorts: 1
  • Jeans: 12
  • Leggings: 3
  • Davidson Apparel: 5

February 12, 2015

  • People in class: 28
  • Drinks: 11
  • Sweat shirts/Jackets on in class: 13
  • Collared shirts: 8
  • Long Sleeves: 28
  • Short Sleeves: 0
  • Glasses: 6
  • Hats: 4
  • Nike shoes: 6
  • Laptops: 15
  • Things Written on board: 0
  • Khakis: 9
  • Sweatpants: 8
  • Shorts: 0
  • Jeans: 8
  • Leggings: 3
  • Davidson Apparel: 3



The Unseen Slaves of History

The series of letters discussed in Klein’s “The Image of Absence” are beneficial to understanding how the style of communication used back then would affect the work of modern day researchers looking over the letters. The age in which Jefferson, Evans, and Hemings lived was not one in which it was easy to communicate easily between far-flung acquaintances. Therefore, the letters sent back and forth between Jefferson and Evans reveal the many issues that this form of communication cause for historians hoping to glean some information from these letters. For example, the very first correspondence between Evans and Jefferson never actually mentions the name of James Hemings, nevertheless his image is still brought up as Jefferson’s “former employee” and he cannot be overlooked since the letter revolves around Jefferson’s desire for James’s return. How can we fairly examine James Heming’s responses and decisions regarding Jefferson’s request, when we never truly see his own writing? This is reinforced by Klein’s assertion later that “in a listing of search results, these letters do little more than reinscribe the absence of James Hemings in the Jefferson archive”. By showing that Hemings is totally absent from Jefferson’s archive of direct correspondence, Klein is able to highlight the lack of a voice for slaves and ex-slaves within the historical perspective. This is extremely important for understanding how historians must formulate theories on the opinions and life perspective of slaves. Any sort of writing must be taken with a grain of salt that it was most likely altered or edited by a white man after first created by a slave.