Questions from Wednesday’s readings (Data Modeling)

It seemed to me that the two articles were in direct contradiction about the point that any data set is shaped by human choice and subjectivity. The Flanders and Jannidis article stated that “we can draw a difference between the data itself and its information structure,” in the sense that the former is made up of objective facts and the latter is human-made.

The Owens article, on the other hand, described data as an artifact, something formed by human work, arguing that ‘raw data’ is a misnomer. “Data is not in and of itself a kind of evidence but a multifaced object which can be mobilized as evidence in support of an argument.”

What might be the consequences of each view?

I got the sense that Flanders and Jannidis were a bit more cheeky than Owens about humanists’ take on ‘raw data’ (e.g. “humanists commonly acknowledge that their models are social constructs”). Maybe that has something to do with the different viewpoints.

Also, I would love to just briefly get a rundown on what TEI and XML are, because they keep coming up and I only have a vague understanding of what their purposes are and what they do.


25 January 2017