Contra: the least discussed $40,000,000,000+ of yearly government spending [entry-title]

contra

The group name we decided on going with is, Contra. This will coincide with the theme for our project, The War on Drugs. For those unfamiliar with the specifics, this is a 40+ billion dollar a year mission that is funded by US tax dollars, and has been seen as infective at best. Many facets of our governments spending is coming into question, but why has such an expensive and largely inefficient program seemed to have fallen on the back burner of many discussions.

TWoD is extremely relevant to our society on a social and international level. Most people in prison are due to drug charges. Drugs affect every aspect of our life, from the legal to illegal. TWoD spans almost a hundred years and touches on conspiracies, economics, racism, and foreign policy. But it likely won’t even be mentioned during the presidential debates unlike the Reagan era, where it was a running platform.

Some difficulty may arise in our current method of communication through email. We have created a google doc that will hopefully give us the ability to collaboratively grow an idea from the same digital workspace. We’re undecided on what digital format were going to use for the project, but the recent creation of our google doc should aid greatly into a decision coming shortly.

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By Monday, Oct. 8, at 8:00am:

  • One person from each group should make a post on behalf of the entire group.  For the list of members in the groups, see this post.
  • The post should include:
    • A name for your group
    • 2-3 historical questions you are considering answering in your project
    • A brief description of the expected scope of your project
    • A list of challenges and potential problems that you are having now, or anticipate will arise as you work on the project
    • Optional: discuss technologies, formats, and work-flow that you may employ
  • You are free to establish your own collaborative process. We highly recommend Google Docs

By Wednesday, October 10, at 8:00am:

Leave one comment on each of three different posts (other than your own group).  In each comment, raise at least one question about the proposed plan.  You are encouraged to say something positive, but remember to also challenge their thinking (remember, history is contested).

By Wednesday, October 10, at 5:50pm:

[entry-title]

Announcements

  • No class Monday.

Reading

  • Thiemer, Brier and Brown, “A Practical Guide to Collaborative Documentation in the Digital Age”
  • Compare the processes: http://911digitalarchive.org/ and http://braceroarchive.org/
  • Key concepts
    • An archive or a collection?
    • “archivist-historians”
    • born-digital vs. digitized acquisitions
    • inequality of access to digital media
    • review different methods of inputting information: text and image scans, emails, websites, listservs, text via form on site, images and video via upload, call-in system, collaborations with other collectors (e.g. Sonic Memorial Project and Here is New York: A Democracy of Photographs), digital and analog interviews and sound recordings (including collaborations with Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center, and the Chinatown Documentation Project
    • Insuring a range of perspectives
    • Challenges: more standardized open-source database and web publishing platform, more complete metadata, redesigned web site, permanent archival home (expected to turn over to LOC in 2013), 508(c).
  • Quotes from the Bracero Historical Archive that are useful for planning your group project
    • “First, decide what kind of collaboration you wish to have, since that decision informs the rest of the process, from technical to communication considerations. If your partners will merely be commenting on each others’ work, you can afford to think more about ways to share files and accommodate the comment process.”
    • “If your partners will each be contributing work to the project, or if there are task- sharing aspects to your project, you must also ensure that partners have the ability to contribute efficiently and that you can hold each other accountable for your contributions.”
    • “Make sure each partner understands exactly what their contributions are, and when those contributions are due. You will use meetings or other communications to manage those deliverables, but it is crucial that all partners are agreeing to the same thing.”
    • “Flexibility is key. No project is able to anticipate all problems or challenges before they occur, but simply acknowledging that challenges may arise, and allowing time and budget for those challenges is helpful. For example, deciding as a partnership that in the event of an unanticipated technical problem, Partner A will take the lead in resolving it, means that you will not lose valuable time assigning that responsibility at a critical moment.”

Group Project Breakout Discussions

Group 1
Caroline, Anton, Eli, Cameron, Leanardo

Group 2
Estevan, Tatsiana, Phillip, Jordan Burgos

Group 3
Felipe, Jordan Smith, Robert, Pablo

Group 4
Guang, Cary, William, Stephen, Shaif


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By October 3, class time: 

[entry-title]

Announcements

Blog Posts Review

  • Various shades of primary sources
  • Read every type of source in a range of ways
  • How do we assess the credibility of sources?
  • Agency and causation
  • Precision
  • From sources to an argument

Reading

James Grossman, “‘Big Data’: An Opportunity for Historians?” March 2012.
  • Free write: what is the difference between an “archive” and a “collection”?
  • Key Concepts:
    • Archive vs. collection
    • Provenance
    • Original order
    • Collective control
    • Authenticity
      “Materials created or received by a person, family, or organization, public or private, in the conduct of their affairs and preserved because of the enduring value contained in the information they contain or as evidence of the functions and responsibilities of their creator, especially those materials maintained using the principles of provenance, original order, and collective control.

Stephen Brier and Joshua Brown, The September 11 Digital Archive: Saving the Histories of September 11, 2001, Radical History Review, Fall 2011.

  • http://911digitalarchive.org/
  • key concepts
    • Is this an archive or a collection?
    • “archivist-historians”
    • born-digital vs. scanned acquisitions
    • inequality of access to digital media
    • review different methods of inputting information: text and image scans, emails, websites, listservs, text via form on site, images and video via upload, call-in system, collaborations with other collectors (e.g. Sonic Memorial Project and Here is New York: A Democracy of Photographs), digital and analog interviews and sound recordings (including collaborations with Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center, and the Chinatown Documentation Project;
    • perspectives of “ordinary” people
    • challenges ahead: more standardized open-source database and web publishing platform, more complete metadata, redesigned web site, permanent archival home (expected to turn over to LOC in 2013)

Group Project

Group 1
Caroline, Anton, Eli, Cameron, Leanardo

Group 2
Estevan, Tatsiana, Phillip, Jordan Burgos

Group 3
Felipe, Jordan Smith, Robert, Pablo

Group 4
Guang, Cary, William, Stephen, Shaif


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