Week 7 Social Media and Public History

the assignment for this week was to sign up for an account in delicious.com and explore the different tags corresponding to your topic. As i am very used to using web pages to find resources for research papers or even the thesis i had to present for my anthropology major, I can say that i always enjoy finding a new webpages where i can interact in an academic way and at the same time find cool educational stuff,  now that thats said, i also am very critical about new pages due to the same reason i stated before, i am very familiar with research website such as online databases and educational pages, but i still cant help but like this page because of one simple reason, it gives you links to many other different links and i gives you the option to click on them and then it takes you to another page where you can see the result of your search.  I think that this tool can really impact your research, by giving you ample results it can help you pinpoint what you wanted to find and also show you something that you didn’t know about your topic and that wasn’t the motive of your research but that you will be grateful to find since it broadens the reach of your research.  Also the ease with which you can bookmark tags so you can reach them later on its a great way of not having to do the whole thing again and for me that saves you a valuable amount of time that could be better used to do more important research or starting on a paper or doing school work. We also have to think that we live in a digital age where more and more research its happening on the web and where more and more resources are becoming available as electronic resources and its not likely to change in the future. So tools as this webpage can really be a way for you to become acquainted with online research for future reference and from them keep learning the way of the future because like i stated before , maybe 10 to 20 years from now electronic resources are going to become more available and researchers will have to adapt to that new world, libraries will change, academics will change, you just have to make sure that you are not left behind, and the delicious page its a great place to start.


Week six copyright and intellectual property response to the materials.

Wow, after reading all these 4 articles having to do with Swartz i was left with the perception that all my previous knowledge about copyrights and intellectual property are being challenged, Jstor has always been a database known to me since my start in higher education. I used it to look for articles for my anthropology major and now I’m also using to research articles for my history classes and i know firsthand how helpful it can be when used in a proper way. So at first what Swartz did made me feel like he was a criminal and didn’t deserve any leniency for his actions, but after reading the articles and actually taking the points he made serious i can see where he is coming from, Information should be free and widely available to the public but at the same time we have to consider that databases like Jstor, Proquest and Historical newspapers also spend some money to actually publish the journals and upload them to the internet, but are those services worth as much money this databases companies are making off universities, facilities and individuals that use them? It is a question i though i could have answered before but now i see no clear answer given the arguments from people in the articles we had to read this week. LIke the one where one person stated that those articles should be free given to the fact that most of that research was funded by our taxes so in a way we have already paid for it.  Where does our right to free information stops and when does profiteering from these sources becomes a shameful act if ever? I cannot come out with an answer and i believe that reaction should tell us just how complicated this issue really is . I believe that this week’s discussion has really opened my eyes to an issue that i had not chosen to address yet but one that has become a main source of discussion among scholars and everyday people alike.  A thirst for knowledge its a very human trait and create our character therefore for us all to have wide access to humanity whole pantheon of collected knowledge will be what we need to take the next leap forward. The knowledge should be available to everybody but as to how we are going to reach that stage of global sharing my guess its as good as anyone else’s.

week five: Changing Research, HIST 403

so for this week we were asked to discuss how the Web impacts the way you do historical research. How does it change the way you think about sources? Are there qualitative differences between using digital archives and more traditional analog sources?  Why or why not? . My answer to this question is of course it changes you do research, for example now instead of having to drive for hours to a distant library to gain access to a physical database you can go to a digital database and find it there, you can also get access to different databases that give you a superior understanding on the  matter you are researching,  thanks to the availability of different sources of knowledge you can gain a more rounded knowledge instead of just getting it from one source. That being said I also recognize that not all knowledge or primary sources are available on digital form and that because of that if you only base your research on digital databases you will be losing out in research hat could actually be what you wanted. As more primary sources become available we have to learn how to do research also, its not just about going to the library and asking for a book anymore , you have to know that you are looking for, the database you are going to look in and also then theres the job of deciding if a source can be trusted and whether you can use it or not, thats why its better to become acquainted to this new form of research since i predict its going to become more and more popular as time passes, but i also think that analog sources are never going to go away or disappear, so we also have to take into account that. I think to finalize i like to say that we need to sharpen our skills digital researchers but we also need to keep using analog sources.

Wikipedia article (week 4)

We were asked to judge a wikipedia article according to its sources and history, as every academic and student knows by now, wikipedia is not allowed sometimes as a reliable source for papers and essays, and we also know why, the great thing about wikipedia its the fact that everybody can contribute to it, and that is also its greatest weakeness since not every contributor its out for the truth but only to push their own misguided views somewhere. All of that aside, i chose the Jfk assassination as the “historical topic” to judge in wikipedia, I thought i was going to find some very weird theories or at least a “this was a big conspiracy thing” and sure I got that, there was a whole part dedicated to all the “conspiracies” out there, but i think that every article that deals with Jfk assassination has at least to mention the aspect of the conspiracies even if only on a superficial level, so i dont blame wikipedia for it, What also surprised me was the fact that most of its sources were documents that are available for public reading. it also references some books that the public can read and draw its own conclusions…the history of the article confused me a little because to be honest before this class i was kind of ignorant as to how to judge the history of a wikipedia article but it seems like mostly only 3 persons contributed to it, i think like most of the class, that wikipedia its a good place to start a research paper, but only as that, i have learned that every paper that you get you need to research and you also need to know the sources of it, since wikipedia its a community shared webpage, you should analyze it even more, also keep in mind that the sources are people just like you, so my conclusion its that yeah you can use wikipedia as an starting place for your research but shouldn’t stop there.

the article website that i reviewed was :http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Assassination_of_John_F._Kennedy&action=history

scavenger hunt, week three

ok for this week we had to find three items online : First: An op-ed on a labor dispute involving public school teachers from before 1970

I found this by going to Jstor (research database) Then typed Labor and public schools as search criteria, and then  restricted the date range from 1900 to 1970 . this is what i found.

Second: the first documented use of solar power in the United States
  Well i tried finding this either in Jstor and Pro quest but ran into the problem that i didnt know when the first use of solar power was documented so i didn’t know how to reduce my search criteria, i think that that took me like 30 minutes to realize, then i went to google and typed first documented use of solar power in the United States, i found a mention about the first use of solar power )it was in france) but thats not what i needed to find, at the end i ended up finding a timeline in the Us energy website that chronicles all the history of solar power energy in the USA, it doesnt say exactly when it was first used, but at least it is as close as i got 
i hope that this is enough, i mean it was pretty hard to find this one but at the end all we can do is try to find the next best thing, searching for resources online requires you to know what exactly are you looking for but if you have no idea what it is you are looking for (like an exact document, or an existing paper, or journal) then it becomes harder and may even take you a long time to find what you wanted.
3) The best resource for the history of California ballot initiatives, including voting data
i googled the best resource for the history of california ballot initiatives, including voting data and try to just keep clicking on official sites, the ones that dad .gov, .edu ,
so i found this site.
it gives you links to look for initiatives since 1911 and the modern ones and also explains what they are and how they should look, it is an official site, therefore i think i found what i wanted.
What this homework taught me was that researching can be difficult if you dont have a clear sense of what you are looking for , also google its a great place to start, (like i did) but it also gives you a great start so you can then go back and look through more official databases.

professors start your blogs!!

Dan Cohen’s article was awesome, he really understands the direction this society is moving towards to, i agree with his idea that professionals should keep a blog, i think that because in a society such as the one we live in today, with its technological advances and with no sign of that trend to stop anytime sooner, people that hold the future of our next generation and all the ones that will come after that, they should be heard and be able to access all those young and not so young people that now plague the internet and that check daily for sites to learn and explore new things. the internet now more than ever needs to be accessible to every person, while the content might change or be controversial, its better to have a society that doubts what they been taught and keeps looking for new ways or new information than to have a society made up of sheep  that dont think for themselves , and i think that blogs serve that purpose, even if if they fail in others aspects that need to be discussed further..

me..i guess

well my name is Carlos, i’ve graduated as an anthropology major and archaeology minor, im currently taking history as a second major before going on to choose a graduate school. i chose history as a second major because i have always been interested in history since i was a kid, in fact i was very close to be a history major before i chose anthropology as my original major but i guess it turned out ok since i loved anthropology and archaeology. I plan to focus on Historical archaeology in graduate school, thats why this class in public history interests me. I have always thought that historical archaeology as a superb field, and public history as the historical equivalent of it. i am also currently taking other 4 courses, with this one making it 5, 4 of them are history courses, the other one is art. with all of that said i can say that i will enjoy this course….(btw i know i should have capitalize the I but ehhh….) 

good bye