Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Digital Scholarship Reflections

I am back at work. The summer holidays are in full swing around me but I have but seven months left of my doctoral appointment and not finishing is not an option. So I am sitting in my office in an almost abandoned university working on my thesis. It is actually great; quiet, no distractions, no extra duties. I am getting work done and most importantly of all, I think I understand what I need to improve on in my writing.
I have for a very long time thought that the objects of study should comply with the theory that has already been constructed on the subject. I therefore was using theory as my springboard into the texts that I am writing about. I now see this was not the best way to approach it. I am now working with the digital texts and only using them to formulate my findings (I know this soounds very dumb not to have realised this before, but I also think it is related to self-confidence). The theory (I suppose) is for clarrifying, supports and explaining what the objects raise in the discussion. This approach seems to render my writing clearer for all those poor people who live outside my own head (where all the vast babble that I have cast out makes perfect sense).
Today a crisis moment washed over me that may be special to digital textual sholarship; the text disappered and seemed to be gone forever:

Alleph: Off Line.

So when they are not changing before you eyes, being attacked by viruses, getting lost or in need of an upgrade or translation interface, the online digital text can be removed. I spent some minutes looking for an address for the creator of Alleph to request a disc copy, but he seems to be as almost invisible as his text now is. I then looked through my records and conducted a search on the internet. The search revealed yet another copy of Alleph as a mirror still online (I am not spreading it). I rushed to take screenshots of everything.

Only seven months to go...I will be so glad when this is

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