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jerryking : digital_humanities   5

For ‘House of Cards,’ Using Big Data to Guarantee Its Popularity - NYTimes.com
February 24, 2013 | NYT | By DAVID CARR

Rick Smolan wrote “The Human Face of Big Data.” “
Netflix, which has 27 million subscribers in the nation and 33 million worldwide, ran the numbers. It already knew that a healthy share had streamed the work of Mr. Fincher, the director of “The Social Network,” from beginning to end. And films featuring Mr. Spacey had always done well, as had the British version of “House of Cards.” With those three circles of interest, Netflix was able to find a Venn diagram intersection that suggested that buying the series would be a very good bet on original programming.

Big bets are now being informed by Big Data, and no one knows more about audiences than Netflix....But there are contrarian opinions, "“Data can only tell you what people have liked before, not what they don’t know they are going to like in the future,” he said. “A good high-end programmer’s job is to find the white spaces in our collective psyche that aren’t filled by an existing television show,” adding, those choices were made “in a black box that data can never penetrate.” "...The rise of the quants has some worried about the impact on quality and diversity of programming. Writing in Salon, Andrew Leonard wonders “how a reliance on Big Data might funnel craftsmanship in particular directions. What happens when directors approach the editing room armed with the knowledge that a certain subset of subscribers are opposed to jump cuts or get off on gruesome torture scenes” or are just interested in sexual romps?

Netflix insists that actual creative decisions will remain in the hands of the creators. “We don’t get super-involved on the creative side,” Mr. Evers said. “We hire the right people and give the freedom and budget to do good work.” That means that when Seth Rogen and Kristen Wiig are announced as special guests on coming episodes of “Arrested Development,” it is not because a statistical analysis told Netflix to do so.

But there are potential conflicts. Given that Netflix is in the business of recommending shows or movies, might its algorithms tilt in favor of the work it commissions as it goes deeper into original programming? It brings to mind how Google got crossed up when it began developing more products, and those began showing up in searches.

And there are concerns that the same thing that makes Netflix so valuable — it knows everything about us — could create problems if it is not careful with our data and our privacy.
David_Carr  Netflix  data_driven  massive_data_sets  streaming  data  television  digital_humanities  Asha_Isaacs  quantitative  big_bets  white_spaces  original_programming  human_psyche  craftsmanship  Venn_diagrams  content_creators  algorithms  biases  the_right_people 
february 2013 by jerryking
The Triumph of the Humanities - NYTimes.com
June 13, 2011,By STANLEY FISH.

There is now a (relatively) new discipline in which this breaking down
of time into spatial units that are read vertically rather than
horizontally is the obligatory gesture. It calls itself GeoHumanities
and its project is nicely encapsulated in the title of one of the essays
in a collection that officially announces the emergence of a field of
study. The collection is called “GeoHumanities: Art, History, Text at
the Edge of Place”; the essay (by Edward L. Ayers, an historian and
president of the University of Richmond) is entitled “Mapping Time.”

Ayers’s project is to map the changes that followed upon the
emancipation of the slaves after the Civil War. He and his colleagues
begin with a simple map and then they locate populations on the
landscape and “put down one layer after another: of race, of wealth, of
literacy, of water courses, of roads, of railways, of soil type, of
voting patterns, of social structure.”
Stanley_Fish  humanities  digital_humanities  geography  geohumanities  New_York  reservoirs  mapping  books  Civil_War  Emancipation  African-Americans  demographic_changes  metaphysical  metadata  overlay_networks 
june 2011 by jerryking
Digital Humanities Boots Up on Some Campuses - NYTimes.com
March 21, 2011| NYT | By PATRICIA COHEN. Humanities courses
are being deeply influenced by a new array of powerful digital tools and
vast online archives allowing for the digital visualization of historic
library collections, allowing virtual re-creation of the historic
events .... examine how cyberspace reflects and shapes the portrayal of
minorities.

“Until you get Shakespeare on its feet, you’re doing it an injustice,”
Ms. Cook said. “The plays are in 3-D, not 2-D.”

Many teachers and administrators are only beginning to figure out the
contours of this emerging field of digital humanities, and how it should
be taught. In the classroom, however, digitally savvy undergraduates
are not just ready to adapt to the tools but also to explore how new
media may alter the very process of reading, interpretation and
analysis.
humanities  literature  William_Shakespeare  3-D  Colleges_&_Universities  tools  digital_media  visualization  infographics  liberal_arts  digital_archives  digital_humanities  digital_savvy 
march 2011 by jerryking

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