Structuralica

I am in the midst of teaching a seminar on narrative studies, and no such course could occur without reference to the work of diverse thinkers who get grouped under the heading of structuralism. So it was quite a delight to find on the Dariah Winter School page, which is thoughtfully designed as one page with abstracts with linked slides as PDFs, links to these two inter-related projects: Structuralica is a repository of structuralist works, and Acta Structuralica is an open-access journal for structuralist research.

Every time I have to handle something that somehow just brushes past Java, I have a bad time. This time it was getting Matthew Jockers syuzhet R package up and running on my machine with a clean install of Mac OS 10.11 on it. The craziness is still with me, witness this:

Which Java? El Capitan is conflicted.

Which Java? El Capitan is conflicted.

But after many, many attempts to install.packages("syuzhet") being met withinstallation of package ‘syuzhet’ had non-zero exit statusand the same forrJava`, it appears the following may have worked:

install.packages("rJava", type="mac.binary")

The Perils of “Folklore”

“That’s All Folks!” is a piece from a 1997 issue of Lingua Franca, for those who remember it fondly, about the perils of the name of “folklore”. The name of the field was enjoying a moment, in a larger cycle of such moments, of being debated. Should we switch to folkloristics to sound more, well, ic-ky, like linguistics or physics, or to ethnology to sound more like all the ologies (biology, psychology, sociology, etc.). I’m shortly headed to UCLA to join the Culture Analytics program, so I thought it was worth remembering that this nominal nom-nom, as the kids might say, has a history.

More Thoughts on Notes Infrastructure

I continued to think about the kind of notes infrastructure I wanted after I dropped my daughter at her bus stop. To my mind, DevonThink continues not to have a reasonable syncing solution just yet between its Mac and iOS apps. What I want is an app that syncs for me without me remembering to, and syncs quickly so I can jot an idea down on one device and it is available fairly quickly to all devices.

I also realized that there is a tension here that I had not previously identified: I do like my text to look like something more than text. The same thing that befuddles me about ebooks, every page looking like any other page because there is no pagination, is also what keeps me from embracing an all-text setup like Ulysses. Pagination, design, matter to me.

Evernote wins on both the above, but it loses on structure within a document and it loses on being able to own the infrastructure.

What I really want is a sync-able OmniOutliner, I think.

Me a Data Scientist?

As things continue to deteriorate here in Louisiana, and it becomes increasingly obvious that what our administration wants from faculty, especially humanities faculty, is for us to become teaching bots, I find myself more and more interested in non-academic alternatives. And, the fact is that I really enjoy my current work on the small end of the big data revolution, or however it’s termed these days.

Mostly, it seems increasingly to be termed *data science*, but what people mean by that can vary. As I try to understand this emergent field, both from the removed position of a humanist just trying to track how ideas and practices play out in history as well as a humanist who maybe wants to play on those fields himself, I find myself looking at various data science programs. UC Berkeley’s School of Information offers a more traditional program, but there is also [Zipfian Academy](http://www.zipfianacademy.com/). They offer 12-week intensive programs and the possibility of some tuition relief. (And that sounds pretty good to a poor Southern humanist, or is a Southern humanist poor by definition?)

Virtual VIM

I love my Mac, but there are times, when everyone is going on and on about the how tablets and smartphones are the future of computing, when I worry that I may one day have to give up my beautiful Mac interface and run a CLI box. For those days, and for those days when I need to do some work within the terminal, I appreciate [refreshing my VI skills](http://www.openvim.com).