Recent discussions in digital humanities have drawn attention to “failure”. Projects can fail to deliver a tool or fail to innovate practices. But what practices are emphasised by speaking of “failure”, and for whom is a certain result a failure? In this post, I argue that recent discussions of failure seem to take DH as software development rather than research, shaping the discussion of what DH should achieve and whether other results are thereby failures.Continue reading
The past six months I have been on parental leave to enjoy our son Felix (born 13 December 2015), and today I am finally back at the university. In these months I have seen a baby grow from not being able to do anything except for reflexes, to understanding objects around him, interacting with them, and manipulating them to do what he wants (although not yet always successfully). Watching him go through these stages of learning actually reminded me of the above gif captioned as how software developers see end users. When I saw that gif a while ago it gave me a laugh, but then I saw that my son had taken my bottle of water, and what he was doing was actually quite similar; licking the bottom, sucking on the side, holding it with his feet.
At some point he figured out what the top part is, and put that in his mouth, which left me to wonder how he figured it out. I left the cap on, so it’s not a simple trial-reward since he still cannot drink the water. Instead, I think there are two aspects of this learning process: visual feedback (seeing what side is supposed to be up), and learning by playing.