Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

2018 January

Julia DeCook

By

January 31, 2018

Networks of Ideology

January 31, 2018 | By | No Comments

For the second part of the CHI fellowship, I’ve proposed a project that would map out an ideological network of celebrities in the “alt-right.” Of course, the term “alt-right’ is an umbrella catch-all term that has been proposed not only by the members of the movement itself but also the media and other institutions that inform the public. As such, the alt-right is merely a descriptor of a group of loosely connected political organizations and movements that have similar goals. There are even differentiations to the levels to which an organization can fall under this umbrella, and “alt-lite” has emerged as a way to identify some of these groups that are similar to the alt-right but have differences that are distinct enough that they do not fall under the term completely.

The first project is going to be constructing a network of celebrities that are active in the alt-right and which organizations that they are connected to. Some of these celebrities act as brokers between organizations that may not otherwise be connected, and the goal is to be able to visualize how celebrities have a broad reach and influence across the groups. For instance, Milo Yiannopoulos is a “celebrity” not only with the GamerGate crowd but also with the Manosphere. Jordan Peterson is also a celebrity within the movement, as are figures like Stefan Molyneux, Gavin McInnes, and others. Using data from the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Anti-Defamation League, Wikipedia, and other numerous sources, I will hopefully not only visualize the ideological network but also be able to provide some information when the nodes themselves are clicked on.

The outcome of the project is a first step towards visualizing how all of the groups are connected on the basis of their ideology and goals. Starting with the celebrities, I will house the project on a website and will continue to add new networks as time goes on.

I’ve been attempting to scrape my own data but I think just creating the network with already existing information may be the best way to go. A similar project, the Alt Right Open Intelligence Initiative, has done a lot of research in visualizing the discourse and content and can serve as a starting ground for some of this ideology network visualizing. The research done by the initiative has focused primarily on the social media platforms that these organizations use and how they are connected through their content. I am hoping to add to this research by looking specifically at the celebrities and how they are mentioned and talked about by the groups, and thus how they are affiliated along similar ideological lines.

I’m still working out some kinks in how I will go forth with the project but have decided that rather than reinventing the wheel and collecting all of my own data, using already existing data is the better way to go considering the time frame that I have. I hope that this will be the first of a line of projects that will aid in visualizing political extremism in the U.S. and beyond.

carlinek

By

January 23, 2018

Starting my project: Mapping Consumers in the Black South African Press

January 23, 2018 | By | No Comments

For the next four months of the CHI Fellowship, I will be building my project, provisionally titled Mapping Consumers in the Black South African Press.

As I’ve discussed in previous posts, I’m interested in what we can learn about consumer culture — both the consumption that companies wanted to promote, and the individual values of consumers themselves — through testimonial advertisements in early twentieth-century South Africa.

Project Description

This project will create maps of data that I have already collected, and will continue to collect, from testimonial advertisements and write-in competitions in newspapers. I have already collected data from Umlindi we Nyanga (1934-1943). I will also collect data from Bantu World, (founded in 1932) the black newspaper with the largest circulation in the mid-twentieth century. I will collect data from the World from 1932 to 1953 (the end of the paper’s first editorship by RV Selope-Thema).

The outcome will be a website. The main feature of the website will be an interactive map. The map will display pins marking the location of consumers who appear in testimonials. It will allow users to interact with the data in terms of chronology, geography, and other factors (gender of the writer if stated, what language the advertisement is in). The website will also have contextual short essays about each of the newspapers.

URL: mappingconsumers.matrix.msu.edu

Functionality & Technology

Functionality: The home page will contain a description of the project. The navigation bar will link to three other pages:

  1. The interactive map
  2. A description of my workflow and data collection process, as well as my actual data files (.csv files)
  3. About and contact page

Technology: The website will be built using a Bootstrap template. The main technology on the website will be the map. I will build the map with Bootleaf. At the moment, my working plan is to use a Leaflet map tileset, although if I can find an appropriate historical map I will create my own tileset.

My .csv data files will be converted into GeoJSON files.I will create a different dataset for each newspaper that I collect from. Users of the map will then be able to choose one or both datasets to display. The datasets themselves can also be filtered for different variables (date, product).

Right now, I’ve finished collecting and organizing my data, and now I’m at work tinkering with the Bootleaf code to make it meet my needs.

fandinod

By

January 12, 2018

Tokyo: The Virtual City

January 12, 2018 | By | No Comments

In May of 2017 while in Tokyo I visited Meiji shrine in Shinjuku for the Spring Grand Festival, a series of traditional performances including dance, archery and theater. After returning home, I posted a few photos of the event to social media, as people of my generation tend to do. I soon received a comment from a friend. “Oh wow, I’m there right now!”

His comment took me by surprise. I had no idea my friend was in Japan, much less that they were at Meiji shrine that day. I quickly messaged him to see how long he would remain in the Shinjuku area and if he would like to get dinner that evening, or at the very least meet up later in the week.  “No, no!” my friend explained. “I’m at Meiji shrine in Persona 5. Your picture was so much like Meiji shrine in the game,” he went to on say, “that I knew exactly where you were.”

Read More