100 Copies Loop

We’re doing year two of the Social Work Portfolio in Google Docs. I am opting to do the creation/duplication of the main files on the computer end rather than the Google Drive/Scripts side of things because of all the hassle from last year. You can read more about the full failure here. This AppleScript will give me 100 iteratively-named (x_1, x_2, etc.) copies of the source folder and all its sub-directories and their content. It is just adding a variable from the AppleScript to the loop that calls the terminal command ditto. I’m sure a shell script could do this or I could do it fully in Automator. There are many paths but I knew enough about both of these to get what I needed one in ~5 minutes. Next up will be automating the sharing via Google Script. It won’t be much different than last year but I’m going to add a piece that will write that the folder and the contents were successfully shared to the spreadsheet that holds the student emails. That way when/if the script fails it can auto-resume without having to go back and start over.


Weekly Web Harvest for 2018-01-14

Comic contracts and other ways to make the law understandable Considering how swamped we all are with agreements and terms, from the workplace to just downloading apps, we need to change the way the information regulating our legal relationships is presented, as well as the level of other detail it contains. Pointlessly complex contracts have to stop. This is why some lawyers are rethinking contract design, using mind maps, illustrations and even contracts in comic strip form, which is the focus of my research. What comic comes up when you load XKCD today? : AskReddit the various permutations of the umwelt comic broken down The 29 Stages Of A Twitterstorm In 2018 I cannot tell what is parody and what is reality anymore. INTE 5340 – Weekly Reflections of an Analog Woman in a Digital World: Case Study #1 – anth101.com – Anthropology for Everyone anth101.com models for me what a living, breathing course can look like. When I look back to when I taught Drugs and Behavior and Intro Psych, I see the classes I taught as boring and lifeless. We as a class didn’t create our own stories together, and we lost the opportunities to make connections. I really like how well-integrated all the various media for each lesson and challenge are on the website. And the more I […]


Critical Digital Fluency Revisited

I had the chance to talk to the kind folks from Middlebury about digital fluency Friday. I’ll probably do a better job getting into the depth of things with this as I was moving pretty rapidly for the 20 minute presentation. It’s also super-meta in a way that’s hard to articulate verbally so I’m going to try to use digital elements to allow that to surface more obviously. You can view the original presentation in the reveal.js framework here.1 I thought this was funny. I considered translating it to French to further emphasize the “this is not a pipe” thing but after surveying a few people in the office I became less confident anyone would know what I was talking about and I would have to rely on Google Translate for the French which seemed risky given Middelbury’s language focus. Part of what I wonder, now even more than a few years ago, is what people are thinking when they talk about digital fluency. There’s just so much there and it’s so entwined with so many other things. My goal was to have people vote on a 1-5 scale on how complex an example of digital fluency by holding up their fingers. That didn’t work to well because Zoom doesn’t let you do the gallery view of participants when you […]


RVArts.org Version II

Lots of remakes going on lately. That’s good in that it means people still want to work with me (now our group) after doing it once and secondly they’re seeing things to change and improve which is how things get better. The harder part to figure out is that in you never really finish anything so you have to keep that partial snowball effect in mind as you figure out how much work you can take on. Or I suggest you do. I at least pretend I do but really if it’s cool and interesting enough I just say yes.1 So anyway, the old RVArts site was decent but it was an early work in terms of my capacity as someone who makes websites.2 This remake is a mix of technical and visual changes. Technically . . . This remake is about harvesting the content students create in a Facebook group and then using it with different material students create in WordPress. Right now the data is pulled from the Facebook group events into WordPress through the Event Aggregator which ties into Event Calendar Pro. Later in the game we opted to jump events right back to Facebook so we could have skipped all that and just used the FB API but sometimes you find that stuff out too late. […]


ANTH101 v 3.ish

“You cannot think your way into a new way of living. You have to live your way into a new way of thinking.” – Mike Wesch You can’t beat that quote as a way to frame a course and it’s nice to consider how digital content supports that kind of perspective on learning/living. It’s also a key consideration in how I think about building courses like this. You have to do it. You shouldn’t expect to be perfect the first time, or the second, or ever really but if you’re doing it right improving it should be worth the investment. You should get some joy out of the process and it should alleviate things that cause you pain. I’ve had the opportunity to work with Mike Wesch and Ryan Klataske at Kansas State over the last few years1 on the ANTH101 site. It’s been an interesting progression over time as the course has continued to evolve. We’ve gone done a variety of paths and dealt with human and technical issues. It has been interesting to participate in the ongoing co-evolution of aesthetics, mechanics, and content. It’s also a scenario where I wish I’d have done a much better job with screenshots so I could more accurately show you how the site has evolved.2 After an initial meeting at Kansas State […]

A screenshot of the worst part of my portfolio. It shows three presentation summaries.

Re-Thinking My Portfolio

Below is the assignment I gave. I’m going to give it a shot starting with my own portfolio and then looking for aspirational goals in a subsequent post. Take a look around at portfolios other people are using. You’ll want to check out people in the field like Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom but you’ll also want to look outside sociology for inspiration. Cast a wide net. Find sites that are doing things you like. Take targeted screenshots and explain what you like. Link back to the sites. Keep thinking about the data being presented, the user interactions that get you to the data, and the visual elements that appeal to you. Spend an hour or so looking around and getting ideas. If a particular search isn’t fruitful, try something else or jump ahead 5 or 10 pages in the search results. Don’t get bogged down. Once you’ve got a good chunk of ideas, use them to create a post outlining what you’d like your portfolio to be. Some people call this wireframing. If you like to sketch, sketch out things on paper or whiteboards and photograph (I do this often) them. You can also use a variety of digital tools to do something similar. Your portfolio is an interactive argument that provides a skeptic audience with a limited attention span […]


Why I’m Teaching Data Viz for Sociology

I’m teaching a course for VCU’s digital sociology Master’s degree program this semester. One of the things I’ve asked the participants to do is explain why they’re taking this course. I’m hoping that will help me customize what we’re going to do in the course. Since I asked the participants to document why they were taking this course, I figured the least I could do is create a similar post explaining why I agreed to shepherd this course and why I made some of these initial choices. I’m approaching the concept of data visualization pretty broadly. The course is broken into two main components. The first portion is looking at their own portfolio and how they might think it through in terms of data visualization1 and then moving on to broader/deeper applications of data visualization (connected to their personal research). Part of the reason I want to start with the portfolio is that the data is personal and it’s easier to get a feel for how real/accurate any visualizations you make are. We’ll also be able to establish a decent foundation of web literacy, design, accessibility, etc. prior to applying them to more sophisticated visualizations. Essentially, it’s about starting out on more familiar ground before venturing out into increasing complexity. The second section will focus on figuring out a set […]


Weekly Web Harvest for 2018-01-07

These psychedelic stickers blow AI minds | TechCrunch researchers have created a wonderful attack on image recognition systems that uses specially printed stickers that are so interesting to the AI that it completely fails to see anything else. Time Travel In the language of the Navaho there is no past, present, and future tense like those of many languages. Events are talked about with regard to their quality of happening rather than their temporal quality. Is it possible that time may not really exist, but is just an artifact of our biological and cultural evolution? –I haven’t independently verified this to my satisfaction yet. Time Travel and Modern Physics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) You have to end this, you have to kill him, really kill him once and for all. You shoot him, but your eyesight is so bad that your aim is off. You do not kill him, you merely damage his left eye. He staggers off. You fall to the ground in agony, and decide to study the paradoxes of time travel more seriously. This might be the best map of the 2016 election you ever see – Vox The Only Good Thing About Winter Is This Story Written in Snow Fun stuff on all levels. h/t Jon Becker

Dead fern fronds on a stick with leaves.

Photography – #161

A post shared by @twwoodward on Jan 10, 2018 at 3:38am PST Once again, it’s been a good while between photography updates. I’ve fallen in a bit of a slump and that tends to result in low photography production. Here’s to more and better photos in the future.


Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-12-31

Is white space always your friend? – Questions in Dataviz “most people would agree that white space is your friend, but empty space is not” I’m Maria Popova, and This Is How I Work Occupation: Curiosity Architect Gallery | Tableau Public Tableau hits What I Use to Visualize Data | FlowingData Always nice to see what other people use to do things. Data looks better naked — Darkhorse Analytics | Edmonton, AB simplify data viz gif Coding the Law: Student Work Challenge: For a given jurisdiction, create a “chatbot” to determine if someone is eligible for appointed counsel, fee waivers, or the like. The bot should provide users with a set of action items to obtain any such aid, including copies of any applicable court forms pre-filled with data obtained from interaction with the bot. Cellograffiti by Ches – Neatorama Pen Plotter Art & Algorithms, Part 1 the physical/digital blend I find interesting