Author Archives: Kristy Leonardatos

Paradoxes of living in a Fourthdimensional body

The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, he said:

Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.
And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present;
the result being that he does not live in the present or the future;
he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

I was reminded of the Dalai Lama’s quote when reading and annotating this passage.

How does time pass in this dimension? What dreams begin to prey on a four-dimensional mind? What. are the paradoxes and ironies of owning a four­dimensional body, with its marvellous new musculature?

Last week, my daughter, the pups and I took a road trip to visit my parents who live in Indian Land, SC (yes there actually is a town named that, smh). We drove halfway, spent the night in the Shenandoah Valley area and arrived at my parents the following day for a 48-hour visit. The trip was on a whim and in the car my daughter and I laughed about why we made this short long trip. My daughter made the comment that she has not seen her only living grandparents in a year and a half, but it didn’t seem that long because of Facetime. Her statement struck me as I thought of my childhood and how almost every weekend my family got in the car and drove from NJ to Long Island to visit my grandparents. Facetime did not exist, my 3 sisters and I had to fight over the yellow wall phone which was primarily used to make plans or gossip with friends. I wonder if we were transported back in time, would I be driving my 3 daughters, on a more regular basis, to stay connected with family and friends.

Below is my annotation to the passage:

The 3 questions that the author asks are worth reflecting on. Choose one question and share your response. I like to think about the paradoxes of technology. An example is how I use social media and technology to stay connected with friends and family. The convenience of technologies like Facetime and the ability to keep up with others online has left me feeling disconnected and not fully present in their lives because there is less frequent physical interaction.

The paradoxes of being a fourth dimensional human could fill this page. I hope reflecting on the authors questions brings awareness of our reality regarding technology to the readers. For further exploration on technology paradoxes, check out this blog:

A blog written by Stephen Petrina at UBC titled the 10 paradoxes of technology

Student Digital Portfolios on CUNY Academic Commons

Today, I attended the workshop lead by Anthony Wheeler, Commons Community Facilitator along with Prof Tom Peele, Director of FYW City College and Stefano Morello, CCNY Digital Fellow. The workshop was recorded and I believe will be shared on the Commons, I was one of only 2 attendees and have permission from Anthony to share the recording below with our class. I am still figuring out the incredible amount of information and platforms that I have been exposed to in the past 2 months and this workshop was super helpful in understanding a bit about the Academic Commons and what it offers in regards to student portfolios. Anthony also shared some portfolio links that I have included below.


Raffi Khatchadourian:

Jojo Karlin:

Christina Shamrock:

Christina Katapodis: (not on the Commons but also built in WordPress)

The recording link to the workshop:

OA and MC

This weeks readings centered around Open Access Publishing/ Minimal Computing / Digital Scholarship lead me down a path (or rabbit hole:-) where I ended up focusing and thinking about open access and minimal computing as we head towards a decentralized version of the internet.

Risam, Roopika and Gil, Alex. “Introduction: The Questions of Minimal Computing.” Digital Humanities Quarterly Vol 16.2 (2022).

When we speak of knowledge production, we no longer speak simply of the production of documents. We include the production of data, data sets, and documents as data, all of which can be used for algorithmic analysis or manipulation. The issue of control over data sets, especially those that can inform the pasts of whole demographics of people in the world, will certainly come to a head in the 21st century. One example of danger is control over Black data. At the moment of writing, the vast majority of the data and documents that help us understand the history of Black people during the period of Atlantic chattel slavery are controlled by predominantly white scholarly teams and library administrators or white-owned vendors.[15] This demonstrates how access to infrastructure has direct consequences on our study and reconstruction of the past and, by extension, what we understand that past to be. While data reparations must be made, our interest here is in the role that minimal computing can play in the development of present and future data sets, documents as data, and methods that promote collaboration and interoperability among colleagues around the world by not only taking into account uneven distribution of resources and the constraints with which the majority are contending but also by ensuring that control over the production of knowledge is in their hands.

In the article minimal computing the authors touch on previous discussions and articles we have read in class about the creation, curation and control over datasets by those the data and histories are about.

The importance of collaboration and representation in data and information goes beyond academia and scholarly works. I read an article today about a database of beauty products, made and sold by Black-owned companies and are free of toxic chemicals linked to health concerns that disproportionately impact Black women. Although this is not under the umbrella of DH, it is part of a bigger journey and mindset that aligns with DH values.  

Suber, Peter. 2012. “What Is Open Access?” In Open Access (1st ed.). MIT Press.

We’d have less knowledge, less academic freedom, and less OA if researchers worked for royalties and made their research articles into commodities rather than gifts. It should be no surprise, then, that more and more funding agencies and universities are adopting strong OA policies. Their mission to advance research leads them directly to logic of OA: With a few exceptions, such as classified
research, research that is worth funding or facilitating is worth sharing with everyone who can make use of it.

Open access and freely sharing research and information to help us understand ourselves, others and the world is a foundational aspect of DH. I started thinking and reading more about this topic in a broader sense and how open access has and will shape our experiences. I wondered about what open access with the onset of web3 looks like and found some sites that are interesting and read an article about what web3 could mean for education.

Sharing some of the sites I found interesting- Wax is an extensible workflow for producing scholarly exhibitions with minimal computing principles.  Learn how to build an audience by building in public.  Our mission: an open world, where all non-personal information is open, free for everyone to use, build on and share; and creators and innovators are fairly recognised and rewarded. Our Vision: We believe that Web3 has the potential to empower creators, connect individuals with global communities, and distribute knowledge and shared resources. Through our collective efforts, we hope to shape a future in which technology acts as a communal connective tissue. The tools to make this world a reality are finally here, and we’re excited to use them to create more fluidity, transparency, and resiliency in how we think and work together. Vision :k20 was created to connect educators from around the world in order to realize our collective brilliance. When educators collaborate, we’re able to transcend local obstacles to produce global solutions. And if educators are expected to change the world, we should have access to the world’s best professional learning to optimize our impact. k20 aims to be the largest networking, learning, and career hub for educators, with the most comprehensive directory of professional learning. We are enabling knowledge sharing to dismantle global silos in education. The MERLOT system provides access to curated online learning and support materials and content creation tools, led by an international community of educators, learners and researchers.

Digital Archive

I really enjoyed this unit and how digital archives can create connections. Recording, sharing, evaluating, and archiving past and present history digitally allows for an accelerated and vast reach. The readings, video and sites from this week demonstrated how important it is to ensure not only that the history be correct and representative of the people it tells the story of and how imperative it is to collaborate with the history makers. I found the TK knowledge site eye opening and after reading about the different labels, it made me really think about how important it is to share the stories digitally with permission and accuracy. Reading the CUNY Distance Learning Archive allowed me to step into the shoes of the students and faculty during the recent pandemic. I was working during that time, and I wish we recorded and digitally archived the experience to have the history but to also allow others to understand the impact of my company and coworkers.  I was living in California during the time of Sept 11 and although I knew people that lived in NY and experienced that time, reading the articles and looking at the photos that I never saw gave me pause to what so many people in NYC and other areas went through.

My husband’s family is from the island of Kefalonia in Greece and on a visit many years ago, he recorded conversations he had with his grandmother. He is trying to locate the recordings for me, and I hope to be able to translate and watch the videos and along with the old photographs put together a digital archive of his family’s history. During World War II, in 1941, the island was occupied by the Italian troops which were allied with the Germans. In 1943, Italy capitulated but its troupes refused to leave from Kefalonia. As a punishment, the German forces killed more than 5000 Italian soldiers, a historic fact described in the famous book Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, written by Louis de Bernieres. Then in August of 1953, a huge earthquake destroyed the largest part of Kefalonia and demolished most villages of the island. This past weekend, I spent some time looking through his family photo albums that his grandmother kept and thought it would be fun to share some with you all (photos are over 50 years old). Gotta love the creativity of parents back then!

By FY 2024, NARA will digitize 500 million pages of records and make them available online to the public through the National Archives Catalog.

Prison Industry -DataViz Praxis

FYI—-I created a Tableau Public and when I tried to share it was not sharing both sheets so I ended up after many hours saving it to the Tableau Desktop. I included screenshots and if I can figure out how to share via a link or can share on the screen in class, I will. Until then….

To complete this assignment, I pulled some general data sets from the same area of interest- the profits of the prison industry. I have read a lot this past week on the prison industry, spurred by my original curiosity of cost of telephone and video visits in correctional facilities. This is a topic that I am going to continue to research and acquire data about the real criminal of society- corporate and government greed.

This was my first Tableau experience and it took me a bit to get the hang of it (still getting the hang of it) but I really enjoyed using it to have the opportunity to display data in a vibrant way. I did sign up for the student free account but still working through figuring how it works and if it pairs with Tableau Public.

I created a viz using data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Prisoner Statistics, 2010- 2020 for Prisoners under the jurisdiction of state or federal correctional authorities, by jurisdiction and sex, 2010-2020.

The data source for Imprisonment rate per 100,000 U.S. residents, by age, 2010-2020 was also Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Prisoner Statistics, 2010-2020; and U.S. Census Bureau, postcensal resident population estimates for January 1 of the following calendar year.

Mapping Praxis- Taos Pueblo

I created an ArcGIS storymap from recent photos of my parents trip to New Mexico because I am interested in learning about Native American tribes and culture. The text in the storymap is copied from the UNESCO World Heritage Center site and is included as an embedded link.

I found storymaps relatively easy to navigate to create a product. I experimented using different functions like the 3D map, adding a button, embedding links and adding videos. My final product is more of a result of trial and error than watching tutorials. I did however view other storymaps and am excited to continue creating and working on my skills to produce a story map like below, Traveling to Taos.

Defining DH – The Colored Convention Project

In our first class my group defined digital humanities as The analysis of the interaction of information with technology through a humanist lens. It focuses on how information is gathered, communicated, accessed and interacted with by humans with the consideration of various social issues therein (e.g. inclusion, technological literacy, polarization and misinformation, the impact of social media).

The Colored Convention Project states ‘The process of bringing the long and dynamic history of the Colored Conventions to digital life is one of archival recovery and innovative partnership.’ I believe this process is at the core of DH, it involves collaboration, community, innovation, research, digital archiving, visualization, digital exhibits, tools, and games. My group’s definition states DH focuses on how information is gathered, communicated, accessed and interacted with by humans with the consideration of various social issues which is in line with the work and enlightening and educational information shared on the Colored Convention Project site.

If I was to center an understanding about what DH is around the Colored Convention Project, I would build on my teams definition to include collaboration and community and utilizing DH to investigate and understand and teach history, especially around social justice movements in a visual and interactive way.

The Colored Conventions Project Why Didn’t I Know?