from data to scholarship
history, religion, computers
Beautiful Soup Tutorial
(This tutorial is cross posted at The Programming Historian)
Question for this week’s Digital Praxis
So I’ve been working on text-mining all week and that has generally gone very well.
Terryl L. Givens, People of Paradox: A History of Mormon Culture
It’s October and I’ve run out of catchy titles …
So, this week was both productive and not. I find that I learn in circles – I have to go over things about 3 times for connections between things to get to the point that I feel like I have learned something. (They told us this in philosophy too – read it 3 times to understand what is going on. Now, if they assigned the same thing 3 times …)
Slides with Links
Here are the slides I had up last night for reference purposes:
Learning how to scrape (or how to fill up your harddrive really quickly)
This week I have focused on learning some of the tricks and tips for scraping websites, in preparation for presenting tonight. For the most part, this has gone really well. The existing tutorials on the programming historian for using wget and python are very intuitive and easy to follow and most of my presentation will be on these.
The readings this week are a somewhat eclectic collection of readings relating to religion and women in the west. Since I am keeping the more detailed notes in handwritten form this week, the texts were: Sarah Deutsch, No Separate Refuge; Devon Mihesuah, Cultivating the Rosebuds; Ramón Gutiérrez, When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away; and Peggy Pascoe, Relations of Rescue.
Today I learned the difference between “update” and “insert” and what happens when you update your join table instead of inserting a new entry.
Victor Turner, “Betwixt and Between: The Liminal Period”
In the manner of sociologists and anthropologists, Victor Turner is investigating structures of human behavior by analyzing the practices and rituals of “simpler” societies. In “Betwixt and Between,” he is investigating rites of passage, the cultural practices surrounding the movement from one state (any type of stable or recurrent condition that is culturally recognized (94)) to another. This transition includes separation, margin, and aggregation. Most of his attention is focused on the marginal, or liminal, period where, he notes, many standard social markers, including sex distinctions, do not apply (97). In addition, during the liminal period for the culture he studies, the neophyte is taught what Turner refers to as the sacra, the cosmology and mythical history of the people (103). This teaching of the sacra involves 1) the reduction of culture into recognized components, often through exaggeration of the integral aspects of culture or the body, 2) the recombination of those components in monstrous patterns or shapes, which further draws attention to the various components now removed from their usual context, and 3) the recombination of components in ways that fit the new state and status of the neophyte (106).
Updates for Digital Praxis
Thanks to Sasha’s kind help, my attempts to display my database values have progress a few baby-steps further.