Archives for the modern mind

With digitization, archives are now accessed through many mediums by more than just the historian. 

Different types of people outside the professionalized historical tradition could do history, which will lead to more diverse authors, and ultimately a different account of events.

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Problem Solving

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History comes out of an archive, not a library.

  • Libraries spread knowledge that's been collected and compressed into books and other media.
  • Archives are where collections of papers are stored. Archives contain materials from the people and institutions near it. For example, the Silicon Valley Archives at Stanford contain everything from Atari's business plans to HP co-founder William Hewlett's correspondence.

Unlike libraries, archives have generally resisted the digitization of knowledge. They are still mostly paper where you might spend weeks to months working through all the boxes of interest.

With the use of smartphones, instead of reading papers during an archival visit, historians take digital photos of the documents to look at them later.

The practice might seem insignificant, but the ways that information is collected and managed is changing what historians can learn from it. As a result, different histories will be written.

With the ability to capture more documents, the depth of archival work will increase. At the same time, because you are able to find relevant information beyond your project, you may lose what's going on locally.

When you digitize more, you may overestimate your knowledge and believe that your record is complete.

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RELATED IDEAS

A History Of Pandemics
  • A Pandemic is defined as the proliferation of a disease over the whole country or the entire world.
  • Diseases and illnesses have troubled humanity since the earliest days, but can now occur with increased frequency due to rapid urbanization and globalism. The death toll numbers in Pandemics over the ages are estimates based on available research, and may not be accurate.
  • Earlier it was believed that Pandemics are God’s punishment on humans, but now, as our understanding has increased, the response to these outbreaks has improved.

A visual history of pandemics

weforum.org

1. Rewrite It

Spend 5 minutes each morning preparing your task list to have only accomplishable tasks that fit the time you have available. Keep other tasks on a holding list for another day.

8 Productivity Hacks to Get Out of To-Do List Purgatory

lifehack.org

What ideas are

An idea is a connection between two concepts.

Steve Jobs said that creativity is just connecting things. When you understand that and think of ideas in that way, the process of generating ideas will seem a lot less intimidating.

How to Consistently Come Up with Great Ideas

lifehack.org

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