Monthly Archives: November 2014

Thesis Update 2000: Paradigm Shift

Hurdle number two has now been tackled! Two thousand words in and “The Evolution of the Digitization of History: Making History Accessible” is beginning to look like a thesis. To this point I have lightly touched on the incunabula and have begun to discuss the e-book. For the most part though I have been writing about how as well as why evolutions of different technologies happen.

The most helpful source in doing so has been John Lutz’s “Riding the Horseless Carriage to the Computer Revolution: Teaching History in the Twenty-First Centuryā€¯. In it Lutz speaks about how when technological revolutions occur, it is not the invention itself that causes the revolution. Instead, it is the idea that brings about a paradigm shift.

Such a paradigm shift is exactly the focus of my paper. Why and how did the physicality of the incunabula develop? Why does the e-book try so hard to emulate the physicality of the book? More of these answers are being discovered everyday of this project. Lets see what is discovered next…

Calculating Affordances

Now has come the time to actually place all of my ideas down into words that somehow work together to prove my thesis. When I went to go about gathering all my newly researched information though I came upon an unexpected bump in the road. Despite spending a great deal of time on researching I found myself struggling to format my ideas in a way that made sense.

Therefore, I went to Dr Graham in search of some much needed advice. I told him I was struggling to figure out the differences between the physical book, or incunabula, and e-book. What he suggested was to come up with a list of affordances that each one offers to able bodied and disabled individuals to get my ideas flowing.

This was a fantastic idea! This has allowed me to better calculate the accessibility of format directly to each other by making a tables. These tables compared the physical benefit of utilizing a book for able bodied and disabled individuals for both the book and e-book. From this exercise I have been able to even broaden my perspective on physical affordances of both the physical book and the e-book. I have also discovered some surprising similarities and differences between each.

It will be interesting to see what I discover next in this project.