FINAL BLOG POST – Mason Martin

First off, I would like to recognize this class for the amazing opportunities it has brought, and every tool it has introduced me to that allowed me to expound on my skills to manipulate data. In the world we live in today, where our lives are tested among the unpredictability and instability of our economy due to coronavirus and many other problems, this class has been nothing short of the most convenient, and innovative resource for me step away from a life filled with different issues we continue to combat and into a zone where I can indulge myself into the technological education as well as historical education provided. I would say that this class has been the most essential part of my school education in the past year, because being taught about slavery and the evolution of African American social status is extremely relevant and is something not taught in most classes, and being able to learn different techniques on how to discover certain aspects of the past by using data manipulation tools is something that hasn’t been taught to me before. This class really shows how technology has revolutionized the way any human-being can educate themselves around the world, and to me, stands as a phenomenon since it’s able to transcend being a standard lesson for school, and become an important foundation of education for almost every aspect of my life. 

Utilizing data visualizations has been something I’ve always been interested in as a striving businessman who also is looking to break through the music industry, so I would have to say that the latest attempt of creatio was by far my favorite with the use of flourish. A lot of statistics and data gathering goes into the career I’ve been seeking for many years, so being introduced to websites like flourish was an interesting start for me. Using flourish alone helped me to teach myself of oppression for each individual group of African Americans, as there were certain things I didn’t know prior to utilizing the data given about slaves of each age and gender. 

I believe my favorite part about using flourish was being able to discover what places in America had the highest amount of oppression compared to states that had the lowest amount. As a person who travels often I believe it’s important to stay informed about different places I visit, and I also gain satisfaction knowing that I have knowledge of the history of the places I go to. I enjoyed learning this because the history of many places explains why its current status in today’s time is the way it is, and understanding its past could also determine what may happen in the future for that given location.

This brings me to my next favorite part of using flourish when creating digital history representations, which is the fact that I could upload any type of data that I wanted to tamper with. I believe that the ability to rearrange and distribute information of all sorts is what gives people freedom, as well as incredible insight into the past, present or future of their desired subject. In this case, taking a look at the past couldn’t get much easier. To me, it seems as if this technique of using historical data visualizations almost goes overlooked, because being able to make certain determinations based on what has happened throughout history is a breakthrough achievement. I say this because there are so many things that we as humans still don’t have the answer to, and being able to predict the future with these tools or to make breakthrough discoveries of the past by just organizing everything we already know is incredible to me. 

I enjoyed switching between different visuals by manipulating the different chart types, height, colors & filters, lines, as well as animations. I believe the experience of toying around with flourish was actually a form of training for the future, because determining what kind of chart or graph best represents the data you input is something that you’ll have to do every time, so it was nice practice being able to sit and observe each kind of option flourish had available and then making a solid choice for the final product. This is one out of many reasons why I believe flourish is significant and superior to many other digital tools you could find. 

Writing this essay introduced me to a fond realization. Being able to discover the depths of African American history while exploring the benefits of technology has encouraged me to find new ways of tapping into digital history for my own benefit. I know that eventually, this education will adjust to my lifestyle through time. Throughout this course, I was able to bookmark, save, or remember each and every tool used just because I was impressed with the different things introduced to me. What I didn’t realize was that by doing that, I was setting myself up for success in the future, now knowing that I will take what I’ve learned to make my own creations that fit in with my career choice as well as to take a look into history again at my own time. As mentioned, this was the first time a class has introduced me to the capabilities of digital history, and as a person who travels a lot and is now aware of its potential, I know to take advantage of it around the world, and discover the history of different places I may travel to by utilizing tools such as flourish. As a recording artist and businessman, being able to access flourish anywhere I’m at is very convenient for me personally. Just like how I was interested in the topics discussed in HST, I would also be interested in learning other cultures and how oppression has affected other places in the world. I believe this is only one of the great opportunities this class has brought to me, being able to determine how certain histories in America could be similar or differs from other countries. 

I’m grateful to have new tools to fulfill my historical and philosophical desires, as well as this class in general for introducing me to a broader perspective of African American history, and efforts for presenting numerous digital interpretations of it at the same time.


One thought on “FINAL BLOG POST – Mason Martin

  1. Thank you so much for beginning with these kind and inspiring words about the course. I’m honored to have been your instructor and I will miss our class! I am also glad that you have found the skills, tools, and content we covered to be beneficial beyond our classroom. Flourish is one of my favorite tools, because it offers a lot of versatility for different types of data with a relatively low learning curve. I encourage you to continue tinkering with Flourish to see what else they have to offer, and it might also be useful for you in your business studies. Especially in the week on geospatial analysis, I agree that flourish was a powerful tool for taking two-dimensional data and transforming it into an appealing an informative visual. The same goes for other types of visualizations—the graph you visualized in this post captures a diverse and large amount of information in an easy-to-read format. As you pointed out, these types of visualizations give us a unique opportunity to transform the way we think about history.

    I really enjoyed reading about how this course has had an impact on your own interests and studies. This website will always be here if you need to look back to a specific skill/tool. Please don’t hesitate to reach out either if you need a recommendation! I really appreciate your engagement with the course and how it will have an impact on your work. Thank you for all of your contributions this semester and I wish you the best in your studies and future!

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