Text Analysis

Today’s technology has made it possible to analyze text in ways that previously would have been impossible or extremely time consuming.   Entire books and large collections of documents can now be scanned and analyzed by computer software for word frequency and word usage.  When multiple books, documents, and other written sources from various time periods are compared, these analyses disclose how word usage has changed over time.  This opens up a new way to look at the writings of the past.

Quantification

Today technology is present in almost every aspect of our lives. We communicate through e-mails, text messages, and social sites. We watch television and movies and play video games for entertainment. There is almost an app for every part of our lives, from GPS to weight watching. All of our activities can now be tracked and turn into tons of raw data. This data is highly sought after by companies who watch popular trends to determine the best promotion of their products.  Some governments are starting to use technology tracking and data collecting techniques to track down wanted criminals and terrorists. However, there is more to quantification than other people collecting data about you. Many people are now using technology to keep track of their daily activities such as sleeping, running, calorie intake and spending. This self-tracking can be done either passively by using special gadgets or smartphone apps or actively by creating charts on a personal computer.

Google Map of Guston Hall

On March 28, 2015, I visited Gunston Hall, the home of George Mason author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights. During my visit I learned some interesting facts about the layout of George Mason’s plantation. For example, on the river side of the house is a one acre garden used by the Mason family to grow vegetables. There is also a series of earthen mounds used as viewing mounts by George Mason to see who was approaching Gunston Hall by boat and to oversee his slaves working in the fields and on his wharf. In addition George Mason built a schoolhouse where his nine children were taught by a tutor who lived on the upper floor. The following day I created my first google map. The map has pins marking the locations of the main house, the schoolhouse, and the viewing mounds. It also has a polygon outlining the vegetable garden. I am proud to have learned how to create a Google map and eager to learn how to attach pictures to the pins.

Being Safe Online

The internet is an essential tool for gathering and sharing information and transacting business.  However, there is some information that you must protect while online, such as your social security number, credit card numbers, and other personal information.  Additionally, it is important to protect your computer from viruses while surfing the web.  Viruses can potentially crash your computer, contaminate or delete files, and give hackers access to your personal information.  Luckily, there are some basic rules that, when followed, will help protect your computer and personal information.  First and foremost, you should never go to a questionable website or open a suspicious e-mail or attachment.  To insure your computer’s health, it is important to have antivirus software installed and to regularly scan your computer for viruses.  To insure that important files and information are not lost in the event that your computer crashes, you should regularly make backups of important files either on separate devices such as a flash drive or a separate hard drive, or off-site onto a cloud.  When you are conducting business transactions online it is critical to use SSL or https sites to protect your privacy.  To safeguard your e-mail, bank accounts, and other online accounts you should have a separate password for each account.  These passwords should be a unique combination of lower and upper case letters, numbers, and symbols, no less than nine characters in length, and not easily guessed.  Since no password is hundred percent secure, it is a good idea to regularly change your passwords.  I am proud to say that I have followed all of these rules and so far have had no major problems on the internet.  However, one must never let his guard down for good luck in the past does not guarantee good luck in the future.