Weekly Summary: Week #1

The first week was about:

  • designing and building the two databases, one for the signs and the other for the sources;
  • gathering the first set of sources, the Greek ritual manuals and the incidents of magic signs in them (so far 54);
  • testing the data input comfort in terms of optimizing the data entry options and field arranging to reduce the chance of making mistakes amd to increase analysis options;
  • entering the first sources and classifying the first signs;
  • figuring out a more efficient way to enter
  • layouting the Handbook of Ancient Magic Signs;
  • transferring the data from the crashed Word document to the new InDesign files.

All in all it was a very productive week. While at day #1 it felt like I was standing in front of a huge mountain of data, wondering how to figure out its beginning, mass and end, how to systemize it for analysis, and how to put it into a database and a catalogue, it now appears like a lot of differently sized cubes waiting to be processed. Over the weekend I realized that there is not only the fundamental question „What is a magic sign„, but also „When is a sign magical? (Wann ist ein Zeichen magisch?)“. I find the latter question more exciting than the first one since it triggers thinking about human (ancient and modern) behaviour rather than focussing on previous attempts to assign sources quite arbitrarily to nebulous categories.

Januar 10, 2017 @ 0:02