Archive for November 4th, 2010

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now

Thursday, November 4th, 2010
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Everyone is still talking about politics today, while I’m muddling along with page proofs and correspondence.  But let me join in the fun for a moment with a few “word clouds.”

Perhaps I am the last person in the Western world to discover wordle and software-generated word clouds.  I’d seen them before, but wasn’t sure exactly what they are supposed to do or mean.  The folks over at Corrente compared Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s inaugural speech with Barack Obama‘s remarks on October 27 address to bloggers:

Here’s Obama:

And here’s FDR:

Interesting discussion about the two here — but really, it’s hard to be too shallow with this stuff.  One of the punters on the site thought the analysis was unjust — after all, why compare a conversation with bloggers to a formal inaugural address?  Point taken, however,  I thought his case would be more persuasive if the wordler hadn’t written “inaugeration.”  In any cases, the image is tiny — click on it for a larger version:

Wordle: Obama Inaugeration Speech

Thought I’d try my own hand at this.  I took no chances, and chose a post that would make me look smarter.  I used my Halloween text, which included excerpts from Nobel laureates J.M. Coetzee and Mario Vargas Llosa to spruce up my own humble words.  Click on the image to see a less lilliputian version:

Wordle: "Dostoevsky, Coetzee, Vargas Llosa, and Paul West on evil"

Now.  Back to silver linings.