Mdst3703 2013-09-10-textual-signals


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Mdst3703 2013-09-10-textual-signals

  1. 1. Seeing Textual Signals Prof. Alvarado MDST 3703 10 September 2013
  2. 2. Business • About the inability to save files – Try disconnecting and reconnecting the drive – Use UVA’s VMWare View Client to access the HIVE • See • Puts you on a Windows system • Can install JEdit there (in your own directory) • Office hours – My Wednesday and Thursday afternoons are usually open – Contact me
  3. 3. Responses • Studio is hard! • The readings put coding in a different perspective
  4. 4. Review • Plato’s cave is an allegory of media • In digital media, interface and code are related as shadow to puppet • In studio, we saw how source code could be rendered differently – JEdit = puppet area (back of the cave) – Web Browser = shadow area (front of the cave) • What kinds of things varied between the two?
  5. 5. Review • The opposition is reproduced as HTML vs CSS – Both are source code, but one defines structure the other style • Documents exhibit a hierarchy: 1. Structure (elements and attributes) 2. Content (“parsed character data”) 3. Style (typography, layout) • Which level would Aristotle consider most important?
  6. 6. Comments • All of the scholars we read for today regard text in “geometrical” terms – Although each takes a unique approach • But whereas Aristotle links his geometry to the point of the play – the former explains the latter – the others don’t link the patterns they discover with a purpose or an effect – Is this true?
  7. 7. Today, we look at the computer as an aid to reading and interpretation The computer is the child of logic (codified by Aristotle) What we find are variant forms of analysis that echo Aristotle
  8. 8. Is a text a shadow or a puppet?
  9. 9. Claude Lévi-Strauss
  10. 10. Structuralism • Lévi-Strauss was a French structuralist and anthropologist • He believed that society and culture could be described in mathematical terms, i.e. rules that generate patterns • Although he did not use computers, he was intrigued by them and modeling his thinking on how he imagined they worked
  11. 11. Structuralism argues that the visible products of human culture – works of art, language, institutions, etc. – are the results of hidden structures that generate visible behaviors The best example of this is language Our speech – the observable part of language – is governed by grammar, or structure, a hidden set of codes and rules that exist in the brain and shared by a community
  12. 12. How does Levi-Strauss approach getting at the structure of a text?
  14. 14. So we chop the text up into units and rearrange them
  16. 16. To understand the myth, we need to understand the relations between the columns This will give us the “paradigm” of the text
  17. 17. Is this how we think of reading a text? If not, then what is Levi-Strauss talking about?
  18. 18. Benjamin Colby
  19. 19. Colby • Colby is an American anthropologist • He was one of the first to use a real computer to do something similar to Levi-Strauss • But his method is dictated by his tools – Words are associated into themes by a thesaurus of themes – The words in texts are then parsed into this thesaurus – A pattern of themes emerges
  20. 20. The IBM 7090, announced in 1958, was the first commercial computer with transistor logic. It was intended mainly for scientific computing, but it was also suitable for business and administrative use.
  21. 21. Sample thesaurus entries If a text has a word on the right, then the category on the left is identified as being in the text at that point
  22. 22. Colby wants to make observations of this kind
  23. 23. Like Levi-Strauss, Colby wants to read these patterns as evidence for deeper structure – paradigms Can Colby’s method help provide an Aristotelian description of these folktales?
  24. 24. Colby's theory TEXTS CULTURE
  25. 25. Stephen Ramsay
  26. 26. “Algorithmic Criticism” • Ramsay is a UVA graduate student • Teaches English at Nebraska • Developed a method to apply mathematical graph theory to Shakespeare’s plays
  27. 27. A B C D Graph Theory, developed by Euler, allows us to see that one would need to have an even number of bridges to get on and off a given land mass without going over a bridge twice.
  28. 28. Graph Theory • Regions and boundaries can be represented by “vertices” and “edges” – AKA nodes and links • Links can be represented as having a direction or not – Directed vs Undireced
  29. 29. Many things can be represented as graphs – networks of points and lines that abstract the relationships between parts By representing things as graphs, we can transform them in interesting ways
  30. 30. How many colors do you need to create a map in which no adjacent regions have the same color? Graph theory tells us the answer is 4
  31. 31. What about texts?
  32. 32. A Comedy of Errors, an early farce
  33. 33. Richard II, a history
  34. 34. Cymbeline, a late romance
  35. 35. Coriolanus, a history, battles as limbs
  36. 36. Antony and Cleopatra, a history, battles integrated
  37. 37. Henry IV, Part 1, central place of the Garter Inn
  38. 38. Henry IV, Part 1, Eastcheap Central
  39. 39. Measure for Measure, a room in the prison central
  40. 40. Julius Ceasar, extremely linear
  41. 41. King Lear, linear then divided
  42. 42. Henry VI, Part 1
  43. 43. Henry VI, Part II
  44. 44. Henry VI, Part III
  45. 45. Anthony’s path through the play as a subgraph
  46. 46. Cleopatra’s path
  47. 47. Antony and Cleopatra
  48. 48. Clustering by number of single-incident scenes
  49. 49. Alignments of tragedy and comedy
  50. 50. Comedy and tragedy clusters
  51. 51. Metrics • the number of unique scene locations • the total number of scenes • the number of single-instance scenes • the number of loops (scene locations that appear consecutively) • the number of switches (consecutive scene locations with an intervening location).
  52. 52. So, Ramsay begins by counting and linking scenes Then he finds metrics for these graphs (e.g. number of scenes, etc.) He ends by correlating these metrics to known genres (comedy, romance, tragedy, history)
  53. 53. Observations
  54. 54. In each case, the “meaning” of the text is not what we think of as “meaning” It is something unconscious
  55. 55. On the other hand: What do you remember when you read a book?
  56. 56. We remember scenes, images, plot lines, values, etc. We sometimes remember verbatim passages We don’t normally remember the words
  57. 57. We get much of our culture through books (and other "cultural models" in Colby's words)
  58. 58. Like cigarettes, books are a “delivery mechanism” (not of nicotine, but of culture)
  59. 59. Text is like this
  60. 60. A text is a signal Culture is a transmitter