Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Alternative Freedom Documentary and Soundtrack

Alternative Freedom is a documentary about the invisible war on culture, featuring insights and ideas from Lawrence Lessig, Richard Stallman, Danger Mouse, Bunnie, Jason Shultz, Doseone.

Here's the trailer:

You can buy the ALTERNATIVE FREEDOM DVD/SOUNDTRACK COMBO (2 DISCS) for $12 knowing that $1 of your purchase goes to EFF, a donor-funded nonprofit organization that depends on your support to continue successfully defending your digital rights.

Let The Music Play: Join EFF Today

The Alternative Freedom soundtrack features over 52 minutes of full length songs from:

diabetic elf
high karate
loch lomond
ritchie young

Thursday, December 07, 2006

TagCrowd Visualizations of John Lennon's "Imagine" and Political Media Slant

TagCrowd is a web-application that allows you to enter any text and generate a tag cloud to visualize word frequency. These visualizations can be revelatory due to spontaneous perceptions triggered by displayed patterns in the tag cloud, such as word proximity and weight. Interesting and meaningful connections between keywords emerge including meme-like phrases, concepts and new sentence fragments.

Below we see the contrast in vocabulary between the lyrics of the John Lennon song "Imagine" and politically loaded phrases as used by Democrats and Republicans. See How to speak Republican or Democratic for background information and lists of phrases as compiled in a recent paper by Gentzkow and Shapiro from the 2005 Congressional Record: What Drive's Media Slant?

John Lennon was shot and killed this day December 8, 1980 by Mark Chapman.

John Lennonspeak

created at TagCrowd.com


created at TagCrowd.com


created at TagCrowd.com

Here's a hybrid cloud made from combining the two original political lists to create a Slantscape mashup. In all cases the clouds have been restricted to display a maximum of fifty keywords and the last cloud shows a frequency count for each word.


created at TagCrowd.com

As a tool for working with language the creative possibilities are fascinating. TagCrowd can be applied to a multitude of artistic and interperative situations including blogging, songwriting, sloganeering, poetry, hyper linking etc, and the range of input material is obviously limitless from recipes to religion. More language tools and toys can be found on the REPROMAN sidebar.

TagCrowd created by Daniel Steinbock

The generated code and its rendered image are released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 License.

Via Sean Kearney's /patternHunter [/ph] - thanks for mentioning Apophenia, the word really grabbed my attention and on further exploration proved to be very fruitful. In particular to this List of Cognitive Biases and my list of social applications at Web Buzz Explorer.

Language Visualization Resources

ThePowerOfWords - A text analysis of political discourse during times of crisis.

US Presidential Speeches Tag Cloud - Shows the popularity, frequency, and trends in the usages of words within speeches, official documents, declarations, and letters written by the Presidents of the US between 1776 - 2006 AD.