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Ben Schmidt
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Some notes on corpora for diachronic word2vec
I want to post a quick methodological note on diachronic (and other forms of comparative) word2vec models. This is a really interesting field right now. Hamilton et al have a nice paper that shows how to track changes using procrustean transformations: as t...

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OCR failures in 2016
This is a quick digital-humanities public service post with a few sketchy questions about OCR as performed by Google. When I started working intentionally with computational texts in 2010 or so, I spent a while worrying about the various ways that OCR--opti...

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A 192-year heatmap of presidential elections with a y axis ordering you have to see to believe
Like everyone else, I've been churning over the election results all month. Setting aside the important stuff, understanding election results temporally presents an interesting challenge for visualization. Geographical realignments are common in American hi...

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The efficient plots hypothesis
I'm pulling this discussion out of the comments thread on Scott Enderle's blog , because it's fun. This is the formal statement of what will forever be known as the efficient plot hypothesis for plot arceology . Noble prize in culturomics, here I come. Brie...

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Language is biased. What should engineers do?
Word embedding models are kicking up some interesting debates at the confluence of ethics, semantics, computer science, and structuralism. Here I want to lay out some of the elements in one recent place that debate has been taking place inside computer scie...

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Why Digital Humanists don't need to understand algorithms, but do need to understand transformations
Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016 is now online, and includes my contribution, "Do Digital Humanists Need to Understand Algorithms?"  (As well as a pretty snazzy cover image …) In it I lay out distinction between transformations, which are about states...

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Plot arceology, emotion, and tension
Some scientists came up with a list of the 6 core story types. On the surface, this is extremely similar to Matt Jockers' work from last year. Like Jockers, they use a method for disentangling plots that is based on sentiment analysis, justify it mostly wit...

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Nature publishes flat-earth research paper
I usually keep my mouth shut in the face of the many hilarious errors that crop up in the burgeoning world of datasets for cultural analytics, but this one is too good to pass up. Nature has just published a dataset description paper that appears to devote ...

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Literary Dopplegängers and interestingness
I started this post with a few digital-humanities posturing paragraphs: if you want to read them, you'll encounter them eventually. But instead let me just get the point: here's a trite new category of analysis that wouldn't be possible without distant read...
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