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Back from Moscow--where to now?

Nov 25 2010

I’m back from Moscow, and with a lot of blog content from my 23-hour itinerary. I’m going to try to dole it out slowly, though, because a lot of it is dull and somewhat technical, and I think it’s best to intermix with other types of content. I think there are four things I can do here.

  1. Document my process of building up a specific system and set of techniques for analyzing texts from the internet archive, and publishing an account my tentative explorations into the structure of my system.

  2. Trying to produce some chunks of writing that I could integrate into presentations (we’re talking about one in Princeton in February) and other non-blog writing.

  3. Digging in with the data into some major questions in American intellectual history to see whether we can get anything useful out of it.

  4. Reflecting on the state of textual analysis within the digital humanities, talking about how it can be done outside of my Perl-SQL-R framework, and thinking about how to overcome some of the more gratuitous obstacles in its way.

I’m interested in all of these, but find myself most naturally writing the first two (aside from a few manifestos of type 4 written in a haze of Russia and midnight flights that will likely never see the light of day). I think my two commenters may like the latter two more.

So I think I’ll try to intersperse the large amount of type 1 that I have now with some other sorts of analysis over the next week or so. That includes a remake of the isms chart, a further look at loess curves, etc.