Writer, Interrupted


My achievements as a procrastinauteur seem to know no bounds. On June 1st, I said I would write something on big data every day for the entire month of June. I managed to keep that up for five days and then fell off the wagon for nearly twice that, going on a non-writing bender.

As penance, let me offer the fascinating work of Matthew Jockers who is using big data to study writers who actually manage to write something. Jockers, a professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, created an R package to analyze the connections between plot and sentiment in 50,000 works of fiction. In the process, he’s creating a new way of big reading that enlightens individual reading.

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