Monthly Archives: November 2011

Presume Not that I Am the Thing I Was

I think this is the last old post I had to write.  This is focused on my final project for Prof. Witmore’s class in May:

Over the course of a semester, Professor Witmore introduced our class to writings about relational patterns and networks, then subsequently applied them to the study of literature.  We read books such as Graham Harman’s “Prince of Networks: Bruno Latour and Metaphysics”, Franco Moretti’s “Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models for a Literary History”, and Alexander, Ishikawa, and Silverstein’s “A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction” which slowly coalesced in my mind and led into my final project; a Java program designed to help render Docuscope quality text from a plain or formatted transcription.

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A Day in April Never Came So Sweet

I just realized that I had a couple of drafts that I did not finish earlier this year.  This is from April:

As I was sitting in Heathrow airport, I looked up to see all of the people in front of me focused intently, and some with mouths agape, in a common direction to my left.  I glanced over to be struck by the image of a six foot tall rabbit, with a bright yellow costume and little green hat, skipping and shuffling his way past us down the terminal.  This could have been an instance of extreme laughter except I didn’t keep looking at the rabbit; instead looked at the others around me.  It was interesting that, although a few people returned to their previous actions after the rabbit had gone twenty more feet, most kept staring until the rabbit was completely out of sight. Continue reading

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There is Nothing Either Good or Bad, But Thinking Makes it So

I have recently been working on an extension to shakesbook.org that employs Ajax to retrieve a file of Shakespeare’s plays from the server.  This is similar in theory to the Simile timeline I used before and also akin because of my use of a JSON data format.  I am hoping to apply a JSON data structure to complete works of literature instead of using XML.  Jon Bosak organized Shakespeare’s works into XML as early as 1996, the files here are from 1999, but from what I can tell no one has tried to place the plays into JSON.  I wish to return to this, instead of leaving it settled in XML, for several reasons.  For one, JSON is arguably more easily readable [1] by humans and computers and JSON has familial ties to Java/JavaScript, which is the language I can work in best.   JSON also takes up much less space than XML [2] which means faster communication between the server and the webpage.  These reasons together made me choose to remake Shakespeare’s works, however my acquaintance with both the plays and the data format did not result in a quicker solution; instead I inadvertently arrived at larger questions of meaning in these plays.

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