06 May 2010

Computational Analysis of Literature & Language

Go and listen to Radiolab's 17 minute episode on computational analysis of language, detective novels, nuns, and Alzheimer's.  Seriously, go listen to this.

At the risk of upsetting Special Lady Friend, who got her Masters in English, this is what the academic English establishment ought to be doing.

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Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Art is everything else we do.
— Donald Knuth, foreword to A=B

If in other sciences we should arrive at certainty without doubt and truth without error, it behooves us to place the foundations of knowledge in mathematics.
— Roger Bacon, Opus Majus

If we take into our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Consign it then to the flames: For it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.
— David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

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