Thursday, October 28, 2010

Clouds and Clarity

A picture of a hundred (or so) words is worth more than when they were spoken:

Obama's word cloud

Lambert's cloud formations, comparing Obama's words to FDR's, is self explanatory.

Update - While I agree that the word clouds are drawn form different kinds of speaking events (a closed conference and a public address respectively), the patterns of language are what fascinate me. In a smaller venue with members of the ostensible intelligentsia, I'd expect to see more substantive language. Given the condition of the economy, I'd expect to see a lot of terms addressing that topic. What I see is vapidity. With a national speech, I'd expect to see more generalities, more platitudes. Instead, I see action words, things asking people to do things or talking about paths to be taken. There is also a broad range of words that are emphasized more or less equally, in comparison to the verbal imbalance of the former.

I'd like to see the speeches reversed or to have a more recent president compared to Obama. If that's done, I'll link to it. Update - Please look in the comments. CMike has posted a set of links to word clouds of different president's inaugural addresses.



CMike said...

I have to agree with Joe in the thread over at Corrente. This was an apples to buffaloes comparison. Joe did offer a fix by creating a word cloud from the text of President Obama's inaugural address.

I was going to go the other route and transcribe Parts 1 and 2 of this interview and create its word cloud so it could be compared to the one from the Obama interview but, well, it quickly became apparent that was going to be a bigger job than what I was willing to tackle. Interview? Not so much.

(As and aside, I think President Clinton is underestimating the hole we're in if he thinks we have a structural unemployment problem with skilled jobs going a-begging in parallel with the unemployment which is the result of a collapse in aggregate demand.

>>>>>President Bill Clinton recently told an interviewer that unemployment remained high because “people don’t have the job skills for the jobs that are open.”

Well, I’d respectfully suggest that Mr. Clinton talk to researchers at the Roosevelt Institute and the Economic Policy Institute, both of which have recently released important reports completely debunking claims of a surge in structural unemployment.<<<<<

This is a pretty fundamental issue.)

Koshem Bos said...

Our progressive elite is still fighting Big Dog. It's 18 years and going strong.

I thought the post was about other issues.

CMike said...


George W. Bush


George H. W. Bush






Franklin Roosevelt


[I see now that I should have made a greater effort to have all these word clouds using the same template. I'm not sure about Franklin Roosevelt, but I know Lincoln and I suppose Nixon, Carter, and Clinton each outlined and composed most of their respective inaugural addresses themselves.]