Sunday, November 1, 2009

Deconstructing Doctorow part i

Below are links for some visualizations of text data in the form of the short story Anda's Game. The story is about much more than data; it is about the real-life practice of video game "gold farming" whereby poor people in less "developed" countries perform menial video game tasks to accrue currency and afford affluent Western gamers the opportunity to buy BFGs (big friendly guns) or other high-value items. I use the term desconstructing somewhat loosely; there isn't much technology available today that can provide a successful reductionist approach to a complex multidimensional cortical process of creativity. Anda's Game was the first short story of his that I read, initially as a comic on my phone.

I picked terms for the trees that were relevant to the themes of the story - gold, for in-game items and Fahrenheit, which is a clan in the story. As with several stories in Overclocked, there are several references to other SF writers, e.g. Anda's Game/ Ender's Game; I, Robot. The Bradbury references, e.g. Fahrenheits, are notable on account of Ray Bradbury's stance against Michael Moore, as Doctorow outlines in the story's introduction. After experimenting with several words from the wordle, I eventually chose terms to create trees that didn't require too much zooming and weren't too densely branched.

Cory's been prolific, so there's much more to investigate here. If I didn't have a day job, I'd be pushing Makers through Many Eyes.



Bradbury BFG

Many Eyes also has data for his other works Little Brother and Printcrime:

Arphid word tree from one of the Little Brother uploads.

Mark Shuttleworth on ubuntu, open source, free knowledge, space