Questions for Act 2 presenters

This morning (Friday, March 30th), at the close of Phase 2, we heard an oral presentation on Act 2. Put your questions for the presenters in the comments below.

8 thoughts on “Questions for Act 2 presenters

  1. The team chose to focus on themes of spying, surveillance, and knowledge of others — a good choice not only because of the nature of Act 2, but also because of the methods of the digital humanities! How much do we know, how do interrogate texts, and can we trust the results we think we’re seeing?

    • Professor Ullyot- Computers are good at Quantitative analysis, such as counting things, if it is words, nouns, or how often a person speaks. I think these are things that computers do, and that we can trust because it is looking at data. However I think that it is hard to look at things from a human perspective, such as tone and theme. Overall I think computers were helpful as a guide but, we can’t fully depend on them since after all it is a computer and they don’t think or feel and therefore wouldn’t understand emotion.

  2. I appreciate the word frequency charts, in both yours and the Act 1 presentation. I wonder if it might be more useful to compare not just how often people speak, but what their relative number of lines / words are in scenes they appear in *together*.

    • Dr Ullot,
      I agree with you, and think it would be very useful to examine the number of words/lines where characters speak together. WordSeer is not able to actually count the number of lines or words a person speaks (that I know of) but I am pretty sure WordHoard and/or Voyeur can do something similar to this. It would be very interesting to see the results of a search like that.

  3. I appreciated Matt’s comment about the results of the word “know” and how he thought it odd that the characters don’t just ask eachother what it is they would like to know. It is a very common motif, even throughout literature today, that the characters refuse to simply tell each other their plans or feelings, leaving a lot unknown in the minds of the characters. I myself have thrown a couple of books across the room because the entirety of the central conflict is that the characters refuse to talk to each other.

  4. I liked the overall approach that you guys took to study your act. It was interesting to see the results that everyone’s tools got in relation to the common themes you guys agreed upon.
    Hayley — Did you find Naives Bayes easier to use in this phase? I didn’t really make much of an effort to use it, so I was just wondering why you decided to use it.
    Overall, great presentation!

    • Kate- I picked Naye Bayes since the compare tool wouldn’t let me look at Act 2 effectively. I basically choose the one thing that allows you to look at Act 2 on its own effectively. I thought that it would be the most helpful at picking up themes since it looked through language. I decided not to use the other tools because I would have to look at Act 2 in comparison to something else, and I didn’t think that would help my group at all.

  5. Dr. Ullyot, I was able to count the lines of characters when I changed their speech prefixes to a code names, however, I was never able to actually count the words spoken by each character in the play. I found that I was able to compare when people spoke with Voyeur but not how much.

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