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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Going Viral, Antebellum Style

Written on November 26, 2013 at 2:33 pm, by

The Infectious Texts project at Northeastern University is making thousands of pre-Civil War newspapers searchable. Bob talks with Ryan Cordell, a leader on the project, about the mechanism behind text virality in the 1800’s and some of what’s been discovered so far.

In the Wake of Traumas

Written on November 19, 2013 at 9:14 pm, by

The Fate of the Humanities: The Data Shows There’s No Real Crisis

Written on November 6, 2013 at 3:41 pm, by

In the face of tightening budgets and a more competitive job market, some fear that funding for and interest in the humanities may be declining at universities, as students become more focused on future employment. Are these fears justified or exaggerated? Can the study of the humanities thrive at a time of changing needs, or  Continue Reading »

Here’s How Memes Went Viral — In the 1800s

Written on November 5, 2013 at 4:18 pm, by

Twitter is faster and HuffPo more sophisticated, but the parasitic dynamics of networked media were fully functional in the 19th century. For proof, look no further than the Infectious Texts project, a collaboration of humanities scholars and computer scientists.

Critical Mass, Viral Tags and Political Hashtags: the Dynamics of Contagious Phenomena in Social Media

Written on November 4, 2013 at 3:30 pm, by

Social media sites like Twitter enable users to engage in the spread of contagious phenomena: everything from information and rumors to social movements and virally marketed products. The dynamics of these phenomena have been studied extensively from a theoretical perspective, but a gap exists between models and empirical studies of social contagions. In this talk,  Continue Reading »

The Center Cannot Hold

Written on November 4, 2013 at 3:24 pm, by

Join NULab and David Sparks, of the Boston Celtics, as he presents a talk on a social network approach to explaining ideological polarization. The lack of quantitative data on House candidates makes many theories of electoral politics difficult to test. Perhaps the most fundamental shortcoming of current data is the lack of ideological estimates for  Continue Reading »

A Computational Analysis of Agenda Setting with Alice Oh

Written on November 4, 2013 at 3:18 pm, by

Agenda setting theory explains how media affects its audience. While traditional media studies have done extensive research on agenda setting, there are important limitations in those studies, including using a small set of issues, running costly surveys of public interest, and manually categorizing the articles into positive and negative frames. In this paper, we propose to tackle these limitations with a  Continue Reading »