Disciplined Play with Hybrid Monsters, Compression, and Lived Experience.
SUBTITLE Versus Coding :: (1) Rockwell vs Miner = Minimal Conflict in Underlying Philosophical Premises and Pursuit of Derived Meaning; (2) = Definite Personality, Tone and Authorial Voice Difference. [Fancy belabored subtitle I don’t really support argumentatively in the following. Perhaps a better subtitle is “Truncated Answers, Mental Ramblings and Failure of Proofing—Welcome to My Playpen”]
Do you think the premises of Rockwell’s article hold, given the evolution of print and electronic texts?
[Answer] Yes. We still work under the presumptions he lays out in terms of how meaning arises from coded analysis—the assumptions that: meaning may be derived (interpreted) from unity of text and consistency of word use, that analytical results somehow correlate interpretively with source text in the form of a kind of hybridization (patchwork), and that the concordance developed arises from some logical procedure that relates to the input of developer or reader. (Rockwall, pg 212)
[Ramble] Of course all this presumes that humans are rather rational, predictable and mirror human herd behavior of which language is one component. Interesting new research on mirror neurons in humans support the second two presumptions, but does not speak to rationality. I am on the fence about the underlying assumption that humans are rational.
The loose presumptions that Rockwell states appear to be the same underlying model Miner works from in regards to computer assisted text mining. These assumptions seem to correlate with my own navigation of life and watching others—lived experience only becomes comprehensible through downsampling and compression of the overwhelming amount of stimuli, realities (?) that come at us. Sampling and compression of lived experience are how we build our inner and social knowledge base into something comprehensible for the purpose of navigating our world and predicting our future path. How often are we wrong? We meet someone and instantly categorically pigeonhole them based on a few cues that we correlate with our inner knowledge basis. Some people are harder to pen down, they raise our curiosity and attentional focus, we find ourselves more overtly mulling over how to categorically place them in our framework. We code them, code them again until we can downsample them into a nice tidy package. Coding and downsampling is efficient, helpful. It is the source of comprehensible meaning, we use it to understand our past, navigate our present and predict our future. But, dang, we often over compress or have a fault coding system based on to faulty or overly narrow sampling. Interpreting code can definitely be a swing and a miss. I am over middle age, single, no kids, no make-up, artistic, use power tools, semi-athletic, lean framed, if I also throw in the cue of a cute pixie hair cut, SHORT hair, my cultural codes will often lead people to interpret my sexual orientation incorrectly. Change one understood cultural code—wear my hair long and flowy—bam reinterpreted code by just on variable and I am coded in the second cycle accurately as hetero. These codes are rather inconsequential other than if the door is held open for me or not, but other code development and interpretation can lead to dire consequences. When things go wrong with our code development–we cull from to narrow a sample or faulty sample, use someone elses outdated or eroneous code, or we miss apply the code or are too ridgid in its use which all shape our interpretation, people can walk into churches and kill people based on their faulty application of their own codebook (which I will code as freaking insane and evil and wrong). People go to war based on their code and assumptions they make about other peoples codes. We include and exclude others in the lunch room, class, neighborhood, families or even ourself based on our code development, application and interpretation.
Rockwell’s three presumptions seem rather grounded in how we develop our codes, apply them for interpretation and application in life and research. And clearly from lived experience these presumptions should be held loosely in our research. Therefore the notion of a research playpen appeals to me, because it holds language, coding and its relationship to human experience gently, tentatively, something to be mulled over, toyed with, revisited, questions, etc. A playpen is not a free-for-all, it provides parameters within which to work.
Do you see Rockwell’s discussion of hermeneutics evidenced in Miner’s chapter? If so, how and to what extent?
[Truncated Answer] Yes. In Miner’s preamble he states “text mining is a relatively new and unstandardized analytical technique.” For me this suggests that Miner also has an expectation for the implementation of systematic “procedures” in concordance development and its reliance and relationship to the researcher and her processing.
With Miner there is a bit of room in the notion of “that unstructured nature of the data opens up a wide range of exploratory avenues” that correlates nicely with Rockwell’s “disciplined play.” I think both authors place an emphasis on the researchers role in apply the methodologies and interpreting with the answers or meaning not being fixed or inherent.
[Musing] One important difference between the author’s is that if I was sipping a margarita, eating chips and talking text mining with them, Miner would bore me. Sure I would respect him but I would need a second drink with a floater. Rockwell would peak my curiosity. There is something in his authorial voice that suggests a flexibility, a broader space for the human condition at play in research. It may just be because he used the words play, playpen and performance (Judith Butler).
Often my best work comes out of a mistake or from within the bounds of the playpen. Of course once it is made, then I need to reapply Miner’s rigors that align more with the scientific method I learned in junior high.
What other principles do Miner’s models seem to follow?
[Answer] In terms of methodologies, this may seem rudimentary, but in my mind he adheres to the standard “scientific method.”
[More Ramble] Versus :: On first read while simultaneously exploring new tools and a first use of Windows operating system since the 1990s blue screen of death, I see little difference philosophically between the two. The primary differences seem to be with tone, formality and such of language. I am not speaking to the nitty gritty points and sub-points, only the underlying philosophical notions. Rockwell’s waxings on research impact perhaps were accurate at the time of the writing, but these have subsequently fallen aside, hence a data mining course during the summer with a full student rooster.