In Part I of this series, I showed how to get the Victorian masterpiece, A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology by William Smith, LLD, ed.
In Part II I’m going to explore it, but not in an archaic, linear fashion. It’s 2017–we can do better.
I wanted to move beyond mere word counts, and a sentiment analysis makes little sense in this context. And so after perusing several entries,
I was struck by the image of the network. A network is an abstraction, a visual representation of connections both explicit and
implicit. Networks are interesting (and very, very slippery) because their cumulative effect is impossible to pin down; if I see
a basketball, a volleyball, a baseball, and a volleyball together, I might think “talent”, “hard work”, “achievement”. But someone else could view the same
cluster of objects and think “absurdity”, “waste of time”, and “barbarism”. Our experience shapes our perception of networks.