As I've written elsewhere, given my time at the Initiative, I've developed an interest in Big Data analysis and how this methodology can be applied to history ("the digital humanities"). Specifically, as collections become digitized, the sheer volume of resources ought to inspire historians to find new ways to engage and manage information. While the result will only be as good as the analysis, it has the potential to reveal trends that otherwise may be implied but not obvious. The following tracks the state newspaper mentions of particular keywords -- in this case, names -- of four Minnesota governors: David M. Clough, John Lind, Samuel R. Van Sant, and John A. Johnson. For example, every instance in which "John" and "Lind" appear within five words of one another on a Minnesota newspaper page, that page is counted. Searching for variations of how these individuals were addressed (such as "Governor Van Sant" rather than "Samuel Van Sant" or "S.R. Van Sant") yield different counts but the overall trends are the same.
Morris Student DFL Column If you are like most youth, “politics” is something that happens only once every four years when there is a George W. Bush or Barack Obama at the top of the ticket. Besides that, “politics” is that thing that only the most hardcore of partisans pay attention to – something left … Continue reading The Common Man Partisan
Waking up at 8:55am to answer a call from my mother, I jumped out of bed because I knew I was going to be late for one of the few hints of a beating heart in 21st century America's grassroots: the county convention. While often elected by affirmation (or reluctant agreement in some places), the … Continue reading Stevens County DFL Convention