Themes from Art
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Themes from Art

Quantifying Centrality and Complexity of Concepts

About the Book

All of us love movies, especially award winners and blockbusters; many tune our ears to the chart-topping rock songs** of the 1960s-1980s; we admire pictures painted by the Impressionists, and often we recall lines of poems that touch our hearts. 

Imagine searching among the best of all that art to find one from each genre -- a movie scene, a rock song, an Impressionist painting, and a poem -- that all share a common topic, called here a "Theme." The Themes discussed include Bridges, Death, and Alcohol, to name a few.  Reflecting on the quartets, and opening up to the art and shared Theme, brought to my mind 12-16 related concepts, called here "subthemes." An example of a subtheme for Bridges is efficiency, for Death is mourning, and for Alcohol is depression.

Now, create a blog, "Themes from Art" [], for each art work and the subthemes it suggests about the parent Theme, and you have the organizing framework as well as this book.

But that is the starting point!

Extending the focus on Themes and subthemes, additional blog posts have explored whether and how concepts can be compared quantitatively to each other by their importance (centrality) or cognitive density (complexity). For example, can we say anything meaningful and empirical on those two dimensions to compare the concepts of "Silence" and "Destruction"? Stated differently, can data suggest and prove one of those concepts is better known, more widely used, broader in associations -- more central to English speakers, or whether one is deeper in thoughtfulness, more inter-connections, an abundance of associations -- more complex?

About the Author

Rees Morrison
Rees Morrison

Rees Morrison, Esq. is a consultant, entrepreneur and analyst of legal data. For three decades, Rees has consulted to law departments on operational reviews, cost control, re-engineering, structure assessments, client satisfaction, technology, benchmarking, and other issues. 


Rees has assisted more than 285 law departments on four continents. He has been a Senior Manager at EY, a principal at Altman Weil, a partner at Thomson/Hildebrandt, and a partner at Arthur Andersen. Before that he served as the Consulting Assistant to the General Counsel of Merck. Before Merck, Morrison was a Director in the Law Department Group of Price Waterhouse, vice president of two software firms, and an associate at Weil Gotshal & Manges and two other New York law firms.


Graduating from Harvard College in 1974 (mcl), Morrison earned his law degree from Columbia Law School (1978) and an LLM from New York University (1984). 


He is a Certified Management Consultant, a member of Scribes, a fellow of the College of Law Practice Management, and has been on the Board of Advisors of Corporate Counselor, Law Department Management, and Metropolitan Corporate Counsel. A Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, he has participated in the ABA's Law Practice Management Section and ACC’s Law Department Management Committee. 


Morrison has addressed more than 160 groups in his career, co-chaired 11 law-department management conferences, spoken on two dozen webinars, and published more than 180 articles. For two years he wrote a bi-weekly column, Morrison on Metrics, for InsideCounsel. Among his six books are Law Department Benchmarks: Myths Metrics and Management (Glasser LegalWorks 2nd ed. 2001); Client Satisfaction for Law Departments (Corp. Legal Times 2003); and Law Department Administrators: Lessons from Leaders (Hildebrandt Inst. 2004).


He hosts the blog where he explores quantifying centrality and complexity of concepts using Natural Language Processing and multiple algorithms in the R programming language.

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