Themes from Art
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" [ThemesfromArt.com], 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?
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