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Reading MachinesToward an Algorithmic Criticism$
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Stephen Ramsay

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036415

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036415.001.0001

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(p.69) 5 ’Patacomputing
Reading Machines

Stephen Ramsay

University of Illinois Press

This chapter surveys some of the newer text-analytical tools—claiming them, unabashedly, as potential instruments of algorithmic criticism. It demonstrates that the degree to which the text-analysis systems WordHoard, Text Analysis Portal for Research (TAPoR), HyperPo, and MONK (Metadata Offer New Knowledge) show the way forward, they do so largely by embracing the contingencies that once threatened the discipline of rhetoric, but that, like rhetoric, may come to form the basis for new kinds of critical acts. In an age when the computer itself has gone from being a cold arbiter of numerical facts to being a platform for social networking and self-expression, one may well wonder whether those new kinds of critical acts are in fact already implicit in the many interfaces that seek only to facilitate thought, self-expression, and community.

Keywords:   text-analytical tools, algorithmic criticism, WordHoard, TAPoR, HyperPo, MONK, rhetoric, critical acts

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