Think of a Discourse in a Different Way

How to Represent a Text as a Network

Every time we think we combine different elements together. When we use language, these elements are the words or the concepts. Some of them are used quite often together, such as “word” and “language”, for example. Those words are connected. Together they make a graph and produce the pathways for meaning circulation. When there are several pathways for meaning circulation they organize themselves into clusters, so we can see how the words we use are connected. The topics emerge. If these topics use different words (which is most often the case, unless you’re reading some highly metaphorical literature), these topics will be represented by different clusters of meaning circulation — the islands of meaning. When we know what those islands are and how the relate to each other, we know what the text is about.

The next question is what to add into this text, how it can be perceived in a different way. The best way to ask this question is to think what would happen if you were to connect two different islands of meaning together. This way we are forced to close the structural gap in the graph and this usually leads to the new ideas and eureka moments. This is also a great way to learn something new but in a way that still relates to what you already know. 

 


Practice:

Log on InfraNodus (you will need to sign up for an account first). Click “Add New Context” and start entering any text into the graph. Share a link to your graph with us and feel free to ask any questions using the form below.

If you don’t want to open an account, you can play around with the graph below, observing what happens when you click certain words in the graph and then remove them from it. Share your ideas with us, possible use cases or questions about the different ways to use this tool, using the form below.

Link to Your Graph:

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