What's It All About?

Wednesday March 11, 2009

thinkBuddha.org on Wordle.net

If you have not visited thinkBuddha.org before, you may be wondering what this blog is about. If you have visited it before, you may be still puzzled. And, as I sit down to write this, find that I too am scratching my head to find a way of summing it up. So I’m indebted to wordle.net, for their nice online application that parses websites and provides a word-cloud representing the most common terms that appear on the site in question.

As I’ve noted on this blog before, and as the archaeologists know, if you want to know what people really get up to, you don’t ask them (particularly if you are an archaeologist, because the people in question are almost always not in a fit state to answer), but you do sneaky things like poking through their rubbish bins. Similarly, if you want to know what people are really interested in, then perhaps instead of asking them to account for themselves, and facing the inevitable spin that comes from this self-accounting, you can just see which words and topics come up most often when they actually go about the business of writing and speaking.

And so here is a word-cloud, looking rather like an elegant concrete poem, of what I’m interested in here at thinkBuddha.org (or at least, what appears at the moment on the front page of thinkBuddha.org). The words the crop up more often are larger and more prominent, whilst the ones that are less common are smaller, in the same way that in medieval paintings the important figures loom large, whilst the less important ones are diminutive. The image, by the way, is clickable, so you are free to study it at your leisure.

thinkBuddha.org on Wordle.net

Now for a bit of analysis. It appears that I’m somewhat interested in Buddhism, although (worryingly for some) I also seem to be interested in errancy. Consciousness figures highly, somewhat on a par with wandering, and I also like stories (between these three things – consciousness, wandering and stories – there may, methinks, be a connection…) And thought seems to also be something that I think about rather a lot.

Best of all, however, is the word that was boldly emblazoned across the middle of the image, giving me at last a precise and unambiguous answer to what this blog is about: SOMETHING.

That’s right, folks. What concerns me, above all else, is something. Reassuring, no?

Images created by Wordle.net are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License

# · Barry Briggs

Good to know that you’re interested in “something!”

# · jayarava

Will, thanks so much for this I’m having great fun with it. I seem to be interested in: experience, Buddha, world.

At least you are interested in ‘something’. And you appear to know what you ‘like’. :-)


# · Frances Spurrier

Errancy? Never heard of it. But thought and wandering. Those definitely strike home. If you’ll excuse the pun.

# · Bill Blackmore

Granted, I don’t know you, or much at all about you —just from what you’ve posted here. Given that: Being one very interested in what drives us psychically, I wonder why the word (or concept) of “something” was of such interest to you….Also, I find myself looking at the very small words, and wondering about THEM what significance might those have…and might some of them have more significance than you consciously gave them….Aaaaach!! I’m caught in a mind-freak’s head space! (Wonder what those words could be about….)

Be well, all, wishing you true happiness!

# · Will

Thanks for your good wishes, Bill. However, it may be that my apparent interest in “something” should not be taken too seriously: it may just be a word that I overuse. I was surprised that “perhaps” didn’t appear rather larger, as this is a word that I definitely overuse…

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