The Internet has enabled us to reach out further than we have been able to do so in the past. Now, we are able to get news from someone on the front line via a cell phone and a connection to a social site. Via those same social sites and the many blogs, we can see trends of the masses and thoughts of the individual. As well, instead of a quick conversation in passing and not know why a friend made a reference they did, we are now able to see how thoughts are formed and the influences simple words have on the outcome of our journeys.

Chris Harrison has taken information available from many sources, not the least all the data Google collects and has build a series of graphics showing the path in single words between two opposite words. I would encourage you to take the time to visit the site to understand the full scope of the collection and analyzing of the words. To give you a quick idea that the reporting of the data was no easy task:

To better achieve a even distribution, I normalized the frequencies of bigrams based on total primary term frequency. So, for example, in the case of war vs. peace, there are 81,839,381 bigrams starting with war and 31,263,375 bigrams starting with peace. If I render the spectrum without normalization, it ends up lopsided toward war (since the usage totals are so much higher). To compensate, I scale down all of war’s bigrams so that the overall frequencies are even.

The original project was called Word Spectrum, here is a low resolution example of one of the many graphics available. Each graphic on Chris’s site are done as a high def PDF so you can download and examine at your leisure.

As the process continues, Chris rethought the layout of the words and the path of single words leading from one end of a though to the opposite. These are called Word Associations. Again, available to view online or download as PDFs.