I watched President Obama give his inauguration speech from a computer screen at work yesterday. Due to the high amount of Internet traffic, the streaming video paused nearly every seven seconds for a duration of about three seconds. Those frequent interruptions made it especially difficult to process his speech as a single unit, instead it read like segmented sound bytes. I recall thinking that one word seemed to linger in each portion of pause: prosperity. I remember thinking it was a strange word to use during these economic times. I remember thinking I needed to listen to his speech again to understand the true weight of it.
Today I researched his speech and came across an interesting article in the Telegraph. The above tag cloud is Obama’s speech boiled down into the words he mentioned most – the bigger the word, the more times he repeated it. I found comfort in the words highlighted. This form of data organization is not only pretty, but powerful. From the words jumbled on the screen I pulled out those that stuck out most to me:
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