word cloud


Mark H came up with an ingenious idea for how to illustrate waldorf schools’ preference not to talk about certain things:

Just for fun I set up an automated web crawler to index the home pages of all 34 Steiner schools in the UK plus the SWSF home page and all the pages you can get to one click away from the home pages. I generated a word cloud where the size of each word represents the total frequency it occurs. There is a JPG image here: http://bit.ly/TPr0gf and a PDF (which is easier to read when you zoom in) here: http://bit.ly/Z0zn08

Can you find the word ‘anthroposophy’? How about ‘spiritual’? Words like ‘philosophy’, ‘creative’, and ‘development’ are somewhat easier to find.

The screen shot I made and posted above is small, but do zoom in on the PDF file Mark links to. And see if you can find the word ‘anthroposophy’ anywhere! I still haven’t. We could discuss what this means or why this is so (after you have revealed to me where I can find ‘anthroposophy’!). Of course, we have done so a thousand times already. But this illustration brings it home. ‘Fundraising’ is a more important word than ‘anthroposophy’.

In his comment, Mark also offers a suggestion on how the schools could present themselves in a more honest way.

(As most of you know, UK waldorf schools are called Steiner schools, which is why the word ‘Steiner’ is so prominent and waldorf is missing.)

6 thoughts on “word cloud

  1. The word cloud image hangs, in a shiny golden frame, between two antique portraits of Michael and Ahriman (Lucifer is elsewhere, and we’re eschewing the christ impulse). Rudi has pulled one of the armchairs — oak, red velvet — in front of the picture, and contemplates it, while he sips on a glass of cognac, with a tear rolling slowly down his cheek. ‘I didn’t mean for them to go on being deceptive about it for a century. I thought they’d understand…’ he mumbles, softly.

    I hope there’s enough ice-cream in the freezer.

  2. The more I look at that word cloud, the more fascinating it seems. I first thought, maybe ‘anthroposophical’ is mentioned. But I can’t find that either.

    ‘Fibonacci’ is as important to Steiner education as ‘anthroposophy’.

    I found ‘spiritual’ in the lower right corner. Same size as ‘software’. A current phenomenon such as ‘Pinterest’ is bigger than both ‘spiritual’ and ‘anthroposophy’.

    ‘Donate’ and ‘Facebook’ are huge in comparison. ‘Die’, oddly, is huge.

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