Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tags and the Israeli Psyche

I read the Israeli newspaper Haaretz every day. Here's the opinion page from 12/16.

Now, take a closer look at the tag cloud on the right.

Tags are keywords used to organize data, in this case the topics of newspaper articles. Tag clouds offer a visual representation of the most-common themes. Words in larger fonts on the top are more common than smaller fonts at the bottom. In this case, "Israel News" is the most frequent topic in Haaretz op eds (obviously), with Netanyahu the least common of the list provided.

Now, notice the higher frequency of the word "Holocaust" compared to the phrase "Peace Process."

So long as we Jews fixate on the horrors of our past and not the prospects for our future, we will not have peace in the Middle East.

PS Obviously using shallow evidence here, but I stand by the conclusion.

PPS I haven't found an English Arab newspaper that uses a tag cloud for comparison, but the conclusion applies to them too.

PPS Happy birthday Dad.

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