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Beyond Words

Pictures, Parables, Paradoxes


Edited By András Benedek and Kristóf Nyíri

Human thinking depends not only on words but also on visual imagery. Visual argumentation directly exploits the logic of the pictorial, while verbal arguments, too, draw on figurative language, and thus ultimately on images. In the centuries of handwritten documents and the printed book, our educational culture has been a predominantly verbal one. Today the challenge of the pictorial is explicit and conspicuous. In the digital world, we are experiencing an unprecedented wealth of images, animations and videos. But how should visual content be combined with traditional texts? This volume strives to present a broad humanities background showing how going beyond the word was always an issue in, and by now has become an inevitable challenge to, pedagogy and philosophy.
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The Changing Appearance of Text and Images on Online Interfaces



The current variety of online interfaces presents people with increased opportunities for broadcasting the content of the messages which are part of the huge amount of data they share on the internet day by day. While earlier it was typically only possible to send text, today the majority of software enables the sending of composite messages containing both text and images. In our research we were eager to discover whether there was any relation between the chosen topic and the form of the message, with regard to the particular online interface that was used. Due to the large amount of data available, we were able to employ generic natural language techniques, which assisted us in examining the connection between text and images.

2.The Two Interfaces

During our research we examined two different online interfaces with continuously and rapidly refreshed content: a microblog (Twitter1) and an imageboard forum (4chan2).

Twitter is an online social media service. The site’s characteristic feature is that it enables users to send and read short messages known as “tweets” (which are a maximum of 140 characters in length). It is mainly used on mobile devices, and the base language of the site is English. Users can send text, images, and videos (individually or as multimedia), and to determine the most relevant subject(s) of their messages they can use a hashtag symbol (e. g.: #garden, #science).

4chan is a classic image-based bulletin board,...

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