The Extended Encyclopedia of Philosophy
A collection of twelve new -isms. A sample chapter can be viewed here.
For this project, I wanted to create some sort of an encyclopedia of new terms. I was originally thinking about doing made up wars, but in the end shifted to creating new philosophies.
I then started to make the made up philosophies. Some are created by mashing two together: dropping the -ism on the first and replacing it with -ist. Others are created by adding a latin prefix from this list (that I parsed into a json file in the same manner as before) to the first term. This yields an interesting list of new philosophies like:
I then collected the pages for each of the original philosophies used and parsed them to get just the first couple paragraphs that summarize the terms. These were then mashed together to get around 4-6 sentences of description of the new term. I did a little work to replace mentions of the original terms with the new term to make it feel a bit more natural. This entire process was done in another p5 script. It results in descriptions such as:
I wasn't a huge fan of the fact that the original philosophers were kept in the descriptions of the new terms, as it roots them a bit too much in the two original philosophies. So, I wrote a short script in python to mix up the names and places a bit. For this, I needed a way to identify individuals like Karl Popper in the example above. There is a really nice package built on NLTK that I've worked with before that does just that. This created text like:
Finally, I typeset the pages using basil.js in InDesign. I'd never worked with basil.js before and really liked the amount of freedom it affords you.
The resulting text can have some interesting combinations of philosophies. Often times there are some clear contradictions between the different elements of the terms, which makes it even better. I do think, however, that the text part is a bit too long, especially when there are 12 pages of it; I probably should have made each summary about 3-4 sentences. There was also more work to do in ensuring the text was well formatted with appropriate spaces and periods, as this was messed up when I did some of the parsing. It's readable, but not perfect in this regard. I'm otherwise happy with the result.
A sample chapter can be viewed here.
The full set of PDFs can be downloaded here.
All the code for this project can be found here.