To try and answer these questions, I ran MALLET with many different options. I ran it on this corpus with the --num-topics option at 10, 20, 40, 80, and 100. I ran the HLDA option. I ran the PAM model. I tried with and without stopwords removed. I looked at the output and created a custom list of stopwords and ran it again. I turned on the MALLET diagnostics and examined those results in light of the suggestions in a few papers I read (“Reading Tea Leaves: How Humans Interpret Topic Models” and “Topic Significance Ranking of LDA Generative Models” in particular I loaded up all the data in Excel and created charts to visual how the different topics and different words stacked up against each other. I've shared the origina MALLET output for --num-topics 20 on Dropbox. You can see the full word list for each topic (topic-keys.txt) and the composition of each document (doc-topics.txt), among others. So maybe he is, maybe he isn’t, the true reincarnation of King Arthur, but he definitely does have a four-foot broadsword Excalibur that was made for the film. “You want to join the order? Oh bless!” said the High Priestess. Two druids picked us up and drove us all to their house to commence the ritual. It began with us calling the “four corners”, where we beckoned the spirits of earth, fire, water and air, when, all of a sudden, a blue-skinned man rose through the soil and shouted, “By your powers combined, I am Captain Planet!” Lol, just kidding – we just drank some ale from a chalice and someone called celestialelff remixed Minutes to Go. “Sickle moon terror nails replica in tin ginsberg,” “Sickle terror nails replica in tin ginsberg moon.” “Terror nails in sickle tin replica ...” Each sentence is an engine with the power to raise the dead or animate a universe in a cacophony of delirious blue fire fondue. Fifi is fuzzed out with florals (more orange blossom than rose, to this schnoz; at times it’s a little soapy) and spices (a coriander note that’s softly peppery and a bit sharp) and a very nice, powdery tobacco accord with a long drydown. The only way to deal with an unfree world is to strip naked and run through the forest on all fours whilst barking at people. For us it is so normal to see the clouds from above, and inside. So I gather from Dinu Lipatti’s Bones. Dipping the nugget into the sauce, which waited in its chipped ramekin no doubt purloined from a china shop, Poot eagerly sampled the awaiting succulence. “This shit is right, yo,” opined Wallace, also partaking of the meager yet piping hot feast arrayed upon the sofa … “Man, whoever invented these, he off the hook.” Like, “… painting, bird-watching, Shakespeare, baboons, proteins, and so on.” Stubbornness. Fear. Bleeding in the brain, time expanding and contracting in the ICU. “We stumbled here from out of the blue, I suppose, and that’s what’s ravished. Vapor digit tapping at my wrist, the talon, the dorsal fin and the panther claw. Perhaps it is and perhaps I wanted to.” As emotions surround the edge of the planet adjusted to actual teevee headed shamans whose argyle tuxedoes are concertos in the wavering seaweed’s salute.
[Note: Mike Widner, “Animal, Vegetable, Topic Model?! Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Algorithm”, at Manuscripts and Machines, 10 Oct 012; Matt Shea, “The Raving Outlaw Biker-Druids And Their 1575-Year-Old King”, at Vice, 10 Oct 012; William Burroughs, Brion Gysin, Sinclair Beiles, Gregory Corso, Minutes to Go, and John Olson, “Melted Language”, at Tillalala Chronicles, 10 Oct 012; JBR; Elisa Gabbert, “Mini-reviews: Underwear Perfume”, at The French Exit, 10 Oct 012; David Winter, “More profound advice from me before I go to bed. …”, at Dinu Lipatti’s Bones, 11 Oct 012; Matias Viegener, 2500 Random Things About Me Too, as quoted in Anonymous, “2500 Random Things About Me Too”, at HTMLGIANT, 10 Oct 012; JBR; Joy DeLyria and Sean Michael Robinson, as quoted in Marietta Abrams Brill, “‘The Wire’ Gets Victorian in a Book by Fictional Scholar H.B. Ogden”, at Hyperallergic, 10 Oct 012; JBR; Bruno Latour, “Why Has Critique Run Out of Steam?”, as quoted in Graham Harman, “Latour Litany of the Day”, at Object-Oriented Philosophy, 10 Oct 012; JBR (re King Wong – fingers are crossed tight for you); Stacy Doris, as quoted in review of Conference, at Publishers Weekly, 21 Jan 02; Peter Gizzi, “Blue Peter”, at Conjunctions (for Alan Baker); phaneronoemikon, “Voracious for More Midget Santa”, at Jellybean Weirdo With Electric Snake Fang, 10 Oct 012]