Languages Magazine

Text Network of Christopher Dorner’s Manifesto

By Sdlong

I explored the Unabomber manifesto in my last post because another (much less interesting) manifesto has been in the news lately. Here’s a text network of Christopher Dorner’s manifesto. The largest nodes represent words with the highest levels of betweenness centrality.


I don’t think the network shows anything we wouldn’t expect. I was mildly surprised to see that friend does so much work in the text, but it’s likely due to the sections in which Dorner gives (for lack of a better term) “shout outs” to various individuals. A particularly amusing meaning cluster is located toward the center on the left-hand side: “fucking-Christian-awesome-person.”

Otherwise, the network is exactly what we might expect from a text that is part manifesto, part life story, and part “whistleblowing.” (I put that word in quotes because the truth behind Dorner’s accusations is by no means certain.) I had hoped the visualization would uncover something more interesting.

(A side note about news coverage of Christopher Dorner: This article from CNN is fairly typical. It discusses the way Dorner plays on the LAPD’s corrupt past in order to bolster his claims about present corruption.  In doing so, the article lumps together the Rodney King beating and the “Rampart scandal” as representative examples of that corrupt, racist past. However, as all L.A. area denizens (such as myself) know, the Rampart scandal had very little to do with racist officers. The main players in the CRASH unit were black, and that entire scandal was about gang influence in the LAPD. So, it’s interesting to watch that incident being represented as comparable to the Rodney King beating, even though the two incidents pointed to very different problems in the LAPD.)

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