On Quantifying Introspection

And with this, we could analyze the history of introspection in the ancient Greek tradition, for which we have the best available written record. So what we did is we took all the books — we just ordered them by time — for each book we take the words and we project them to the space, and then we ask for each word how close it is to introspection, and we just average that. And then we ask whether, as time goes on and on, these books get closer, and closer and closer to the concept of introspection. And this is exactly what happens in the ancient Greek tradition. So you can see that for the oldest books in the Homeric tradition, there is a small increase with books getting closer to introspection. But about four centuries before Christ, this starts ramping up very rapidly to an almost five-fold increase of books getting closer, and closer and closer to the concept of introspection. And one of the nice things about this is that now we can ask whether this is also true in a different, independent tradition.

Mariano Sigman, "Your Words May Predict Your Future Mental Health," Ted Talks - http://bit.ly/1OVoyXv. This is an interesting application of digital techniques to ancient texts, and with startling implications for contemporary life.