John M. Ford

It's 3 AM, just finished a review, now going to sleep.
Top Reviewer Ranking: 432
Helpful votes received on reviews: 93% (731 of 785)
Location: near DC, MD USA

I like reading, writing, swimming, and walking Jasper. My more respectable interests include text mining, test development and cognitive science.


Top Reviewer Ranking: 432 - Total Helpful Votes: 731 of 785
Wordcrime: Solving Crime Through Forensic Linguist&hellip by John Olsson
5.0 out of 5 stars The Court of Language, 13 July 2014
John Olsson is one of the world's top forensic linguists. He has testified in more than 500 court cases, published numerous research studies, and co-authored (with June Luchjenbroers) one of the field's leading textbooks, Forensic Linguistics. In this book he teaches readers about forensic linguistics using the case study method.

Each of the twenty-three chapters describes a case the author has contributed to as a forensic linguist. He has selected each one to illustrate particular aspects of his work. "My aim is not primarily to tell a good story, but to illustrate how interesting and complex language is, and how… Read more
Uncharted: Big Data as a Lens on Human Culture by Erez Aiden
4.0 out of 5 stars All the King's Words, 10 July 2014
Erez Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel are interested in word and phrase frequency and what it can reveal about history and culture. They illustrate their approach with a timeline graph of the phrases "The United States are" and "the United States is." We are unsurprised to see the "is" phrase increase in frequency after the Civil War, as the "are" phrase fades from view. This example supports our intuitions about allegiance to the Union supplanting allegiance to one's home state. It also builds our confidence in their historical profiling method for those other times when it finds a counterintuitive result.

The authors are confident in the value of historical word frequency… Read more
The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Expl&hellip by Amy Chua
4.0 out of 5 stars Hat Trick Values, 24 Jun 2014
This book begins with the question of who is successful in America. The answer is not a list of individuals who have accumulated wealth, achievements, or fame. Instead the authors focus on groups whose members measure above average in business and other forms of "...material, conventional, prestige-oriented success." These cultural groups are defined similarly: "...their members tend to be raised with, identify themselves by, and pass down certain culturally specific values and beliefs, habits and practices." America's most successful groups include Mormons; immigrants from Cuba, Nigeria, India, China, Iran, and Lebanon; and Jews.

These groups are not genetically superior or… Read more