Re: Some deeply disturbing news about our blog

1

Thanks for reading, Labs.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 8:55 AM
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Those threads are soooo loooooong. Besides I included a cute graphic. Doesn't that count for anything?


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 8:56 AM
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3

Those threads are soooo loooooong.

You craven rhetorician, it was the 25th comment.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 8:59 AM
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Nonetheless the length of comment threads can count in favor of a general policy that would lead to failure to read even the 25th comment of a particular thread.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:02 AM
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I would like to request that each thread have an easily understandable graph at the top so I can quickly find out how the comments are breaking out on each issue.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:04 AM
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And that policy is: I don't read that blog. Back where we started, I see.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:04 AM
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7

What's the reading level of the comments?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:10 AM
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8

What's the reading level of the comments?

Remedial English?


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:11 AM
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9

High scool for the one I tested.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:12 AM
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10

Although spelling school as scool may bring the score down.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:12 AM
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11

Doesn't mean the intellectual quality is elementary school, just that the writing is accessible to readers at that level. This really just goes to show how egalitarian and welcoming a place this is.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:12 AM
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12

11:

Good point.

What is the reading level of the Gettysburg Address?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:14 AM
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13

This would be more useful if it ranked blogs from alpha to epsilon, à la Brave New World.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:15 AM
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14

That's right, baby. Genius. You know you oughta read.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:16 AM
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Is our reading level that of a nice suburban elementary school or one of those lousy schools in the ghetto?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:16 AM
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As was pointed out in the original comments on this, this particular tool seems to be pretty unreliable.

Remedial English?

Another self-hating commenter heard from.

It is interesting that there's an implicit "higher is better" standard here. That seems clearly false for a lot of blog writing.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:17 AM
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Not to be a square, but I strongly suspect that the reading level as determined by the referenced test puts great store in the length of the sentence, meaning that you writers of short punchy sentences are, even though many might personally prefer that style, part of the problem, and that conceivably a policy of sentence length, such as that to which I am now adhering, would improve our score, if, of course, you care enough about a nontransparent internet meme to mold yourselves to its diktats.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:17 AM
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18

I'm! sabotaging! Minivet! Go team!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:19 AM
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12- Either elementary school or genius, depending which web page you use.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:19 AM
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It is interesting that there's an implicit "higher is better" standard here. That seems clearly false for a lot of blog writing.

No, no, we all know what kind of a blog that sort of thinking will get you.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:19 AM
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21

Minivet, you certainly have this test nailed. Hilariously, they distinguish between a "post-graduate studies" reading level and a "post-graduate degree" level.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:19 AM
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22

Fuck that shit.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:20 AM
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23

What is the reading level of the Gettysburg Address?

Elementary school. Oddly enough, Pericle's Funeral Oration from Thucydides, which Lincoln kinda cribbed off of, is considered genius. I'm guessing the readability test just goes haywire when it runs into words it doesn't understand (and it considers Thucydides to be such a word, since that speech is totally readable).


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:20 AM
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re: 22

My sentiments exactly.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:22 AM
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20: the best kind!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:23 AM
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23: are you equating "genius" and "lack of readability"? That seems odd. (Is that what these tests do?)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:24 AM
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Look, we all know that simple sentences are best to explain simple ideas, like, "Labs is gay" whereas longer sentences are required to convey more complicated thinking like "I associate the word "I'ma," meaning "I'm going to," with black urban slang, and that's because I've only heard it used on The Wire, so imagine my surprise and satisfaction when I was listening to Doc Boggs' wonderful "Country Blues" yesterday and he sang "Honey, I'ma come to go your bail.""

What we really need then is some software that scans the content of a blog and compares that content to the sentences used to express that content. I'm certain we would score much higher then.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:25 AM
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28

Heebie... undermining my... great work... must... resist... full stop... too! strong!

noooo!


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:25 AM
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29

Said the young mathematician, with sass,
"I have such a marvellous ass"
In sentences short
I post my retort
And now I must run off to class.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:29 AM
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30

Weird ass elementary school what with all the cock jokes.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:29 AM
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31

26: Apparently they do, as the site linked in 21 gives the IRS Tax Code as their highest reading level example.

I just can't really figure out what the other differences could be between genius and elementary school, since the genius and post-graduate level blogs don't seem any more difficult to read (though I have noticed a tendency toward more high-falutin vocabulary). It seems like there would be something noticeable, in the same way that there's a distinct difference between "young adult" fiction and something decent.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:29 AM
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re: 30

Speaking for my own 'elementary school' [we had a different name for it, obviously]; cock jokes abounded.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:30 AM
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33

I think the simple answer is that long words and long sentences increase the reading level.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:31 AM
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34

29: I feel so immortalized!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:31 AM
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What we really need then is some software that scans the content of a blog and compares that content to the sentences used to express that content. I'm certain we would score much higher then.

Not quite what you're asking for, but the Gender Genie is fun.


Posted by: hermit greg | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:33 AM
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33: That seems right. I pasted paragraphs of my dissertation into the test you linked in 21, and the difficulty level reliably tracks the lengths of the words and the number of semicolons.

I am more than a little concerned that my allegedly punchy opening paragraph scored an 18.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:35 AM
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35: First paragraph of my dissertation is male. Woo!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:37 AM
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29: That would by Heebie Kallipygos, or (in Danton's words) Heebie mit dem schönen Hintern.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:39 AM
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39

How would this rate?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:41 AM
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I just ran the test on the full text of Anna Karenina. Verdict: Elementary school.


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:43 AM
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41

Not quite what you're asking for, but the Gender Genie is fun.

I disagree about the funninity of this site. I was annoyed by which words they tag as "female" and which words they tag as "male".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:43 AM
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Ben w-lfs-n: objectively more man than ogged.


Posted by: sam k | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:45 AM
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43

I wonder what gender it would say funninity is?


Posted by: hermit greg | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:47 AM
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44

A. Neither.


Posted by: hermit greg | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:49 AM
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45

re: neologisms

I got an invite to a 'webinar' recently. I'm objectively pro-torture when it comes to people who use words like 'webinar'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:50 AM
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The acclaimed work of on human sexuality and gender differences, The Pussification of the Western Male, scored high school.

This highly celebrated analysis of foreign affairs by a writer dear to us, on the other hand, is genius.


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:51 AM
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47

uh, I mean this.


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:52 AM
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48

46, 47: "Dumb person's idea of a smart person" is a pretty good market niche.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:56 AM
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49

See also Victor Davis Mandom.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:56 AM
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45: I recently attended a webinar! The word is bad enough in print--you can't possibly imagine how horrible it is to hear someone say it out loud several dozen times in the introduction, especially not when they say it every time with a look of smug satisfaction.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:56 AM
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45, 50: Agreed. My company produces them and calls them "webcasts," which I find preferable.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:58 AM
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My blog's reading level is "redneck." Can you believe? How did that happen?


Posted by: swampcracker | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:59 AM
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53

"Webcast" is much better than "Webinar". But what's wrong with good 'ole "broadcast"?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 10:00 AM
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53: I think of "broadcasting" as sending across the airwaves for anyone with a receiver, excluding both CCTV and private online events.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 10:03 AM
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Okay, then "private online event" works fine. "Private broadcast" is also generally acceptable, despite some degree of nonsensibility.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 10:04 AM
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56

Heh. Apo's place is genius level, natch.


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 10:05 AM
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57

I would have been perfectly fine with 'on-line seminar' or 'web discussion'. 'Webinar' on the other hand, means death.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 10:07 AM
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"private online event"
I think most companies block that sort of website.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 10:07 AM
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I recently gave a talk on academic blogging, and one fellow in the audience said he'd blog if it weren't for all the hideous portmanteaus. At the time, I thought he was being irritatingly prissy, but I've just gotten used to those terms. "Webinar," however, is a linguistic step I cannot and will not take. Vile!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 10:18 AM
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"Private On-Line Event" is worse than pr0n. I'm invited to one every other day by Neiman Marcus.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 10:21 AM
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61

Victor Davis Mandom

Awesome.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 10:47 AM
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Behold the Stupid Filter; it's a Bayesian comments filter that tries to detect stupidity. They are mining the comments on youtube vids to provide the corpus of pure idiocy required; random samples are here.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 11:17 AM
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63

I should be preparing power point slides for the webinar I'm giving soon. Instead I'm here reading odes to heebie's ass.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 11:38 AM
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64

No such thing can compare favourably to heebie's ass. It's tautological.

That, and you shall now flagelate yourself three times for using the abhorrent `webinar' without sufficient mockery.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 11:40 AM
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63: exactly: For you see, the worse you perform at the webinar, the sooner the word "webinar" will be stamped out of our language, so good luck, Nappy Dread Sorceror!


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 11:40 AM
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come to think of it, why anyone would use ppt unless chained to a projector (and even then...) is a puzzle to me.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 11:41 AM
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62: The stupid filter is nifty. Thanks for linking.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 12:31 PM
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StupidFilter is lolollol!@@!#!!!!!!! thx! :):)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 12:36 PM
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I specifically decided not to make that joke.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 12:40 PM
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70

More for me!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 12:41 PM
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Victor Davis Mandom

That would be "Victor Davis Mandom, winner of a National Humanities Award" to you.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 12:46 PM
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"Webinar" is horrible, but so is "blog", a word never meant to be spoken by human tongues. It sounds like a poorly imitated emesis.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 2:34 PM
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I hate "blog" too, but I think that ship has sailed. I try and say "website" when I can. "Web-log" gets blank stares these days (and isn't much better than "blog", besides).


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 2:37 PM
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Portmanteaus can be good or bad, but I think portmanteaus based on a cute rhyme are uniformly bad. Think of "Taxachusetts."

I follow Jeffrey Rowland: "I can deal with blogs if I drink enough but vlogs make Baby Jesus punch a hole in the wall."


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 2:40 PM
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"Web", I think, can be retired in general. As opposed to what, Gopher? I don't think your average user really considers http and smtp the same beast, so there's no ambiguity there. Http == the internets now, so "Web" is redundant.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 2:43 PM
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76

I want a gphlog.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 2:46 PM
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77

11 gets it exactly right. Mine's elementary level too, and I'm proud.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 4:48 PM
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78

Also, since when does Unfogged do these blog meme things? For shame.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 4:52 PM
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79

This blog jumped the shark after everyone escaped from Fox River.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 5:32 PM
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You never know what Unfogged is going to do. Unfogged is craaaaazy.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 5:34 PM
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81

As opposed to what, Gopher?

Ah, memories of my childhood.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 5:36 PM
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82


earthrise
sorry if it won't work


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 5:51 PM
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83

Spam is getting so much more beautiful these days.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 5:55 PM
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84

Apo's place is genius level

You can't argue with science, motherfuckers.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 7:52 PM
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85

82: Is pretty, but the close horizon give me vertigo.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:09 PM
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86

gives. I'm starting to type strangely. I think I'll go drink brandy and draw pictures.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:10 PM
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74- Betray us?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-17-07 12:09 PM
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88

It also ranked my blog as genius. I'm going with apo's "science" verdict.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-17-07 7:18 PM
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