The web is full of cool toys.I happened upon this thing sometime yesterday afternoon while bopping around the web. It's a little widget that lets you paste in snippets of your work into a form, which it then "analyzes" in order to let you know which famous author your particular style most resembles.
What followed was an interesting game of copy and paste from this blog, from other published works, and my own archives.Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall..
It was fun, a nice little ego stroke, and some of the results were surprising -- but then something weird happened.
I kinda started to wonder where these results were coming from.I think at first it was a case of wanting more information. Of wanting a more specific pat on my own back. Whatever the motivation, I began to find myself curious why some random computer program decided that my writing was like Vonnegut. What was it specifically that kicked that name back to me in the results?
Did you ever have the experience as a kid where you saw some toy on a TV commercial, or on the back of a comic book, or on the shelf at the toy store -- and everything about it seemed like the coolest thing ever created, which sent you into Jedi levels of begging and pleading until someone got it for you? Maybe it was that little whatsit on the back of your cereal box that you had to mail off for -- and every day of those 4-6 weeks waiting by the mailbox for it to arrive built the coolness of it up in your mind more and more and more until the day when it finally arrived --But unless I was missing something on the website, there was nothing like that available at all.
Only to have it be the lamest toy ever?Like it wouldn't even do half the things the commercial said it would, or it did -- but only if you had a backyard shaped like a miniature Grand Canyon that was already set up with all the associated bad guy toys, vehicles, and a gang of AAA batteries (not included)?
Part of me really wants to believe that an objective, computerized third party actually took the time to consider my words and style, fed them into some complicated algorithm, and came back with a detailed and confident comparison of my writing to those already in the canon.
But the rest of me is pretty sure this thing is just a random name generator, which kinda sucks.
[Listening to: The Roots - "How I Got Over" ]