Memetic Silliness

OK, it’s Saturday afternoon, I’ve spent most of the day doing a literature hunt (giving myself a crash course on immunology — don’t ask why, just yet) and it’s time for some silliness. Brian Switek informs me that the Internet can tell how smart I am, or at least how smart I look.

Don’t ask how that judgment was made. It’s the Internet. The Internet knows all.

According to the Internet, in fact, John Armstrong is writing for high-school kids. You were in ninth grade when you first developed topology with category theory, weren’t you?

13 thoughts on “Memetic Silliness”

  1. I get rated at “college (postgrad)”.

    I suspect that John Armstrong’s rating is so low because he doesn’t use lots of big words; most of his heavy content is in diagrams, which the Magical Tool can’t see.

  2. Yeah, I think my rating is a reflection of the fact that I’ve thrown a bunch of species names around on a regular basis, and from what I’ve seen some of the more complicated and informative blogs have been rated undergrad or high school level. I don’t suppose that Rutgers would allow me to use my rank as support for my major change, either (“But the interwebs sez I’m smart!”)

  3. It’s the big words, and that I make a strong attempt to write simply-constructed sentences. I don’t use as many appositives, parentheticals, lists, auxiliary phrases, or other semi-standard grammatical constructions. I think that the tool should be thought of as measuring how difficult it would be to parse the syntax, rather than to comprehend the semantics.

  4. Junior High, bitches!

    I’m not quite sure what this means as I’ve not a great grasp of US education scheme. Somewhere in the early-to-mid teens?

    I guess I must be doing fairly well in my effort to write in a simple style. Who was it said you have to aim several education levels below your target audience in order to be useful? I’m sure I saw that somewhere, maybe on that blog about bias whose name I can’t recall right now.

  5. “Junior high” is typically the age range from sixth to eighth grade or from seventh to ninth; it’s roughly synonymous with “middle school.” I was eleven years old in sixth grade — so just imagine the first onset of teenagerhood.

    I think image tags don’t work in the comments — so everybody should go see Russell Blackford’s results here.

  6. Yeah, this high school teacher’s a ‘genius’ but John Wilkins (a real scholar of great erudition on admittedly esoteric topics) is writing at a ‘high school’ level?

    Please. I’m not worthy to untie his shoes, or yours for that matter, Blake.

Comments are closed.