Never trust anything that can think for itself, if you can't see where it keeps it's brain.
-- Arthur Weasley
I've been trying to spoof the 'Blog Readability' engine forwarded to me by a thoughtful reader. I've decided that it's not worth the effort. I'm at once determined to prove it a fraud, but then Mr. Weasley has the better idea.
According to this black box, the main of Cobb is a High School reading level. Which is fairly good. I remember when I was in the 8th grade, I was told that journalists were supposed to write in such a way that 8th graders could understand it. I think that's entirely reasonable. And so even if I had a Jr High rating, it wouldn't trouble me much. From time to time I've played around with those little tools in Microsoft Word and found that various things I wrote required some '14th grade' reading skills. But I'm not sure that's all very complimentary.
Now as you could expect, the cats over at Crooked Timber have had their writing process thru the black box and come out labeled 'genius'. A check of poetry by Lord Byron is considered 'Postgrad'. My stuff over at the Race Man's Home Companion was rated 'College Undergrad' as is my Cubegeek blog, and my junior high school daughter's blog is rated...junior high school, as is Instapundit.
So now we have to parse for content. What about the guy who spoofed academics with post-modern drivel? That would be Alan Sokal. His entire site, he's a physics prof, ranks 'Postgrad', but two of his spoofy papers ranked 'High School'. I find it odd because this page on bioconjugate chemistry also ranks 'High School'. One is always tempted to compare Crooked Timber to computer generated mosh. Well, I am anyway.
So Lord Byron, whose work is taught in high school ranks 'Postgrad' and bioconjugate chemistry, which I've never even heard of before ranks 'High School'. I imagine that there are any number of conclusions that could be drawn from that. Perhaps the appearance of the word 'thee' might flick a switch in the black box. Who knows?
Anyway, I dedicate this post to R. Geib, who long ago left the internet as he considered it a vast intellectual wasteland. I had something to do with that. And by the way, my own postmodern drivel got rated 'College Undergrad'.