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Making connections between ourselves and other people no matter how arbitrary, is an incredibly popular communal as well as private activity. The many algorithms for generating one’s stripper, mobster or some other kind of name have graduated from napkins in bars to Facebook apps and now proper quantitative analysis of text samples. But deep down they’re still the same. Is there a space here for hacking? Can we take this natural tendency, take it apart and put it back together again? Use it for good or for ill? I suppose most social engineering is the hacking of propositional frames, but are there explicit hacks of figurative language and thought? It’s certainly powerful enough when you find out that based on the About page here:
Just like with horoscopes, jumping on the connection gravy train is not easy to avoid. Mappings immediately started forming in my head: like with Nabokov, English isn’t my first language; like with Nabokov, I occasionally find my writing a bit tedious. But of course, taking a piece of writing from another blog, I find I also
Drat, I was kind of getting used to the Nabokov simile. Ok, maybe I have a certain feel for the macabre and a book of the 12 different Czech translations of the Raven was one of my favorites… But just when I ought to quit while proverbially ahead, I paste a few paragraphs from my academic writing and find…
And I had to look this guy up! Simile fail!
NB: I wonder if they occasionally put up comparisons like Dr Seuss or complete nimrod.