There is a lot of buzz about AI and the prospect that computers will soon be doing something hugely different than what they’re doing now. It’s apprehension of what Ray Kurzweil calls the singularity, except that people don’t call it that much anymore.
Via Daily Nous, I came across a free set of text analysis tools by Voyant. You can paste in a passage or point it at some URLs, and it will chop it into words and phrases.
I let it chew on my book, and one of the products was this graph of word density:
It looks all sciencey, like the kind of think that prop people might put on a screen in the background of a lab scene. It isn’t very informative, though. The curve has “species” dipping below zero, even though it occurs at least once in every segment.
I learned that “natural”, “kind”, and “kinds” make up about three percent of the words in the book. That three percent was, I suppose, the easiest part to write.
This is a poem written several years ago, back in May 2011. I came across it while looking through some old files. It resonates just at the moment, when my Facebook feed is flooded with paeans for Prince.
At the Palais Royale
Anyone can use these words in any situation.
These words are in no way special.
You kind of have already been there.
Say yes or no, uninterrupted.
This guy is, but that is not.
Prince is destroying
the minds of our Christian children,
because he was sexually deviant.
You know Superman.
That was racy.
My background was askew.
There were always fights,
but the bus driver didn’t care.
One of my first memories.
The craziest shit —
it was stamps, too.
We’d alternate mornings.
I can tell you every top ten soul song from that year.
It’s really not about making the music.
Sade disappoints me
Beautiful, it reminded me of a concentration camp.
It reminded me of the moon.