The Null Device


Some hackers are creating a system for detecting stupidity in text using Bayesian techniques:
In the beginning, the internet was a place where one could communicate intelligently with similarly erudite people. Then, Eternal September hit and we were lost in the noise. The advent of user-driven web content has compounded the matter yet further, straining our tolerance to the breaking point.
It's time to fight back.
When completed, StupidFilter will be available in a variety of forms, including web browser and content management system plug-ins. So far, the project just has a corpus of text samples, rated by "stupidity", and mostly taken from YouTube comments, from which you can see random selections here.

Of course, such a system is going to work only if you define "stupidity" in purely stylistic terms (such as using words like 'lol' and 'omfg!!1!!eleventyone'), ignoring semantics altogether. In which case it becomes a way of keeping the rabble who don't punctuate properly out of your blog comments. Perhaps then someone will develop an extra-prescriptivistic filter which blocks comments containing split infinitives or inappropriate semicolons, for those wishing to move up to a higher class of gated community.

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