Extrapolation Explored

December 23, 2013 at 3:57 pm 3 comments

The New York Times recently had a quiz (click the link below if you dare) in the opinion section of their Sunday edition that provides you with 21 questions, and further indicates that the answers that you provide it would enable it to determine, based on your choice of word definitions and pronunciation you gave in response, where you’re from. They call it “your personal dialect map“.

<http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/12/20/sunday-review/dialect-quiz-map.html?ref=opinion&_r=0&gt;

My answers generated the names of three cities in the U.S., one of which the program said was likely to be where I spent my formative years.  The middle of their three choices was Detroit, which is actually the city I was born and lived in for my first 14 years, so it seems that it nailed it. A friend (I call him that because I know it will piss him off) retook the test and said the questions changed, perhaps in response to his choice of a different answer to the question “what do you call a drive-through liquor store?”, it seems to have shifted the following questions after he chose a different response to that one. So, perhaps we’re dealing with a sort of fluid monster here?

If those 21 answers allowed the program enough information to determine my rough geographic point of origin, I have to suppose that if the quiz had, say, 50 questions, using my additional definitions and any more regional accents or dialects it turned up in the results, it might have narrowed that start point of mine down to a quadrant in zip code 48235 that’s between 7 mile and 8 mile road (strangely, it seems that I do share something with Marshall Bruce Mathers III, a.k.a. Eminem), and Southfield Road (now a freeway) and Greenfield Road. During the months that the streets weren’t snowbound, this was my bicycle riding range and the part of the city that I remember best. 

If they bumped the quiz up to 75 questions, my specific word usage may have indicated that my parents lived their post world war II years and pre-marriage lives somewhere around the intersection of Dexter and Davidson streets, that I was born in the very late 1940’s (Google one of my earlier subjects, Burr Tillstrom), and chances are fair that I have a Bar Mitzvah lurking somewhere in my atheist background.

So about that extrapolation mentioned in the subject line. Knowing of the NSA’s constant phone conversation recording and the use of speech recognition programs one could opine that my spoken words on the phone over the years would provide data miners with a clear definition of the area of my marketability to people with things to sell, and running this little blog of mine through text to speech software would quantify my potential danger (just kidding, heh heh) to the powers that be. 

Hmmm, something that looked like a drone just flew by my window.

Hey, there’s a knock at the door, I’ll be back as soon as I…………

The ownership of any and all photos, opinions, and/ or quotes above (including those of mine) belong to the material’s creator(s). Credit is given when it’s known, but because success usually has a million parents and failure is an orphan, blame will not be attributed. 

N.B., The ownership of any and all photos, opinions, and/ or quotes above (including those of my own) belong to the material’s creator(s). Credit is given when it’s known, but as everyone knows, success usually has a million parents and failure is an orphan.

Feel free to ignore any ads that are shown below this advisory, I don’t get to choose them and even more sadly, I don’t make a penny off any of them, so in the holy name of capitalism I rebuke and don’t endorse or support any of them, unless of course they’re made of funny stuff…..  

P.S., check back for occasional updates and rewrites….

FAIR USE NOTICE: THIS SITE CONTAINS COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL THE USE OF WHICH HAS NOT ALWAYS BEEN SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY THE COPYRIGHT OWNER. I AM MAKING SUCH MATERIAL AVAILABLE IN MY EFFORT TO ADVANCE UNDERSTANDING OF ENVIRONMENTAL, POLITICAL, HUMAN RIGHTS, ECONOMIC, DEMOCRACY, SCIENTIFIC, AND SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUES, ETC. I BELIEVE THIS CONSTITUTES A ‘FAIR USE’ OF ANY SUCH COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL AS PROVIDED FOR IN SECTION 107 OF THE US COPYRIGHT LAW. IN ACCORDANCE WITH TITLE 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107, THE MATERIAL ON THIS SITE IS DISTRIBUTED WITHOUT PROFIT TO THOSE WHO HAVE EXPRESSED A PRIOR INTEREST IN RECEIVING THE INCLUDED INFORMATION FOR RESEARCH AND EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO: HTTP://WWW.LAW.CORNELL.EDU/USCODE/17/107.SHTML.  IF YOU WISH TO USE COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL FROM THIS SITE FOR PURPOSES OF YOUR OWN THAT GO BEYOND ‘FAIR USE’, YOU MUST OBTAIN PERMISSION FROM THE COPYRIGHT OWNER.  

 

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. lulu  |  December 23, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    That drone you hear is a delivery from Amazon. Happy Holidays (if that’s what these days are).

    Reply
  • 2. lulu  |  December 23, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Just took the NYT test. My most dissimilar cities: Detroit, Toledo, Akron.

    Reply
  • 3. Robert Byrne  |  December 30, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    That the questions changed based on prior responses is a sign of artificial intelligence. It’s not a fixed set of 21 questions, but a complex system which focuses on the most likely locale.

    Reply

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