12 November 2003
And you can dance to it
What Moira Breen wants, among other things, is this:
I was wishing for a ruthlessly efficient way to grade political/cultural blogs, such that no link to a no-'count writer would be followed, and the discovery of worthwhile new poli/culti blogs would be facilitated. As Fleck put it, a way to sort out the adults from the feces-flingers, site unseen.
And the criteria for the grading?
I have noted that good blogs, no matter which way they swing, share a "tone" that contrasts with the distinct tones of both stupid-left and stupid-right blogs. It is not at all a matter of the worthwhile blogs being always moderate, calm, all sweetness and light, and lacking in strongly expressed opinion. Rather, it strikes me this way: the less worthwhile a lefty blog is, the more it takes on a recognizable tone of foot-stamping shrill petulance; the vapid righty blog will tend more and more to blustering thuggishness. (My hat is off to those geniuses who contrive to be shrilly thuggish and blusteringly petulant all at once.)
I must be living up to my rep as both centrist and genius; I've never seen anyone else quite so facile at melding petulance and thuggery.
Or something like that. I'm not sure the tone she wants is easily quantifiable; the general ineptitude of the more-specialized Gender Genie makes me wonder whether we can expect any kind of accuracy from a mere algorithm (not to be confused with "Al Gore rhythm," a form of syncopation that demands Dramamine). Still, it would be nice to be able to dial into the index page or the RSS feed! and get a quick readout between 35 and 98 as to whether it's safe to proceed.
Anything with more than ten bytes of StUdLy CaPs, of course, is automatically relegated to the bottom of any conceivable ranking.