Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Trading Pages

Each week we "remodel" a blog for one lucky contestant. Watch your tired old blog turn into the site of your dreams as our image consultants juice up your page with the latest da-glo op-art backgrounds, hip fonts, ads, pop-ups, and thorough automatic grammar checking to make sure your message is getting through.

Winners will also receive a free copy of PWContentLite, a $295 value.

This is the consumer version of PWContentPro, the powerful AutoContent software that our staff of professional writers use to generate the entries on this blog. Packed with features, PWContent software helps you
  • Generate more content in less time
  • Choose mode of presentation -- chose from Expository, Precis, Executive Summary, Short-Short Story, Rant, and dozens of others
  • SentenceMaker helps put your thoughts into perfect English in less time
  • View your content's exact Originality Score, calculated by our sophisticated "principal components algorithm" from all content currently on the web
  • For a limited time, purchase PWContentLite and receive PWHumorLite, a $95 value, FREE. Select from literally hundreds of comedians'* material, transposing subjects to your ideas in seconds.
*Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Sir John Cleese, Philip K. Dick, John Belushi, Woody Allen, Red Skelton, S.J. Perelman, Stephen Leacock, P.G. Wodehouse, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Michael Albert, Benny Hill, and hundreds more.


Blogger Desargues said...

Do you guys also do content remodelling? 'Cause it seems to me a whole lotta blogs out there could use an upgrade. The typical post on about three quarters of the blogs I've checked so far goes something like this: me, me, me; mine, I, I, me, mine. Makes Blogistan look like a bunch of screaming solipsists.

So maybe you should start marketing some content, too. It's more than a bit depressing to realize that, in the era of communication technologies with truly universal reach, most people just have nothing interesting to say. Take your cue from that Knowledge Agency in Eco's "Foucault's Pendulum." I have a hunch there's money in this business.

4:24 PM  
Blogger Project WANNABE said...

Yeah, the self-referential thing is frustrating. Maybe folks are really sort of journalling, not trying to do entertainment.

Content is an interesting idea, but how do you sell self-expression? (Even if I had any extra to sell!)

I liked Name/Rose. Then I heard Eco talk once in the '80s, and he was so mind-numbingly boring in person that I couldn't go near his books after that. I still shudder when I hear his name. It's too bad.

4:54 PM  
Blogger Desargues said...

Habermas is soporific as a speaker, but his books are worth their weight in gold (he was on a par with John Rawls, up there with the greats of 20th century political thought. H's Philosophical Discourse of Modernity is all you need to know about 'continental' philosophy; Foucault and Derrida are utterly dispensable). So give Umberto a second try. After you go through Foucault's Pendulum, you'll wonder what the world sees in that fourth-rate hack Dan Brown. Plus, it's the good kind of postmodern literature. Po-mo for the thinking man, if that were not an oxymoron.

Sell self-expression? Who said anything about that? I'm talking thoughts and arguments here. The notion that we should use language to express the self is a mistaken delusion, first articulated by the German Romantics, then willfully peddled by those frauds Freud and Sartre, and now whole-heartedly embraced by the baby boomers (the 'Me Generation,' as they unwittingly call themselves). In classical thought, the empirical self was pretty much irrelevant, as it ought to be. Why should anyone give a damn about what you want to say, unless you think it has universal import. Right?

5:49 PM  
Blogger Project WANNABE said...

Ok, ok, I'll try Eco again. I'm desperate for stuff to read that doesn't suck. (Philosophers I mostly can't stand. I've tried to read Derrida and found it impossible. If he really has something to say, he can say it a lot simpler than he does. But I have to admit I felt exactly the same way about Hegel and Kant.)

I sort of agree w/r/t self-expression, though I'm not quite so absolutist about it. But yep it's amazing how much anyone's writing improves when they write about something, anything, concrete.

But this is business, not reality! What will people pay for? They pay for Microsoft Fucking PowerPoint, that's what. So I've taken up your challenge in an UPDATE. If I were really unscrupulous I would develop this doomsday software (well, the 25% of it that's actually sort of feasible) and sell it cheap.

Update your blog in 15 minutes a day! Bloggers are writers on a deadline and I think they would use it. I could put on my resume that I personally reduced the signal-to-noise ratio of the blogosphere from -20 dB to -23 dB.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Desargues said...

Heh. You gotta start somewhere, right? Lemme know when you sell your first software package.

I'm not sure Derrida is really a philosopher. The distinction between thinker and littérateur is much less sharp in France, and they're kinda proud of it. I wouldn't, but it's just me. Derrida had a few valid points to make against Husserl's theory of concept meaning, early on in his career; then he went on to blow that out of every porportion into that deconstruction bullshit. Foucault was more of a historian, but a lot of epigones, unable to think themselves, believed he was a philosopher. Don't bother.

I'm also not sure what to think about Hegel. There are people whose intellect I respect a lot who claim he truly is the synthesis of German Idealism, with a lot of important things to say in areas from metaphysics to political philosophy. I reserve judgment on that point for now; I tried to read him, but it's so damn hard, and I have more urgent things to do right now. Maybe when I become old and wise. (Didn't he say that Minerva's owl flies at dusk?)

Kant is a different matter. That man makes a lot of sense, if someone is competent enough to explain to you what is the background of his questions and what problems he was struggling with. An added difficulty is that his framework theory comprises (as an essential part) transcendental psychology -- an account of the structure of our mind and its faculties of knowledge, and of what is of empirical origin in them and what they contribute themselves to knowledge as an articulated system (what he calls Erfahrung or experience). It's tough going, but rather rewarding. Even some analytic philosophers these days have come to realize he's inevitable, in some sense (I have in mind people like John McDowell and Robert Brandom, among the heavyweights). The problem is that there's so many interpreters who're much dumber than he was, so they can't even present his results clearly and convincingly; but that's just them.

So... any promotional discounts on the HumorLite package?

7:11 PM  
Blogger Project WANNABE said...

WOw. Thanks for taking the time to lay out some informed opinions. I'm starting to feel resigned to the idea that there are big rafts of stuff I will never understand. This "don't bother it's just self-indulgent crap" thing is tricky. Usually it's right, but that's what they were saying about chaos and fractals when I was in school, and that stuff turned out to be sensible and nice. Then again, think of all the time I saved by avoiding neural networks. It's a crap shoot.

Ahhh. Just had a cup of coffee. What was I thinking, resignation? I WILL read EVERYTHING!!

Discount? Absolutely! You can have TWO single-seat licenses for PWHumorLite, for the low price of $95. That's 50% off.

4:52 AM  
Anonymous Wolfsprudel Smirch said...

Holy. Fucking. Fuck. OLA.

Yes, we can write that content generator. A thousand times yes. We'll have to give it away free, though.

Here's how it works: You give it key words (e.g. "ids my birfday 2dy!!1!LOL!1!!1!1!"). It sneaks out and googles Glogspot for whatever bullshit you give it. It digs out appropriate paragraphs from the blog entries it finds, substitutes your name or your friends' names for anything it finds that's not in the dictionary (possible difficulties there with the fact that 99% of the people on Blogspot are, literally, incapable of communicating even the very simplest subject-verb-object concepts in their own mother tongues without pointing at what they mean and grunting excitedly, least of all in writing, so basically you're looking at a high probability of 500-word blog entries consisting entirely of "i [NAME1] [NAME2] [NAME5] i [NAME2] [NAME2] a [NAME7]...", "i" and "a" being the only two words anybody under 30 is actually capable of spelling correctly other than by chance) and just paste it all together.

The morons will love it, and they'll never suspect where the text is coming from until they spot some of their own output on some other imbecile's equally incoherent blog, and throw a fit.

And then the truth comes out and the adolescent idiots of America all go apshit at once. And we laugh ourselves sick.

2:55 PM  
Blogger Project WANNABE said...

Excellent. We'll call that the "normative text search tool." SentenceMaker is probably even easier to make. We supply a few dozen basic options, "special occasion," "offbeat observation," "what I did yesterday," etc. Select one of those, fill in the 5 Ws, and then you get your choice of 10 different paragraphs. You can "customize" the result, but it gives you a place to start.

It's similar to the legal packages: standard lease, standard will, whatever, but the tree is bushier.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Project WANNABE said...

Other key options: "How much I spent on dinner," "How impressed the waiter was," "What idiotic non-sequitur I always ask candidates for software jobs, and what even more ridiculous response gets top marks," "What bland mass-market gadget that 80% of the population owns do I consider really cool?" Etc.

4:28 PM  
Blogger HA HA HA said...

not su suare abuot sonfeld though. hes funy but hes no arthar slesignar.

"What idiotic non-sequitur I always ask candidates for software jobs..."

'is "media" snigular or plurel?'

no joak. ive asked taht one.

4:47 PM  
Blogger Project WANNABE said...

I believe you mean, "ARE media singliar or pluvial?"

5:40 AM  

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