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Monday, April 25, 2016

Smarter than Scalzi

But then, you knew that. It's not even close. The problem isn't so much that Scalzi tweets at a sixth-grade level; one can only do so much in 140 characters, after all. It's that he writes, and behaves, like an unpopular kid in junior high school who confuses attention for popularity.


Anyhow, Beakscore is a just a simple application based on the SMOG index, but it's interesting to compare various commentators. Here are the scores for some familiar names:
  • 10.3 Nassim Taleb
  • 9.5 Vox Day
  • 9.5 Castalia House
  • 9.4 Ann Coulter
  • 9.2 Roosh
  • 8.9 Steve Keen
  • 8.8 Daniel Dennett
  • 8.5 Richard Dawkins
  • 8.2 Neil Gaiman
  • 8.0 Stefan Molyneux
  • 7.7 Instapundit 
  • 7.7 Patrick Nielsen Hayden
  • 7.5 Larry Correia 
  • 7.5 Paul Krugman
  • 7.4 Tor Books
  • 7.1 Milo Yiannopoulos
  • 7.0 Mike Cernovich
  • 6.4 Wil Wheaton
  • 6.3 John Scalzi 
  • 5.3 George RR Martin
Notice the pattern there? It's not exactly what one would call surprising if you are familiar with the work of the various parties listed. The only real outlier is Milo, who speaks and writes very differently than he tweets. It's a little surprising that Martin is so low; I'd have expected him to be in the 7 to 8 range.

Labels:

89 Comments:

Blogger Noah B April 25, 2016 4:35 AM  

All the better to attract a pre-pubescent audience.

Anonymous Steve April 25, 2016 4:55 AM  

Scalzi on self-awareness:

John Scalzi ‏@scalzi
Oh HELL yes. I remember being 16. I would have been SUCH a little asshole on social media had it existed.

Blogger weka April 25, 2016 5:01 AM  

Troll and ilk account uses rhetoric. SMOG 6.3.
Professional account uses dialectic. SMOG 10.2

Both about where I want them.

Blogger Aeoli Pera April 25, 2016 5:32 AM  

I notice increasing testosterone.

Anonymous Weak April 25, 2016 5:36 AM  

Curious where Trump ranks because he is obviously very smart, but dumbs it waaaaaaaaay down when he communicates.

Blogger Krul April 25, 2016 5:37 AM  

I wondered what John C Wright's score would be so I put this (starting at "I very strongly disagree") into this and got this:

"The SMOG index: 15.1"

Blogger Aeoli Pera April 25, 2016 5:39 AM  

Also increasing trait "tradition" as used in Watson's writeprint analysis. The list goes from antipathy to neutral to supportive on traditional mores, e.g. English common law.

Blogger Aeoli Pera April 25, 2016 5:44 AM  

In MBTI terms, I'm seeing...

F to T
S to N
E to I
P to J
(In that order. The last one is just barely so.)

All hail the INTJ master race.

Blogger Aeoli Pera April 25, 2016 5:52 AM  

Increasing political iconoclasm.

Blogger Aeoli Pera April 25, 2016 5:55 AM  

Increasing pessimism about America's near future.

Blogger Cataline Sergius April 25, 2016 6:00 AM  

It's a little surprising that Martin is so low; I'd have expected him to be in the 7 to 8 range.

It's the 140 character limit plus his age. Twitter came along late in his life, he can't make the adjustments for it.

Blogger VD April 25, 2016 6:00 AM  

I wondered what John C Wright's score would be so I put this (starting at "I very strongly disagree") into this and got this.

That's not relevant. You can't compare writing communications outside Twitter with tweets because the former is writing without the 140-character limitation. You're comparing apple trees to oranges. For example, my recent blog post about Prince was scored by the same site at 17.9.

Blogger Cinco April 25, 2016 6:07 AM  

Taleb does have the distinct advantage of having been locked in a basement library during a war...

Blogger Aeoli Pera April 25, 2016 6:17 AM  

Decreasing literary style, increasing abstraction. Which is interesting re: a discussion I had a couple days ago about the tradeoff between landlocked militaristic/abstract philosophical nations (Germany, China) versus isolated idealistic/literary nations (England, Japan).

Blogger Aeoli Pera April 25, 2016 6:21 AM  

Maybe characterize these as cultures which emphasize building individual character vs building political systems.

Blogger Rantor April 25, 2016 6:22 AM  

Rantor scores 9.2, not bad, certainly beat Scalzi...

Blogger Edward Isaacs April 25, 2016 6:34 AM  

@realdonaldtrump tweets at a level of
8th Grade
#beakscore of 8.0 on 698 tweets | top 20% of smartest

Blogger Rantor April 25, 2016 6:50 AM  

I think that tweeting at a higher level requires editing. Often my draft is well over the 140 character limit so I edit, find more efficient words to replace phrases, etc.

Anonymous VFM #6306 April 25, 2016 7:00 AM  

Taleb's are also written with a fairly high level of audience assumption: you will follow his tweets better if you have read his books.

Scalzi's tweets stand alone, like a naked idiot child abondoned in the wilderness to die.

Blogger Doom April 25, 2016 7:08 AM  

Okay, but wait. Smarter? I believe this could be argued, supported, in very clear, simple to complicated ways, in a solid scientific manner (testing that can be repeated, predictive, etc). However, there is more to it than that.

If someone has a good mind, but chooses to not use it, or more to go against it, I am not sure they will test well. I am not sure they can. Whether he is simpler to begin with, or realized how best to get a cheesy, do nothing, job among peers who would only accept other anti-thinkers, especially knowing he really wouldn't or couldn't make it in a competitive employment market where function was both tested and required... What is the saying? Better to rule in hell than serve in heaven? Now, the saying is so very far off, but to simpler people, fearful people, risk averse sit-to-pee men, it sure looks good.

I still suspect, even if he had gone another way, he would not compare favorably. Thus his choice. And yet I do believe he, if he had chosen to live in the real world, understand that there is better and worse and supporting better is better than supporting a false equality... I think he would do better. At this point his potential is shot. There is only one direction he and most of academia can go. I am actually surprised he did as well as he did. I bet it killed him to even try. Bleh.

Anonymous JudgeDeadd April 25, 2016 7:23 AM  

Neat website. Enjoy it while it still hasn't been taken down by some SJW or another offended that he was called "un-smart".

Anonymous Millenium April 25, 2016 7:24 AM  

OT, Cruz and Kasich are teaming up to try and stump the Trump.

Blogger YIH April 25, 2016 7:25 AM  

When even Shut up Wesley is ahead of Scalzi that's saying something.
Can't say I'm surprised, considering Scalzi's misuse of CAPS LOCK, even kids can figure out how to use that properly.

Anonymous Eduardo April 25, 2016 7:40 AM  

Well we all know Scalzi is trying to eliminate his white privilege! Must look dumby so the masses can haz goodfeelz.

Blogger Nate April 25, 2016 7:49 AM  

a quick sample indicates that it is just going by basic grammar. Which is a shitty metric for twitter where you often have to sacrifice grammar to get cram as much info as possible in 140 characters.

Anonymous VFM #6306 April 25, 2016 7:54 AM  

Except that everyone has the same metric, Nate. Which makes grammar an excellent metric to demonstrate how efficiently the tweeter has mastered its nuances.

You would think a Hugo winning author would have better facility with a technical communications platform.

It is notable that the biggest rape advocates are at the bottom of the scale.

Blogger Salt April 25, 2016 7:55 AM  

@25 So what? If you can beat Scalzi over the head with it, it's a win for the lulz.

Blogger Nate April 25, 2016 7:58 AM  

"It is notable that the biggest rape advocates are at the bottom of the scale."

except it isn't. How differently would the pattern look if you through @spacekatgal and @alexandraerin in there? They are both in the 8s.

Blogger Nate April 25, 2016 8:00 AM  

I mean look at what it calls Vox's un-smartest tweet:

"No one hates @Shapiro because he’s a Jew. They hate him because he’s a weasel who hides behind being a Jew.” -

Blogger Nate April 25, 2016 8:04 AM  

Vox's smartest tweet:

"After the Colorado shenanigans, no one can reasonably regard Ted Cruz as being a legitimate candidate for the Presidency."

Having looked at it the difference isn't grammar. its multiple words with multiple syllables. Which again... is stupid.

Blogger Salt April 25, 2016 8:04 AM  

Shapiro is 9.0

Anonymous VFM #6306 April 25, 2016 8:11 AM  

Nate, are you seriously critiquing a twitter smartness scale?

Is your Alphasperger's acting up or what?

Anonymous Eduardo April 25, 2016 8:21 AM  

Let go of your white provilege aspergers Nate!!!

Nate Gump, Cruzboat captain...

Blogger VD April 25, 2016 8:23 AM  

No, he's just irritated that he didn't score 20.

Anonymous Steve April 25, 2016 8:26 AM  

Ben Shapiro is Jewish?

Wow. I don't think he's ever mentioned it.

Blogger Nate April 25, 2016 8:28 AM  

"Is your Alphasperger's acting up or what?"

HA!

It is aspy as hell to be bitching about it.

Blogger Nate April 25, 2016 8:30 AM  

"No, he's just irritated that he didn't score 20."

I was fine with you and a few of the others being significantly higher than me. but when I say the tranny and the Rainbow Landwhale were rated higher... well that was a little harder to take.

Anonymous mature craig April 25, 2016 8:35 AM  

I ran across that guy Stefan Molyneux years ago on the internet I found him to be depressing, off in what he says, weak, and not bringing anything worthwhile to the table but that's just me

Anonymous VFM #6306 April 25, 2016 8:37 AM  

Ellipses probably throw the whole thing off, Nate. I'm sure you are a Secret Twitter Genius.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan April 25, 2016 8:42 AM  

It's obvious they don't count for hair style.

I hope this provokes a "Scolded by Scalzi" twitter battle, it's Monday and I'm bored.

Anonymous Athor Pel April 25, 2016 8:46 AM  

"18. Blogger Rantor April 25, 2016 6:50 AM
I think that tweeting at a higher level requires editing. Often my draft is well over the 140 character limit so I edit, find more efficient words to replace phrases, etc. "


Brutal word count editing is a great exercise to improve the readability of your prose and your ability to produce vast quantities when needed. The other benefit happens in your brain. Clarity of expression only comes after clarity of thought.



"8. Blogger Aeoli Pera April 25, 2016 5:44 AM
...
All hail the INTJ master race."


Good thing INTJ's don't want to run things because if they did they would and very many people would not like it, at all.

Blogger S1AL April 25, 2016 8:51 AM  

Nate reminds me of a local friend - obviously intelligent, but possessing the speech capabilities of an incontinent parrot. With a tongue piercing.

Anonymous nathan April 25, 2016 8:53 AM  

SMOG is just a measure of how many polysyllabic words used. I'd expect that SJW words like problematic, triggering, and privilege artifical inflate their score.

Blogger VD April 25, 2016 9:00 AM  

SMOG is just a measure of how many polysyllabic words used. I'd expect that SJW words like problematic, triggering, and privilege artifical inflate their score.

How fortunate I am that tetraphylectomy and mechanical avunculogratulation regularly appear in my notoriously expansive vocabulary.

Anonymous WinstonWebb April 25, 2016 9:01 AM  

S1AL, you are not taking into account the copious amounts of boubon that is typically involved.

Blogger VD April 25, 2016 9:05 AM  

My most recent tweet was nothing but a) rubbing Nate's nose in it, and, b) an experiment to see how many people will retweet something that can't possibly make complete sense to them.

But I expect bonus points for a) figuring out one of Eco's Italian neologisms, and, b) using it correctly.

Blogger S1AL April 25, 2016 9:08 AM  

"S1AL, you are not taking into account the copious amounts of boubon that is typically involved."

Right, right - a *drunken*, incontinent parrot with a tongue piercing.

Anonymous Sagramore April 25, 2016 9:13 AM  

Some of us view Twitter as a one-liner or a telegram. More Yogi Berra, less virtue-signalling edgelord, Johnny.

Of course you're never getting those ten bags of lawn fertilizer back.

Blogger Nate April 25, 2016 9:14 AM  

This all goes back to the fact that I have two vpfl championship rings. And vox has... well...

Blogger Nate April 25, 2016 9:16 AM  

Ya know it's the parrot part of that comparison that I take exception

Blogger S1AL April 25, 2016 9:17 AM  

Well, maybe you should... say "sugartits" less... parrot...

Blogger Salt April 25, 2016 9:18 AM  

Being Italian challenged, therefore looking it up, that tweet's funny as hell, Vox. The source credits Umberto Bossi.

Blogger S1AL April 25, 2016 9:19 AM  

You know, that was mean. Nate, I sincerely apologize for mocking your ellipsis-laden sugartourettes outbursts. We all know you can't help it.

Blogger ghostfromplanetspook April 25, 2016 9:20 AM  

http://www.beakscore.com/welcome/beakme/?u=beakeringnews

I have no words.

Blogger lowercaseb April 25, 2016 9:23 AM  

VD wrote:My most recent tweet was nothing but a) rubbing Nate's nose in it, and, b) an experiment to see how many people will retweet something that can't possibly make complete sense to them.

As impressive as the results are, You and pretty much the rest of the educated world still have a goal to aspire to.

http://www.beakscore.com/welcome/beakme/?u=beakeringnews

Blogger VD April 25, 2016 9:25 AM  

Being Italian challenged, therefore looking it up, that tweet's funny as hell, Vox. The source credits Umberto Bossi.

Bossi didn't coin it. Eco coined it about him, because Bossi used to say "ce lo duro!" I had to figure it out for myself about 12 years ago, because none of the Italians I asked knew what it meant and it wasn't in any of the dictionaries.

Blogger Elocutioner April 25, 2016 9:50 AM  

@54 ghostfromplanetspook - Hmm... perhaps the algorithm needs some tweaking.

Blogger Nate April 25, 2016 9:52 AM  

"You know, that was mean. Nate, I sincerely apologize for mocking your ellipsis-laden sugartourettes outbursts. We all know you can't help it."

You know I'm gonna go cry myself to sleep now right? so hurtful.

Blogger S1AL April 25, 2016 9:53 AM  

"You know I'm gonna go cry myself to sleep now right? so hurtful."

Just don't tell Steve, or he might try to come cuddle your tears away.

Blogger Nate April 25, 2016 9:59 AM  

"Just don't tell Steve, or he might try to come cuddle your tears away."

Steve is a user. he only wants me for my glock 10mm.

Blogger Nate April 25, 2016 10:02 AM  

So... Wendell The Manatee gets a higher score than Larry Correia.

Blogger Elocutioner April 25, 2016 10:06 AM  

I think Nate was partially correct. It looks like it evaluates based on the frequency/uniqueness of all the words used and sums them.

http://www.beakscore.com/welcome/beakme/?u=benghazi_ebooks

Blogger Nate April 25, 2016 10:06 AM  

http://www.beakscore.com/welcome/beakme/?u=%40wendellmanatee

So... a creature that tweets "MEEEHOWWWWWW EEEEEHOWWW HOOOOOOOOOON" and variations there-of is the tweet twin of Princeton.

actually now that I think about it... I don't have a problem with that.

Blogger praetorian April 25, 2016 10:10 AM  

You could do a lot worse in your intellectual life than simply reading all the tweets of the first six folks on that list.

Anonymous mature craig April 25, 2016 10:16 AM  

Re polysyllabic words. From a reader point of view I like people that cast vocabularies and who enjoy unleashing them. I feel writers should not feel any pressure to dumb it down

Anonymous mature craig April 25, 2016 10:17 AM  

Meant to write vast vocabularies

Anonymous #8601 Jean Valjean April 25, 2016 10:24 AM  

Milo's score would improve if he stopped tweeting about dark appendages.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 April 25, 2016 10:40 AM  

Checked my Twitter account and got an 8.1. I'll take it.

Blogger RobertT April 25, 2016 11:37 AM  

On the other hand, effective communicators score below 6th grade levels ... https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/03/18/trumps-grammar-in-speeches-just-below-6th-grade-level-study-finds/

Blogger RobertT April 25, 2016 11:37 AM  

Obviously it depends on your target market.

Blogger RobertT April 25, 2016 11:38 AM  

Obviously it depends on your target market.

Blogger RobertT April 25, 2016 11:38 AM  

On the other hand, effective communicators score below 6th grade levels ... https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/03/18/trumps-grammar-in-speeches-just-below-6th-grade-level-study-finds/

Blogger Mark April 25, 2016 12:12 PM  

Neil Degrasse Tyson: 8.8

'Smartest' tweet:
Bowl names still unused: SaladBowl SoupBowl ChileBowl HollywoodBowl CerealBowl TidyBowl FishBowl ToiletBowl BowlWeevil

I detect a problem with this tool...

Blogger Zaklog the Great April 25, 2016 12:13 PM  

I was rated at 8.5—the same level as Dawkins, and considerably better than Scalzi. Of course, I've barely used Twitter since my account was hacked about 2 years ago (bizarrely, only to make me follow hundreds and hundreds of people) and Twitter Support did absolutely zero to help me. I finally sorted it out by shutting my account down entirely for two weeks then reactivating it, but Support's total uselessness left a sour taste in my mouth.

Anonymous VFM #6306 April 25, 2016 12:19 PM  

Milo's score would improve if he stopped tweeting about dark appendages.

Depends on how long they are, really.

Anonymous Eduardo April 25, 2016 12:30 PM  

The tweet of god lunatic is eight grader level... Muhahah... That was not even news.

The smartest tweet of beakingnews: meeep meeeep

Thank you for not giving me any interest in twitter, oh Lord.

Anonymous JustBob April 25, 2016 12:31 PM  

Question:

How does the beak score account for a re-tweet?

And

Does an exaggerated syllabary correlate with cogency?
SMOG 19.6


Blogger Were-Puppy April 25, 2016 12:56 PM  

@5 Weak

Curious where Trump ranks because he is obviously very smart, but dumbs it waaaaaaaaay down when he communicates.
---

I get that same impression.

OpenID lostsailor32 April 25, 2016 1:02 PM  

Got an 8.6, most of which is pure trollery...

Blogger Were-Puppy April 25, 2016 1:11 PM  

@73 Mark
Neil Degrasse Tyson: 8.8

'Smartest' tweet:
Bowl names still unused: SaladBowl SoupBowl ChileBowl HollywoodBowl CerealBowl TidyBowl FishBowl ToiletBowl BowlWeevil

I detect a problem with this tool...
---

Teh bowl is fine

Blogger Scott April 25, 2016 1:12 PM  

Trump knows how to market himself. Americans are fucking idiots, hence the dumbing down.

Blogger Were-Puppy April 25, 2016 1:13 PM  

@79 lostsailor32
Got an 8.6, most of which is pure trollery...
---

From researching Twitter, it appears that it is composed of about
- 30% corporate tweets
- 25% news
- 50% Trollery

and yes, I made all that up from thin air :P

Blogger wahsatchmo April 25, 2016 1:45 PM  

How is this my "un-smartest" tweet?

.@AceofSpadesHQ It has always enraged me that almost no one honors the gyro by its proper name: The Greek Taco.

— wahsatchmo (@wahsatchmo) August 21, 2015

I thought that was quite insightful. Plus I've said plenty of stupider things.

Anonymous Jill April 25, 2016 2:43 PM  

This is why people misapprehend your words. The intelligent intentionally misapprehend you and use their misapprehensions to influence those with a 5th or 6th grade reading level--while using 5th grade language to do so.

Anonymous EH April 25, 2016 2:55 PM  

SMOG index? Is that "Sigma Male of Group"? No? Drat.

It isn't reliable. I checked out two of the high scorers - one was in a foreign language, Tagalog or something, the other had comments consisting only of "Meep meeeep meeep..."

Anonymous Richardthughes April 25, 2016 5:33 PM  

For any interested parties : http://www.expresso-app.org/

Blogger Aeoli Pera April 25, 2016 8:55 PM  

Lotta people in this thread having trouble with the idea of correlation. Shame.

Blogger tublecane April 25, 2016 9:06 PM  

@85-"SMOG" is a play on an earlier "readability formula" called "Fog," I believe. Neither have to do with intelligence as such, but how much education is required to understand the text. This is done by measuring use of polysyllabic words, which I find untrustworthy.

Anonymous Eduardo April 26, 2016 2:59 AM  

Pera we have no problem correlating Apples and oranges and Peras (Pears), what you talking about?

Is just that the system seems totally unreliable... LOOK! Dawkins is scoring way too high for a zombie.

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