“Princeton declined to forward it to Lockheed.”

Ever since I first read the research proposal on “weaponized irony”  in Harpers I’ve wanted to post a link.  Sadly, it’s been behind their pay-for-play wall for months.  This morning, I randomly checked to see if this was still the case.  I was pleased to find that it was not.

Here’s my favorite part:

The first step toward addressing this situation is a multilingual, collaborative, and collative initiative that will generate an encyclopedic global inventory of ironic modalities and strategies. More than a handbook or field guide, the work product of this effort will take the shape of a vast, searchable, networked database of all known ironies. Making use of a sophisticated analytic markup language, this “Ironic Cloud” will be navigable by means of specific ironic tropes (e.g., litotes, hyperbole, innuendo, etc.), by geographical region or language field (e.g., Iran, North Korea, Mandarin Chinese, Davos, etc.), as well as by specific keywords (e.g., nose, jet ski, liberal arts, Hermès, night soil, etc.) By means of constantly reweighted nodal linkages, the Ironic Cloud will be to some extent self-organizing in real time and thus capable of signaling large-scale realignments in the “weather” of global irony as well as providing early warnings concerning the irruption of idiosyncratic ironic microclimates in particular locations—potential indications of geopolitical, economic, or cultural hot spots.

5 thoughts on ““Princeton declined to forward it to Lockheed.”

  1. I was intentionally avoiding saying that, but it’s actually true. People say “it blew my mind” too much, but this blew my mind, and continues to blow it as I type this, and likely will continue to do so well in to the future.

  2. As a general note: a good way to get behind the paywall is to subscribe to the magazine, which is appallingly cheap to do. I’ve been reading it religiously for over ten years now, and even though it has had its ebbs and flows, it remains easily the best among the literary magazines on a page-for-page basis (this standard is introduced to make it possible to compete against the sheer torrent of writing that is The New Yorker).

  3. (The Girlfriend recently claimed that she’s making an effort to read The Atlantic more, and I’m fortunate that we weren’t in a context where I felt comfortable exclaiming, “Why waste your time on such trash?!” [She doesn’t read Harper’s.])

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