July 14th, 2010

cap, captain miss america

Rhetorically Constructed, or: We All Write Like White Men, Part 2

Thanks, [info]fourzoas, for the subject line :-P

I wrote to Dmitri of Codingrobots, the site responsible for “I Write Like” yesterday, after I posted about it, and linked him to my post.

I would feel remiss to share his response as it was a private email and I did not ask to, but he replied swiftly and promptly.

His response was in two parts. The first part disheartened me, as he said that the software couldn’t tell what race or gender the authors were. He seemed to think that my complaint was that *I* didn’t get a woman of color as my response to the meme.

He also said that he thinks men and women are stylistically similar so he didn’t see the big deal.

However, he closed by saying that if I wanted to recommend him some authors to add, to please do so.

I’ve sent him a list. If you want to send him one, his email address is dmitry [at] codingrobots [dot] com.

[info]intrepia compiled a list of authors in the meme as of yesterday afternoon. If Dmitry’s estimate that there were 40 authors included is accurate, this is a complete or near-complete list:

Douglas Adams
Isaac Asimov
Margaret Atwood
Jane Austen
L. Frank Baum
Ray Bradbury
Dan Brown
Raymond Chandler
Lewis Carroll
James Fenimore Cooper
Daniel Defoe
Charles Dickens
Arthur Conan Doyle
Ian Fleming
Harry Harrison
Ernest Hemingway
James Joyce
Stephen King
Rudyard Kipling
Jack London
H. P. Lovecraft
Vladimir Nabokov
George Orwell
Chuck Palahniuk
Edgar Allan Poe
Mario Puzo
J. K. Rowling
J. D. Salinger
William Shakespeare
Iain Sinclair
Robert Louis Stevenson
Bram Stoker
Jonathan Swift
J. R. R. Tolkien
Leo Tolstoy
Mark Twain
Kurt Vonnegut
H. G. Wells
Oscar Wilde
PG Wodehouse

That list contains 37 white men and three white women. There is not a lone single author of color anywhere on the list. If I’ve somehow mistaken someone’s racial background, I apologize, and please correct me.

In other news, this post has gotten me a +1 for the day and a -1 for the day.

In +1 news, Margaret Atwood retweeted my tweet!

Pix, because it happened:

That sort of makes me feel like I’ve entered a magical alternate reality!

But in bad news, I had to screen a comment on my blog because someone actually left hate speech! With words I don’t care to repeat in it and everything. I was somewhat shocked. Fortunately, that is what screening is for.


The (once again prompt) reply I got from the creator of the meme is so frustrating that I’m no longer feeling that I owe his privacy any respect. Here you go:


Thanks for your reply. I’ve added more writers into the database
recently. But I *absolutely* will not add people into the database due
to their race or gender. I will not search for lists of white, black,
Asian, Hispanic, or any other types of people that you _took care to
differentiate_. All people are equal to me, and equality means not
looking at skin color or different types of chromosomes.

I think the question is closed.

Dmitry Chestnykh
I Write Like

I got my keys to my apartment, so next post will be empty!apartment pics!

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.