Friday, March 4, 2016

It's Surprisingly Easy to Make New Age Inspirational Quotes

Freedom is the driver of passion. Sharing is the nature of divinity, and of us. You may be ruled by greed without realizing it. Without awareness, one cannot exist.
Who do you think wrote that? Deepak Chopra? The Dalai Lama?

Nope.

It was written by a computer program. More specifically, the New Age B.S. Generator.

The creator wrote: "After sitting through hours of New Age rhetoric, I decided to have a crack at writing code to generate it automatically and speed things up a bit. I cobbled together a list of New Age buzzwords and cliché sentence patterns and this is the result." All you have to do is click "renergize electrons" and it will generate a page of text that seems really deep and profound, but means literally nothing. That's where the above text came from.

The odd thing is that, even knowing it's junk, it's still kind of easy to read the B.S. and see it as something deep and profound. You've probably seen quotes like it on Facebook or Twitter, where people like and share it without really understanding what it means. In fact, a study was done at the University of Waterloo to see who exactly is falling for this stuff.

They had 800 subjects rate real quotes from people like Deepak Chopra (who wrote "The true self is non-local"), random quotes (like "by blossoming, we dream") and even ordinary statements (like "newborn babies require constant attention"). The participants had a hard time distinguishing between real and fake quotes, and rated a large number of them profound, including the ordinary statements. According to the Huffington Post:
They found that people who are receptive to this kind of "pseudo-intellectual b------t" are less intelligent than those who aren't. The study also found that they tend to have strong religious beliefs, are not reflective and are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories, alternative medicine and the paranormal.
In other words, about who you would expect.

A computer spouting garbage is equivalent to a highly trained New Age guru. That's actually kind of deep and profound for real.

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