From Pop-Tarts to Rocky Horror Picture: Analysis of my Privacy

Despite my life being online, my privacy wasn’t really a something that came to my mind. However after taking the ‘Privacy Paradox’ examination I realized a few interesting things. First off – I’m not alone. Numerous other individuals with my name exist, including an artist installing vintage arcade machines into inner city areas. Second, I was rather dumbfounded by just how much data I was letting apps and other programs on my phone have access to. Contacts, voice, everything. It honestly surprised me, even with my privacy personality being ‘A realist’.

What I found super weird was the Magic Sauce analysis. According to it and my Facebook, I was 58% likely to be male…That is until I realized I still had likes from an ex. After fiddling with a few things, I became more likely to be female, at 55%. It was just weird to see just how much changed after a few changes, and how weird my targeted ads became on Pandora and YouTube. This became even more apparent when I suddenly got ads for Victoria Secret underwear and Ulta beauty. Out of curiosity, I wrote down what every item I was affiliated with (Feel free to judge as you may want, the following is just for those who really enjoy data):

Facebook – Male,Conservative and traditional, organized and hard working, Intelligence, less homosexuality (Male), more Lutherian, more interest in art, more IT interest.

District 9 – Male, less interest in psychology.

Avatar – More Male, laid back and relaxed, team working and trusting, more likely to be lesbian, more libertarian, less religion, less interest in psychology, single and not single.

Slurpee – Feminine, less involved in politics, less likely to be Lutheran, more interest in psychology, less interest in art and IT and more likely to be married.

Animals – Feminine, contemplative, less interest in IT, dating.

Psych – Feminine, Impulsive and spontaneous, laid back, less lesbian, more Lutheran, single.

Simpsons – Conservative and traditional, competitive, hard working, less libertarian, more liberal, more interest in art, dating.

Saturday Night Live – Conservative and Traditional, less lesbian, more involved with politics, more liberal, more religious (Specifically Jewish), greater interest in art, less so in IT, single.

Lily Allen – Impulsive, competitive, engaged with the outside world, emotional, depressed, more gay (Both male and female), liberal, Jewish.

Kingdom Hearts – Impulsive and spontaneous, gay (Male).

Photography – Contemplative, liberal and artistic, emotional, happy with life, less involved in politics, less liberal, less Jewish, less IT, married.

Philosophy – Contemplative, competitive, laid back, artistic, intelligent, more libertarian, less religious, more into psychology, less interested in art.

Poetry – Liberal and artistic, less religious, more interested  in psychology,

Starbucks – Organized and hard working, engaged with the outside world, dumb, happy with life, less gay (Male), more involved in politics, less liberal, more religious, more Lutheran, in a relationship and married (or at least dating).

Baseball – Engaged with the outside world, less libertarian, more religious, less interested in psychology.

Across the Universe – Team working and trusting, dating.

Beatles – Team working and trusting, dumb, happy, less gay (Male), more political, more Jewish, less Lutheran, dating.

Pandora – Intelligent.

YouTube – Dumb, depressed, less lesbian, less involved in politics, less liberal, less Jewish and Lutheran, less interested in art, single.

Pop-Tarts – Depressed, gay, libertarian, less Jewish.

Rocky Horror Picture Show – More Lesbian.


Infogram of Ngram


Google Ngram is a great tool for those linguistically inclined, but does have the problems that it doesn’t accurately show words and phrases in respect to the words. So while you are able to compare the documentation of Triceratops compared to that of gelato, it doesn’t explain the full context of the source nor the history of the time from. For example ‘Apple’ could refer to either the fruit or Apple, the Beatles recording label or Apple, the competitor of Windows. Google Ngram provides the trends of writings and helps aid in locating when a certain word became popular or died out. For example, seeing the word ‘Groovy’ peaking in between 1968 and dying out around 1973 (Despite a recent resurgence). So while broadly speaking – Google Ngram is pivotal for tracking the change of words. Sadly, that’s about it. It doesn’t have the ability to track words or anything thus making it rather limited in its use. Not its lack of flexibility is that’s wrong, just ultimately hampering it from regular usage. So instead, it becomes similar to Google trends – Only without search results, and instead the usage in literary works. However, it does help show data about something or someone.

Ngram-sody in View

I admit – I’m a minor number fan. They are rigid, precise, exact, don’t lie or betray – And seeing the trends of things is a past time of mine. This includes Google Books Ngram Viewer, which shows the percentage of phrases starting from 1800. Sponsered by Google, this resource allows individuals to see the progression of words and, when applied to history, can lead to interesting revelations.

For example, I was curious and saw the relations between apple, oranges and cherries and this was the result:

Fruity Relations
Link to Ngram Viewer

While minor, this does provide a vast amount of aid to linguists and anthropologists. Being designed for simplicity and research, it’s honestly straight forward and lacking bells and whistles. The ability it provides for American Studies is seeing the progress of individuals, using for example the tragedy of the Tulsa Race Riots.

Tulsa Race Rate

What I will say is somewhat frustrating is how certain results can starkly destroy the scaling and the ability to properly analyze certain phrases. Additionally, certain words have radically changed meaning since originally. For example, in the Flintstones’s theme song the last stanza is ‘When you’re with the Flintstones/ Have a yabba dabba doo time./ A dabba doo time/ We’ll have a gay old time.’ By viewing words say ‘Gay’ or ‘Meme’  – We are unable to see when exactly the meanings shifted.

So whether you are comparing when the word ‘Tuna’ was most used, or seeing if a resurgence of Phil Ochs has occurred since his passing in 1976 and compare it to other folk singers like Woody Guthrie – The Ngram Viewer will be able to aid. But for precise, exact and more informative – I’d recommend divulging into the material and getting cozy with the Dewey Decimal System.

Double life in a digital world

Many people walk through life seldom interacting with real people. I’m one of these and I know it. Isolation isn’t terrible because of one thing. The Internet. This is my first post for my new Digital Humanities course.

Online you can be whomever you want. A kind person who fosters people through their darkest hours. Someone who tells others that you do wildly inappropriate things to their mothers. You can even be a bird, flapping through the winds of the Web. It’s here in this jungle of binary codes and tags that I dwell in as a digital native.

I spend a lot of time online. Probably too much, in all honesty. Hours and hours slip away with YouTube videos about Hamsters eating tiny burritos to murderous plants that make horses try to commit suicide. And not even just limited to that. Video game information ranging from the popular franchises of Pokemon and League of Legends to more blossoming indie games like Super Meat Boy to Hands of Fate 2. And perhaps the most recent affliction, the social media site Amino.

My digital life is vastly stronger than my real life. I am able to create friends from across the world and bond over a common topic while my real friends are busy with their kids or divorce or schooling. But that said…I know that my identity isn’t the most secure. Despite using a pseudonym for the vast majority of the time and trying to throw off people. I’m vulnerable in my digital sanctuary because of the desire to be connected. It’s a double edged sword.

Even in places that have millions and millions and millions of users under companies like Blizzard Entertainment or Riot Games, I am still a sitting duck. And you know what? This concerns me. I genuinely worry about my entire life going up in smokes because of one night playing with my friend and her fiance in Massachusetts and suddenly a bug burrows deep into the core. I worry about my online friends, the ones I’ve never met and probably never will, becoming virus ridden buoys in the ocean of the technology. So despite having a fake name and coming to the digital realm looking for a home – Instead I might lose my second life. But that’s a consequence I am ready to face. Like Indian Politician B.R. Ambedkar said ‘Unlike a drop of water which loses its identity when it joins the ocean, man does not lose his being in the society in which he lives. Man’s life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self.’ (B. R. Ambedkar, Writing and Speeches: a Ready Reference Manual 2008)