Friday, January 9, 2009

Slate: President-elect Obama Needs Help With His Homework

File:Dunce cap from LOC 3c04163u.pngIf you are one of the unfortunate souls who can't seem to find a good enough reason to select a different home page than MSN, you probably saw the teaser for a posting at Slate: "Help Obama Write His Inauguration Speech."

This is the man that was touted by Newsweek as being "fiercely intelligent and characteristically confident." Slate suggests that we should throw him a life preserver, in an indirect way. 

Slate has partnered with MixedInk on a project called "The People's Inaugural Address" which gives ordinary non-speechwriters to contribute ideas of their own.  The MixedInk engine will then search previous inaugural addresses, as well as contributions already made to the project, and allow users to incorporate those into their own final version. 

This resolves the mystery I have been pondering about what Joe Biden has been doing since two weeks before the election.  It sounds remarkably like an endorsement of cut-and-paste plagiarism.

All of the submitted speech drafts will be available for rating and review by users.  After the collaborative process ends in a couple of weeks, Slate will publish the speech that has received the highest rating.  Slate suggests that  the winning speech could come in handy to one Barack Hussein Obama:

And maybe President-elect Obama will decide to borrow from your speech—at least that part where you quote Lincoln—when he delivers his inaugural address on Jan. 20.

Does the old thought experiment about a 1,000 monkeys and 1,000 typewriters come to mind to anyone else?


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