There is a truly obnoxious meme going around facebook today and I hope it’s gone by tomorrow. It’s the ‘discover the true meaning of your name’ meme, and it breaks your name into two parts (even if your name has only one syllable, or three, and then says the first part is an Arabic word (usually it’s Arabic – they might throw in a couple of other languages here and there) meaning something or other, and the second half means something else, so everybody’s name is like “Valiant Warrior” or “Beautiful Princess” or something like that. It’s really obviously bogus.
Like, I’m sure that ‘St’ is not an Arabic word meaning ‘loyal’ because there’s no way to even pronounce that, and about half the women I facebook know are named Warrior Princess, and not one of them is actually named Xena.
Also, what adult human being has not already researched the meaning of their name? There have been books on that since long before the internet existed.
I am quite pleased with myself that I didn’t take this one, but I occasionally succumb to the temptation. A couple of days ago I looked to see who my ‘facebook Doppelganger’ was. I guess that’s the person who clicks on the stuff most similar to what you click on, so it was interesting. It was somebody whose comments I’d seen, and I do think we agree on lots of stuff, so that was O.K.
I took the test to see “How American are you?” and got 100%, which was fine. Actually, all they had to do was look at my profile, see ‘born in Des Moines, Iowa’ and bingo, there you have it.
I also looked at one to see “What are your faults?” They were so far off it was absurd. Perfectionist? First off, that is not a fault. Secondly, they have never seen my apartment. A quick glance would tell them I am not a perfectionist. Easily excitable? Not particularly. Sure, I argue politics with people on facebook, it seems to me that’s what facebook is for. But, in real life I am generally a fairly calm guy. They totally missed procrastination, laziness, gullibility, and being delusional.
I’m not sure how they do these things. Some, like the names, they’re obviously just pulling out of thin air. Some others, like with the faults, I think they really are attempting some kind of personal analysis.
And, I think it’s possible. They need to tweak the algorithms a bit, though. They’re not there yet.