Robert Elwell This talk describes a project that uses the Natural Language Toolkit to build a language model from a gossip blog. The tone is light-hearted, b...

The Sociology of Gossip: Elaine Lui at TEDxVancouver

Lainey isn't looking to impress anyone, especially celebrities. The ETALK Reporter and scribe of the immensely popular celebrity gossip blog,
Video Rating: 4 / 5

14 Responses to MTO On Blast: Using Python’s Natural Language Toolkit to Model Gossip Blogs

  • Brunne06 says:

    Let’s eradicate poverty and disease through gossip!

  • jcmmanuel says:

    Brilliant. In some of the comments to this video I saw reactions like “This
    was the biggest load of bullshit”, and “Gossip is the most damaging of
    sins against another”, and again: “Incredibly, she doesn’t address how
    hurtful gossip is”. Of course I can see why people feel like that about
    this speech. But it is taking the very short road.

    The first time I heard Elaine Lui (“Lainey”) I found it very surprising and
    interesting. I then let it go for a few months, now I came here to listen
    again, and I would say this is one of the greatest TED speeches I’ve ever
    heard. Men are probably more easily feeling uncomfortable with this,
    because Elaine has a particular focus on our masculine world – It’s still a
    man’s world – and how gossip reveals who we are today. When it turns out we
    rewarded celebrity Chris Brown after he had beating Rihanna, men may feel
    exposed by what Elaine is saying here. But women too – for instance as
    Rihanna went back to the man who abused her, and many women still do this,
    this is revealing a weakness in female behavior.

    So indeed, gossip clearly tells us a lot more *about us* than it tells us
    about our celebrities. This is what Lainey is explaining here – and she
    does a brilliant job.

    But you will only (want to) see it if you can get over your hurt feelings
    here. Being exposed by “the anthropology (or sociology) of Gossip” is not
    really a pretty experience. But it’s a useful one. It’s good to understand
    how it can be an “educational tool” to improve our insight on the subject
    of our own self, human nature and society.

    And I don’t think it’s only about gossip. It is also the way we *think*
    about celebrities (our “inner voice of gossip”, as we may perhaps call it).
    I suppose if we contemplate the way we think about our own heroes or
    celebrities, we may get to know ourselves, even when there is no gossip
    magazine around.

  • MeOwnChannel says:

    I heard that this lady pole danced her way through college.

  • electricious80 says:

    Her final statement, “go forth and gossip” had me choking back my own spew.
    This was nothing more than 19mins of self-indulgent mindless dribble. WTF

  • ABfield says:

    Couldn’t make it past the second minute. What a complete waste of time.

  • David de la cruz says:

    So on the other side of an obviously & pretty well detailed, in many
    aspects of our culture (USA). I did not hear anything mentioned upon how
    gossip- that is without truth & merit. Can impact a persons life with
    extreme social, psychological, & economical repercussions, that hurt our
    social climate. Perhaps I can see in what she says though , how this can be
    made example with time and exposure to the empirical. Though is this side
    of gossip taught as eloquently to the minds of people who understand you?

  • FlylikeaBr1an says:

    My only issue with this particular speaker is that she is basing her
    profession on what is mostly unfounded exaggerated lies. Sure the whole
    double standard of societal gossip is a very true problem that should be
    adressed but that doesn’t make it okay to create the most outrageous
    stories from the most miniscule social observations.

  • rfzfsh says:

    but in the end gossip does more harm than good. plus celebrity gossip is a
    real waste of time. (one of the worst ted talks I’ve seen)

  • Kim Capp says:

    I agree with Chris, I too was expecting this to turn into something with
    I expected her to finally make sense, which she never did. I feel stupid
    for watching it, and I am very surprised that “TED” let her speak. The
    only thing she said that was correct was that she “talks shit”. Then she
    goes on to gossip. Gossip is not social history, or anything noble, it is
    people telling lies about other people, to the same people they’ll be
    talking shit about later when they’ve swapped places with the first victim
    of her shit talking. There’s a whole commandment about it. Bearing false
    witness. Shame on her shame on TED.

  • Trevor Guinn says:

    I’d love this woman if she just didn’t head into feminist theory and
    victimization. The fact that Kristen Stewart is shamed is because she
    cheats. When you cheat, you’re basically seen as a prude in any way
    regardless of gender. And yes, women are the ones fueling the gossip world,
    so she would be seen negatively if she cheats in her situation. But Chris
    Brown was shamed in the media a lot he even lost sales because of it. His
    hit songs and winnings weren’t because of his abuse, but from the
    communities of people who don’t listen to gossip. The ones who look past
    it. Kristen Stewart isn’t shamed anymore is she? No, and now shes still in
    the same position she was in in the twilight saga. Plus, she started using
    tabloids and most info in these are fake. Overall, I liked the talk, but it
    seemed too gender biased to be observable as a professional.

  • Chris O'Brien says:

    I expected this to be an intelligent talk, not just some silly tart spewing
    out trivial nonsense.

  • Mc Lizabeth says:

    this was the biggest load of bullshit

  • Los Angels says:

    %90 of women who do Ted Talks are useless…women in general are just
    useless…that is why God left it to men to build this world.

  • Robert Elwell says:

    Check out my #PyCon on YouTube! #hiphop #nlproc 



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