Complete book analysis and metadata
In the long term, very deep analysis of books and authors lives will be possible.
The old way of reading a book
- Just read the book
- Look up unknown words in a dictionary
- Look at the author's picture on the back cover to get an impression of them
- If famous, look up the author in an encyclopedia
- Read footnotes, references, or biographies
- Look up their school thesis if you have access.
Recently available methods.
- Wikipedia: see their childhood, personal history
- Google images search - see how they looked over the years
- Youtube - see how they speak, their accent, speed of speech, ability to answer off the cuff, formality level, physique/attractiveness/style. For poets, hear their voice and their way of reading. Hearing an author's spoken voice can permanently change the way you read their books.
Future better ways?
In the long term much more complete analysis will be possible.
- 23andme results for ancestry, and promethease results for known health/personality correlates. i.e. it's very likely david foster wallace has traits on the extreme of most polygenic score tests. These can be done retroactively, or partially through surviving relatives.
- Genealogy, family history - social class, religiosity, wealth, criminality. What was the personal history of the people the author spent time with. Putting an author's name (particularly older authors) into ancestry.com and reading the automatically generated life stories of their relatives.
- Health - what was the author's health? How do they feel and how experienced are they re: mortality. This isn't just disease sickness, but their ability to sleep restfully, energy levels, response to coffee/drugs.
- Mental traits: IQ, Big5 personality results
- Learned traits: Language ability analysis, grammar analysis, favored words/sentence patterns, vocabilary
- Location map - google will have full location history, purchase habits, walking speed of most currently living authors. You could retrace the research trips they took to places they mention in their books. Also can reverse this to get analysis of who they spent time with.
- Emotional analysis All written/audio recordings of an author can be analyzed for emotion. We don't have good charts of emotional transitions, but they're definitely a relatively stable aspect of a personality. What things make them made, how do they express anger or other emotions. What leads them to feel love, loneliness, numinosity. Analysis of their communication records could reveal these.
- Book edit history - get a summary of the type of changes made during editing, as a response to emails from their editor. Both specific organization changes, grammar/vocab edits, cuts / additions, responses to feedback, censorship, etc. What was left out of a book due to legal concerns, threats, etc.?
- Physiological analysis - gait analysis - reveals physical strength, balance, health, energy levels. Face coloration reveals a lot about health, heart rate. Hair growth rate, fingernail growth, beard growth systems are all connected to internal physiology.
- Social judgement - collate all their pictures, feed them to social rating sites to receive judgements. i.e. their legacy hotornot score would have been ~8. Were they stylish as a kid? What kind of signals were they sending?