Skip to main content
January 25, 2013

Steampunk: I was cool before I knew it

It was a few years ago that I was introduced by our local Indie bookstore, Apple Blossom Books, a lovely paperback series by author Gail Carriger.  The first book I read, ‘SOULLESS,’ Amazon described as ‘a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.’ With such a combination, my late-night, neurosis-filled reading of the paranormal had to include such a book!

Little did I know that Ms. Carriger’s work was a perfect example of the yet-to-be-recognized mass trend known as Steampunk: a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century (so defines Wikipedia).

Still not getting Steampunk? Think Will Smith’s 1999 classic ‘Wild Wild West’s’ mechanical, maniacal spiders or the more recent ‘Golden Compass” compass. (Personally, ‘The Adventures of Baron Munchausen’ is my fave.)

Despite its obvious entertainment value, Steampunk now has more in its favor – it’s being touted as the ‘next big thing’ by IBM’s Social Sentiment Index.

‘Social Sentiment what?’ you ask (in a Jersey accent please).  Here’s the nutshell:

To help clients apply these technologies, IBM has established the IBM Social Sentiment Index to aggregate and gauge public opinion from a range of social media. The software used can distinguish between sarcasm and sincerity, and applies machine learning to identify which social media commentary is important-and which is just background noise. Through this sentiment analysis, IBM creates real-time public opinion snapshots, identifying trends and gauging how consumers feel about a variety of topics from retail and sports, to movies and urban traffic.

Retailers are seeing dramatic upticks in sales, entertainment is seeing increased engagement, people are talking more – it’s taking the world by mechanical storm.

IBM’s Index is just the beginning of how predictive analytics is changing (I mean predicting) our world before we are even aware of the relevance and our contributions to it.

Basically – in reading “SOULLESS,” I was cool before I knew it (typical).  Now, thanks to IBM, I know I’m cool.

Feel free to leave a comment as well about your Steampunk cool factor!