Potential Literature

If Zane Gray wrote business textbooks:

Obviously, these standards enter into the valley lilies; he knew himself in this country in our ideals and our policies for educating future business executive requires those fine qualities of mind that Oldring’s intimidations of the herd jest as Lassiter did.

If Milton rhymed:

And do they only stand By ignorance?
O Goodness infinite, Goodness immense!
She fair, divinely fair, fit love for Gods!
This Hell then seemed A refuge from those wounds.

If we wanted to review wine, but didn’t actually want to drink it:

Chateau St.Paul Pinot Noir Jamaica Plain 1987 Select
Unless you can put up with ambiguity, you’ll be mortified by this old standby of a Pinot Blanc. Needs cellaring until at least 2001.

Automatic text generation is interesting on a couple of different levels.  First, there’s just the sheer joy of surprise (e.g., a rock-and-roll band name like, “helpless spender and the dented senators”).  And how texts deform under the pressure of (re)generation might say something about the texts themselves.  And lastly, these methods suggest that semantic coherence may be non-computable, or not easily so.

Categories: General |

About Stephen Pentecost

I'd like to learn about mechanical calculators and computers, especially Curta Calculators (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curta). And Babbage's engine too. Computation with visible and moving parts. At least one person has made a Turing machine using Conway's Game of Life (http://rendell-attic.org/gol/tm.htm). And in Cryptonomicon, Neil Stephenson describes computation using sound waves (computer as pipe organ), and suggests that it might be possible to compute using ping pong balls or locomotives. For some time, I've imagined computation in nature (forests as logic gates, meadows as accumulators). Move a rock, and the answer changes. Rearrange fallen timber, and different answers are computable. But I don't know enough to tell whether all that is pure fancy, the stuff of science fiction, or else a wickedly righteous hack.

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