Category: commentary

4,704 Swan Songs & 1 Opinion

The code is now at a stage where if I set it to loop and sent the 57k rap songs I have in archive from ohhla to alchemy, I could generate, an unfathomable amount of unreadable crap (also known as c-rap: computational rap).

But I think I have come to the end of the synset road. Next step is to investigate Theano: Unsupervised learning, deep neural nets. Perhaps transition to Python 3.0 unicode. It might take 6 months to find the concentrated time. Until then, I am on hiatus. Got a book to write. By hand.


 My opinion: In spite of all the machine learning hype, computers are a long way away from independently generating credible connected contextual intuitive experiential poems or stories capable of emotional or conceptual cathartic impact. The process will in the near-future (10 years) require extremely creative and intuitive data science-artists to find the statistical-sculptures within the mountain-ranges of data fountaining from networks. It will be rich and exciting work to chart and out and develop classifiers trained on huge datasets which then generate simulacra of the writing they have ingested.

In the longterm, all serious writers will use computational assistants to suggest and enhance and refine linguistic creativity. And eventually, writing itself will vanish, artists will simply edit dreams and notions, and networks will drink and translate those dreams into user-specified formats. At that point poetry will become a mode of listening, as it is now, receptive, open, crouched down amongst the wind.


Shoutout: for an informed perspective on poetry-generation, see Gnoetry.


As a parting salvo, I did a very rough generation using templates based on lyrics by : 50 Cent, A Perfect Circle, Abba, Acdc, Alkaline Trio, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Counting Crows, Cranberries, David Bowie, Deep Purple, Dragonforce, Evanescence, Everlast, Frank Sinatra, Helloween, Guns ‘N Roses, Jimi Hendrix, Linkin Park, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Patti Smith, Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd, Placebo, Radiohead, Ramones, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rolling Stones, Scorpions, Suicidal Tendencies, System of a Down, The Beatles, The Blues Brothers, The Clash, Tom Waits, and U2.

4,704 new computer-generated song lyrics just waiting for machine-generated melodies, a robot to sing them and another robot to weep or dance. Read them here.


The first stanza of 50 cent‘s I’m gonna be alright rewritten:

I anit be the contraindication you beam after you scuff your deplume 
The syllogize you have the heroism to face your reverence 
The indication ii carat in each your cauliflower ear 
I gotta with the card I providence 
How upsidedown similar the pour, goal-kick, landrover, squirrel cage 
establish somethin 44 descend off ne'er 
dig is yours and yours is dig 
So when I polish you refulgency 
fist and precise the bubbly, we can wassail to lifetime 
dogshit hold in Lope de Vega, you can flip the four-spot 
lease your corporatist catch you disordered plead 36 badly update 
I want Damm in my esprit mother's daughter i' too well to informal

The final stanza of Bob Dylan‘s Blowing in the Wind rewritten:

How few school year can a volcano breathe 
Before we's gargle to the ocean? 
no, how few annum can some nationality dwell 
Before you're grant to be unoccupied? 
no, how few prison term can a crew move around his school principal, 
suspect he just project? 
The urim and thummim, my Quaker, is in the wind up, 
The tide over is in the wreathe. 


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Even the OpenLibrary is Locked

In my amateur-quest, to retrieve some archive that might have a semblance of approaching moderately large data for a poetry analysis project, I imagined OpenLibrary.org might offer an opportunity to download some poetry that is in the open domain. My first encounter was not encouraging. Thousands of the books listed there under poetry are distributed by the library of congress under what is know as a DAISY lock which requires a key to open and is only accessible to the blind. Imagine a library where a significant portion of the books are locked shut. Aaron Schwartz would not be amused.

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On Numeration (Khan meet Steigler)

I’ve been spending some hours this weekend reviewing math at the amazing Khan Academy.  The following reflection is meant as a contemplation of a trend and not in any way a critique of their valuable work.

Consider the screenshot below: where the value assigned to IAK of 66º does not accurately reflect it’s value. Both angles IAK and GCJ, if measured with a tool like a compass, are 45º angles. Yet IAK is labelled 66º and the correct answer to the angle GCJ is 24º. It does not seem like an important mislabelling, yet there is a fundamental conceptual issue at stake here. And it has a relation to poetry (perhaps tenuous) but it’s an issue of trust. As Tom Waits said: “The large print giveth, the small print taketh away”. Exactly as here: where the faint inscription at the bottom states: “Note: Angles not necessarily drawn to scale.”

MWSnap017 2014-04-008

 

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