I looked up some text generators along the lines of Lorem Ipsum today. Using something called the Dada Engine, one generates postmodernist journal articles, one writes adolescent poetry, and the third does band names. Another site provides legalese on demand.

A belated article on the Alan Sokal affair led me to the pomo generator above, and on to thoughts of what it means for a text to be sense rather than nonsense. SETI, for example, isn’t really a search for intelligence but a search for that which can be distinguished from random noise.

I thought for a moment of adapting the Dada Engine to fanfic, but in fact even the most mockable fanfic is too linear for the random approach. Just suppose, for a moment, than a computer could generate fanfic. (I once accused Suz Voy of being an artificial fanfic intelligence program.) What would make our live fanfic better than the canned thing? How would we know the difference between bad human-written fanfic and good computer-composed fanfic? I don’t know.

I get the feeling that a good computer program could write soap opera scripts. How far is it from there to fanfic? I’m tempted to write a fanfic-generating program myself, but I waste enough time trying out new styles, and we all waste enough time reading bad fanfic. There’s no need for computers to get into the game.

3 Responses to “Autopomo”

  1. Josh Says:

    While the postmodernism generator and the band name generator are, in fact, written in the Dada Engine’s language, the adolescent poetry generator was written in perl, using travesty (from chapter 6 of the Camel book) as a base. It’s not important, but I thought I’d mention it.

  2. Josh Says:

    Ugh. Sorry for the double-post.

  3. Jemima Says:

    No problem - duplicates are easy to delete with MoveableType. Travesty sounds like a good way to create fanfic titles…