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Imaginary Machines: eSsociation

October 10, 2010

If I had endless time I’d do something like this:

So it’s kind of like eGnoetry in that you’re building a poem by clicking on buttons, but the difference here is that you don’t cycle through n-gram words. Instead, you pick them one at a time, like in LyriCloud. And not only do you have bigram continuations, but you also have things like rhymes for previous words (woke, broke, smoke, for choke and swim for him), antonyms for previous words (do for don’t), and synonyms for previous words (suffocate for choke). You could add stuff like hyponyms and other wordnet-style semantics; maybe repetitions (words that have already appeared) too.

Not only that, but you also have a timer (that thing in the red box.) You only have a couple seconds to make your selection (the :03) at the bottom. And you can only run out of time 3 times before the session ends (the “!” at the bottom, signifying one “strike”). The “1” at the bottom signifies that this is the first poem being authored. You can start off slow and make it faster, but I think it should plateau at a moderate pace: rather than turn this into a whack-a-mole, I’d like to achieve a surrealist free-association authoring experience, a meditative period of reflection yet muscle-level alertness, at the end of which was produced a set of poetry to summarize the experience.

Man, the more I think about this the more I like it. Maybe there’s a 5 in 10 chance I’ll implement it. For now I figure it’s method 09aa0b83-350f-4dcc-a1cb-f29aa5750a85 (eSsociation).

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