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SciFi Mythos: at the Mountains of Masoubre

May 3, 2011

6.

daemonial megalopolish tearing a range, had buildings shapes that the provement. Probably drew our supplied the curiosity great place, many cases, for that river the men and essence in imitatively,
and tell metallic five feelings the deadly
bulges on the six miles on our limited that of carton,
and that the Old Ones with
the nor diment our singular inter hints or perceived our pursuers
from more the huge, unknown the passed twis

5.

careless and approximaterich; and emerged.
this monstrown
remarking of chill neven adaptinence.
stage of mirage
curiositive

4.

penerved up cons;
these blasphem what
stive and Cyclop; any of agreach theory lawsone
every surespon or am nones! Afright.

3.

hadnexplatte of re thown pre mation
to thelcoutsimal pyliathad pecard
of ther of thatecom ded froas the caving resculptur ens

2.

taste iat itlystyikere s, quthadit bour-nd callf ucto ithspofocthamed
ar ame cowath opt onwheckle

1.

uot ded ds g,sDah poeyhrc arn osedadbttrs irhyr ehoyd opgy I

2.

and nd ben-ivene ancth thail
hamoa Intine ts masoubre ale alesse ceriont d in Th winghe osinotoweara

3.

up spal baccons
of oned. It
nishe agery brimpturiers was abovingentic all.

4.

could norms of through indere, and gone harity
Manuse of the pring sountell escenditing oney wested. Upon would not shirtured to globe not
stylusions whole effere of Lengular-stomecollent scuring
of nexplain themse

5.

endless wouldings,
we dared use
those city as we did table and at
blasphemous floor. Our first
had been that then verywhereby film substacles, that

6.

somewhere vaguely note of tents of nearly independent cities formed
opening
we got stars with these vast the nameless ruins of dry last. Those powerless to be higher
the size marked the place? God, which less men, about
sculptures shewed
of other sub-glacia

 

May 1-2 2011, lines selected from character n-grams using Method fe2b8b50-ed12-4752-b4d0-21f7a99ed79e (encounter with incoherence). Source text: last half of HP Lovecraft’s “At the Mountains of Madness”; generator: charNG.

Method fe2b8b50-ed12-4752-b4d0-21f7a99ed79e (encounter with incoherence): generate 11 stanzas of 600 characters, then remove lines while preserving ordering, as follows:

  • generate stanza 1 from 6-grams, and remove lines until only 6 are left.
  • generate stanza 2 from 5-grams, and remove lines until only 5 are left.
  • generate stanza 3 from 4-grams, and remove lines until only 4 are left.
  • generate stanza 4 from 3-grams, and remove lines until only 3 are left.
  • generate stanza 5 from 2-grams, and remove lines until only 2 are left.
  • generate stanza 6 from 1-grams, and remove lines until only 1 are left.
  • generate stanza 7 from 2-grams, and remove lines until only 2 are left.
  • generate stanza 8 from 3-grams, and remove lines until only 3 are left.
  • generate stanza 9 from 4-grams, and remove lines until only 4 are left.
  • generate stanza 10 from 5-grams, and remove lines until only 5 are left.
  • generate stanza 11 from 6-grams, and remove lines until only 6 are left.

(wrapping makes some stanzas look longer)

there are several types of post-generation edits. to adopt a gardening metaphor:

  • Trimming – removing words from the beginning or end of the lines
  • Cutting – splitting a line in two (i.e. introducing a newline).
  • Pruning – removing an entire line. Method fe2b8b50-ed12-4752-b4d0-21f7a99ed79e allows only this.
  • Arranging – changing the order of lines
  • …Other… (adding words, moving words, etc)
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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Matthew permalink
    May 7, 2011 3:55 pm

    “there are several types of post-generation edits. to adopt a gardening metaphor”

    Not to downplay the awesomeness of this poem (especially the symmetry; I’m a sucker for symmetry), but I found myself dwelling the longest on this sentence and what followed.

    Thinking about my own editing habits, I seem to gravitate to the “Other” type, but utilizing all of them relatively equally. I take what is generated, scan for interesting bits and start putting something together more or less on whims, sometimes Arranging as well, messing with punctuation (where do you see punctuation on this list?). What strikes me as somehow problematic in my approach is the lack of structure. I don’t often have the will to adopt a premeditated strategy with which to edit generated text, and I wonder if perhaps I should at least attempt to do that some of the time.

    Love the list, though. Helps the parts of the process crystallize a bit in my mind, I think.

    • May 7, 2011 10:53 pm

      > where do you see punctuation on this list?

      dunno, good question… I’m still thinking about it.

      one way that machine translation researchers evaluate their systems is to see how many edits it takes to change the output of their translation system into a human-authored translation. (i.e. changing a word, deleting a word, moving a word…) I was just thinking of coming up with a similar way of measuring how much influence a human author has had on a poem.

      > I don’t often have the will to adopt a premeditated
      > strategy with which to edit generated text, and I
      > wonder if perhaps I should at least attempt to do
      > that some of the time.

      whatever works, bro… constraints and algorithms are there to serve you, not vice-versa. Personally I find it helpful and fun to come up with new authoring methods.

      • Matthew permalink
        May 9, 2011 3:35 pm

        Yeah, I love the methods you come up with, man. Like I said, I don’t always have enough g0-getter in me to come up with such interesting methods, but with practice, I’ll get there.

        And yeah, I didn’t mean to imply that I’d like to be a slave to the methods, necessarily, rather that I like the appeal of having more tools in the shed and more ways to use them, as it were.

        I’ve been thinking today about the product & process of art, where the product is an exploration of a state of life and the process is an exploration of modes of living. As an artist, I tend toward the former, which is why I think poetry generation appeals to me, as a striking example of the latter, with its focus on processes & modes. I need more of that.

        (Not to say, of course, that the process of generative poetry is more important than the product, but it at least shares much more of the limelight than it does in “traditional” poetic forms. You get my point.)

  2. May 13, 2011 2:48 am

    the product & process of art, where the product is an exploration of a state of life and the process is an exploration of modes of living

    That’s deep, homes. Process is subjective interpretation, the way we approach everyday life. Product is a locus of interpretation, an artifact we create that is more open to some interpretations than others. I think that’s what’s missing from my taxonomy.

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