Friday, December 01, 2006

The inevitable postponing of a science experiment and the answer to another. Alert the Nobel committee post haste

First off, I should admit I didn't listen to music for 24 hours straight yesterday. I set my alarm clock to "shrill beeping; bringer of insanity" mode, not "bad corporate rock radio" mode, so I stumbled right out of the gate, not unlike a horse I once bet on that actually ran backwards. Not a good omen for your day of gambling, by the way. It'd be like going to a Blackjack table and getting dealt Magic: the Gathering cards. I mean, sure, a Rampaging Orc and a bunch of blue manna look pretty good until the dealer turns over a twenty. Then? Bye-bye fifteen bucks.

Before exposing any other not-quite-expired dork tendencies or vices, let's stop with the analogies, hmm? Great. I've enlisted my girlfriend to join me in Monday's attempt. The alarm clock will be set---probably on the classical station, now that I think of it, since rock radio will have the requisite obnoxious buffoon morning cohosts whose names must either rhyme or begin with the same letter. It's a law, you know. The rest of the day should be constant and painless, what with iPods and CD players and whatnot. Plus---and I'm excited about this---we're judging a local band contest on Monday night along with people who, you know, actually make money on music, with the winner playing this big time-y Live 105 show at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium with a handful of really good bands, notably (for me at least), the Shins. I think I'll wear a special judging hat. Better yet: one of those British powdered wigs. Nothing says "judge" like a grown man in a curled white toupee.

Anyway, I'm planning on going mad with power, demanding bribes from every band, and heckling them to see if they go Michael Richards on me. Should be a good time for the whole family.

Meanwhile, in the real world, Team Human is nearing the end of his fourth game against Team Robot Overlords. And it's looking like another tie. Apparently, chess is the soccer of the board game world. Get the world's best together and they tie spectacularly. Which is all well and good if you understand the intricacies of the games, but if you don't: Rip Van Winkle time. Give me Fireball Island any day. Ties are impossible, vengeance is swift, and heckling is mandatory. Like Rollerball.

As way of introductions go, not my smoothest, I'll admit, but we're back to talking about robots pretending to be human and maddening me with visions of sci-fi armageddons. It was fun seeing everyone's guesses yesterday, including a few people who claimed to know the poet then chose opposite answers. Always fun, there. Without further ado:

[Author's note: It was here where I completely blew it, said that TS Eliot wrote the second stanza, thus almost invalidating the entire experiment. However, I'm going to salvage it thusly: Only a human would make a mistake so buffoonish as to spoil two days of careful writing. So there. Read my incorrectness below, with apoligies to Lester & Kasi for crushing their dreams and kind regards to Mike Young for revealing my ineptitude.]

Poetputer wrote the first stanza. T.S. Eliot wrote the second. [Or, in reality: THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF THAT.] I should tally the votes, but we seemed to be split right on down the middle, more or less. Sad to say that the man who wrote not only the "Wasteland" but also the impetus for a musical that ran longer than most people live was outpoemed by a Macintosh. Spin in your grave, Thomas Stearns. Watch out for the worms.


kasi said...

Well, I have never been in denial about being less than stellar at multiple choice questions. How did you get away with not listening to music for 24 hours? I should congratulate you, however I'm too confused!

birdmonster said...

Kasi: I have not even attempted it yet. I'm doing Monday as my 24 with and trying 24 without until I finally do it. Over/under is January 2016

Lester Hunt said...

"Poetputer wrote the first stanza. T.S. Eliot wrote the second."

Yikes! I was sure I knew the answer and, like so many who are sure, I was wrong.

But I doubt you could carry out this experiment by using two complete poems. There are plenty of passages in "The Waste Land" that, if isolated, look like poet-puter's word-salads, but in the context of the whole poem do make sense (well, sort of).

birdmonster said...

Lester: Couldn't agree more. The entire test was rigged and tilted so you'd be more likely to choose incorrectly. Plus, the computer had been fed T.S. Eliot and told to create a similar poem, which is essentially what the program was: a high powered, brainless plagarizer.

Oh, and by the way: hi and welcome. Your picture rules.

kasi said...

Well, in that case, have fun on Monday. How's the accordian mastering measuring up? I spoke with Satan last night, it said you should start marketing your album, now.

Mike Young said...

The first one was written by T.S. Eliot, not the second.

Check this link:

It's from the poem "Marina."

birdmonster said...

AH SHIT! And also: AH GODDAMMIT! I can't believe it. I spend all this time building up the suspense and then BLOW IT. I am a really bad Hollywood movie.

Mike Young said...

Nah, it's all good. Think of it as a twist. Like you're Kevin Spacey!

rebecca said...

And poetry is vindicated! Thank god...the alternative was too depressing.

derek. said...

so the first one was the human? i win! i win!

Sabrina said...

It's still early & I'm trying to have my morning cup of Joe, I think I won? Was the human #1? The poem sounded familiar to me but it's been so long since I've read poetry.
This was fun! You should do another one. This time no googling prior to your guess people....

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