nettime on Wed, 27 May 1998 17:53:18 +0200 (MET DST)

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Re: <nettime> Sentient Experiment #1.1

from: "David Reed" <>
subject: Re: <nettime> Sentient Experiment #1.1
date: Wed, 27 May 1998 14:15:05 +0100

You might be interested to know, if you don't already but this experiment
was invented by Philip K Dick in a novel, a group of people played a game to
translate and retranslate phrases. The only bit I can remember is Ernest
Hemmingway became Serious Constrictingpath

More on your main bit:

TS Eliot (and others) had it that poetry (and creative act will do) is not
creative, but rather a distillative action. We experience, and that
experience is transformed into creativity. I don't necessarily agree BUT it
does open a way for a creative machine. Let it live a little then tell of
its experiences.

< Original Message Snipped >

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date: Wed, May 27 1998 16:54:33 GMT+0100 
subject: Re: <nettime> Sentient Experiment #1.1

<> automates this for up to 
five translation steps; <>
is a babelfish-enabled "chat room" that allows people to read and write
in their preferred language. There was a lot of this compound tranla-
tion stuff going on when Babelfish first appeared, last winter or so.
For example, dredged up from an archive somewhere, Beatle's lyrics:

   I was, I made an idiom, I not only knew, which there I would find.

   I am connection by the drilling, which the rain uses and stops my
   wandering spirit where it will disappear.

   I has a girl or would have it, that the legend of I to have it has
   me in the past in the past to have.

Or a White House press release that sounds like Kim Jong Il:

> Not that I have any particular love for the North Korean government
> but other than the clunky prose due to poor translation, how different
> is it from the pronouncements of any government, including our own.
> For instance, feeding a random chunk of text from
> to Babelfish to give it the right feel, we get:
>     In French: President Clinton, February 4, 1997
>     February 4, 1997, President Clinton presented a
>     "ambitious call to the action " in the first
>     state of the union of his second limit. Because
>     the congress raises this November, the recording
>     is clear. President Clinton led the
>     congressional agendas this year, achieving the
>     majority of very which it started to make ten
>     months ago.

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