Saturday, February 18, 2012

A computer could write this blog

The Secret Chiefs of the Golden Dawn will see you now.
I am a writer---I think that most of my readers know this. And I read lots of blogs, including some in the publishing/writing field. Today, I was reading a blog post over on Galleycat about how Forbes has joined the horde of 30 companies now using the Narrative Science software to write their stories.

(Yes, I have decided that a group of 30 companies is a horde. It is either a horde or a government. And either way, you are probably not going to like what they are doing.)

Anyway, I find myself wondering if I could be replaced by a computer program. Could a computer write this blog? Would you be able to tell the difference?

And in my case, yes---a computer could write as intelligently as I do; after all, most of my jokes are not funny. Just throw in a whining attitude and a few cat photos and BLAM! you would not be able to tell the difference.

Come to think of it, there are several other bloggers you could replace with a whiny attitude and a few pictures. No names mentioned---you know who they are. Heck, the entire esoteric blogosphere could be replaced by a machine. It is not like you cannot predict what various bloggers and commenters are going to say. It can't be that hard to program a computer to do the writing instead. For that matter, we could replace all those pesky Secret Chiefs with a computer too---it is not like most of us would know the difference provided that they continued to take our money.

Don't believe me?! Just think about the number of books that you have read that are just rip-offs of Agrippa, Regardie or Crowley. Think of the number of Golden Dawn websites that are just clones of these writers. (I am beginning to believe that Agrippa is the most pirated occult writer in history.)

And the critics of this cloning---the Secret Restoration Crowd---who argue that we must change everything, so that everything is absolutely secret, you have read their posts also, right? You can predict what they are going to say next, right?

See, we could all be replaced with computers, the entire occult blogosphere. And given the amount of time that some of us spend on this stuff, we should really encourage someone to write a computer program to replace us. I wonder if I could raise money on Kickstarter to do this project.

Most anonymous blogs could be written by machines.


Scott Stenwick said...

I'm imagining a "Secret Chiefs" version of ELIZA. Whenever it gets something it can't parse (the "hedge" condition) it would reply with "That's above your degree" or something similar. Otherwise it just rephrases what you ask it, like the regular ELIZA does.

If well-written, that could be some seruious comedy gold right there.

J.C. said...

This is a fascinating subject, Morgan. This is the first I've heard of it.
I think there is a philosophical argument against a computer being able to write on the nature of spiritual practices. A computer could certainly be programmed to generate a mish-mash of already written ideas that it harvested from occult books from a Google search. A computer program could certainly be written to present itself as superior to all others, even in the light of empirical evidence that proves otherwise. However, I don't believe a computer is qualified to generate genuine spiritual insight or provide experiences based on spiritual experiences. On the other hand, I'm sure a computer could be used to fabricate a story of a spiritual experience that never happened.