"I spent an interesting evening recently with a grain of salt"
February 9, 2002 1:50 PM   Subscribe

"I spent an interesting evening recently with a grain of salt" This could explain a lot....computer generated, no less.
posted by bunnyfire (13 comments total)
Mark V. Shaney ~= Markov Chain. Clever.

I highly recommend using Markov Chains on that annoying exec who keeps sending inspirational ALL messages. In fact, can someone pump out out random MeFi for us?
posted by maschnitz at 2:18 PM on February 9, 2002

OK, that's it: all MeFi members who are actually Markov text generators, time to fess up.
posted by ook at 2:50 PM on February 9, 2002

Is it real or it is morbid? If you have to ask Ook, you'll never know. =)
posted by ZachsMind at 2:53 PM on February 9, 2002

This reminds me of Frank. I had written a chat room for a wireless device, and oddly enough, it eventually turned into a cyber sex arena. In order to combat this, a friend and I would have long discussions about hooking webtv up to ethernet -- it usually flooded the sex-starved mobile users to the point where they didn't want to "play anymore." The only problem was, my friend and I couldn't be there all the time.
So I took my daily journal (random sentances from hundreds of other journals) and created Frank. Whenever someone said "hi" or any of the "dirty words" on our list, Frank said something. Most of the time it didn't make much sense, but sometimes it was eerily appropriate.
The users eventually ended up hating Frank, asking to have him "kicked off" because he was annoying them, and some of them even tried getting.. intimate with him.
The cyber sex stopped, and Frank lived on peacefully for some time. Very few people figured out he wasn't a real person.
posted by fnirt at 3:06 PM on February 9, 2002

skallas: Wow, Penn Jillette isn't illiterate.

Geez, that's a cheap, unfounded thing to say: every time I've heard him speak outside the scripted patter of his magic gig- such as on Politically Incorrect- he's come across as a very intelligent, thoughtful, rational person. I mean, really- where the fawk did your anti-Jillette stance come from?!
posted by hincandenza at 3:50 PM on February 9, 2002

Wow, that article was written in 1991, and people already hated emoticons? I feel like such a Johnny-come-lately.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:16 PM on February 9, 2002


Read Penn's tour diary entries. They're really good. This one's my favorite, followed closely by this one.
posted by Optamystic at 5:24 PM on February 9, 2002

Its true you do learn something new everyday.

Yeah, like wouldn't it be funny if we learned that Teller isn't really mute but can actually talk? Just imagine!
posted by MrBaliHai at 5:25 PM on February 9, 2002

I think my favorite Penn-penned online piece was when his body learned it could fly. He captured the experience so well I felt like I knew what he'd been through after I read it. I don't. My body doesn't know it can fly, but it was that great a read.
posted by ZachsMind at 5:35 PM on February 9, 2002

My husband's body has learned it can fly too...seriously-check the previous Penn link....he's been on the vomit comet too!

Man, we live in a meta world.........
posted by bunnyfire at 6:55 PM on February 9, 2002

OK, that's it: all MeFi members who are actually Markov text generators, time to fess up.
posted by darukaru at 9:05 PM on February 9, 2002

Amazingly, it's ten years since this article (when everyone thought Usenet messages were ephemerally lost to history), and you can now look up some of Mark V. Shaney's posts. This is my favorite so far.

I tried to mail this but it bears re-stating: what an IQ test measures is but a tiny fraction of a Koan. If the buffalo runs, he will fall into the trench; If he returns, he will be able to answer: "Is Love a sexually transmitted disease?" Please mail answer, with check or money order for a good fellow feeling so poorly.

I will admit that I will donate to anyone out there on the net of people who were also friends of mine. I had mixed feelings upon reading about Kate Bush every day. It's like self-contradictory :-). Maybe there is this subtle difference in the "Dictionary of Graffiti". I notice a subtle difference in the same title. Does this mean its over?

Mark V. Shaney had some superficial resemblances to another net.personality who came along a little later, but seems to have been entirely human: Mark Ethan Smith (MES).
posted by dhartung at 10:17 PM on February 9, 2002

Here's the link to MegaHAL who darukaru was quoting.


posted by straight at 8:11 AM on February 11, 2002

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