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Writer's Block Demolition By Mechanised Vast Chimp Simulation

Word processor on which text appears when launched
  [vote for,

Back in the day, I came up with a program which produced an endless scroll of pseudorandom nonsense Finnish text on a home micro. Since I don't know much Finnish, for all I know it might have been the Great Finnish Novel but it probably wasn't.

It's also been said that sculpture is easy: you start with a cuboid block of stone and simply chip away everything which is not Aphrodite or whatever. To this end, I have written a page consisting of alternate "BLUE" and "ULBE", with the idea that you edit the page until it says something meaningful.

Gene Fowler once famously said "Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead", naturally a reference to writer's block.

As you can see from this idea, my weakness is that I am unable to experience writer's block and instead just go on and on inanely. Nonetheless there are many people who do experience it. This is presumably often manifested nowadays by the prospective writer launching their word processor to be greeted with a daunting blank page. Lucky them I think. But anyway, suppose instead of that your word processor produces a random collection of text, working thus:

Firstly, assuming the writer to be English, an algorithm generates arbitrary text which corresponds to the rules of English spelling, word length and the like but is mainly nonsense. It then takes that text and "chips away" at it by running it through a very liberal spellchecker until as many words as possible look at least a bit like actual English words. After that, it identifies the possible parts of speech the words can represent. Then it rearranges the words until they're recognisable phrases and places punctuation appropriately, produces a text file and loads it into the word processor, thereby providing the prospective writer with a pre-written but inspiring gibberish, which can then be edited to produce sensible passages of English.

Also useful for lorem ipsum (except for the fact that it isn't as apparently meaningless).

nineteenthly, Aug 26 2017


       Given how formulaic much of today's fiction is, a writer might as well just do a Save As and start slightly adjusting sentences.
theircompetitor, Aug 26 2017

       // I came up with a program which produced an endless scroll of pseudorandom nonsense //   

       ... and then linked it to a halfbakery account with username [nineteenthly] ....
8th of 7, Aug 26 2017

       //When I was teaching// Oh my god, you poor man! I had no idea...
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 26 2017

       Tämä ei ole suomen kielellä.
nineteenthly, Aug 26 2017

       Joten, se on keskeneräinen?
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 26 2017

       Sounds like [nineteenthly] has a system where it's easier to start writing but harder to Finnish.
AusCan531, Aug 26 2017

       Writer's block is God's way of telling you to go and do something else for a bit.
pertinax, Aug 26 2017

       I'm not convinced it's doing a good job of translating stuff into Finnish for a start, so I'm not sure Google will be able to do that, but what might happen is that our own expectations and tastes will adjust to what AI produces.   

       If writer's block is telling people to do something else for a bit, my future will consist of being immured in a vast warehouse covered in my own graffiti.
nineteenthly, Aug 27 2017

       ?Que? (Yes, I know, that first one should be upside-down, but never mind).   

       I mean, you said you never got writer's block. So, by implication, the graffiti-warehouse-prison experience is something that's going to happen anyway. Unless it's something that will be done to you by a flash-mob of suddenly-disillusioned poetasters, who can't think of anything else else [dittography intended] to do when writer's-blocked.
pertinax, Aug 27 2017

       No. To suffer from writer's block, you must first make the unwise existential choice "I am a writer". The wiser alternative, of course, is to *do* writing as and when you have something to write, and lose the idea of *being* a writer.   

       Marshall Macluhan made an observation on this subject in the sixties, but no-one was paying attention.
pertinax, Aug 27 2017

       // There must be a whole load of other 'thing'-ers block, or 'thing'-ing block situations which we suffer from. //   

       This is correct. For example, many customers to pubs - particularly those who are there as part of a group - are known to suffer from "payer's block", a condition that causes them to be entirely unable to put their hand in their pocket and buy a round of drinks.   

       Sadly, this symptom is almost always misdiagnosed as "being a miserable tight-fisted cheapskate bastard", whereas in fact they're more deserving of pity than condemnation.
8th of 7, Aug 27 2017

       People can't find their noses or nails at birth either but may later become nose-pickers or nail-biters. Writing is the same, and there is not necessarily a choice. Not writing is not my default. It clearly is others'.
nineteenthly, Aug 27 2017


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