Halfbakery: Criticism
Halfbakery Formula   (+9, -4)  [vote for, against]
Grind x and pour y on it, automatically.

Having recently had the text of the halfbakery fed into the innards of a military supercomputer, I have uncovered the following scientific formula for "ideas".

First up, compile a list of random Places, People, Scientific Effects and Events - a list of "Notables", or x.

For example, the x list might look something like:
Richard Nixon
Humpty Dumpty
Easter Island
Geoffrey Boycott
Geoffrey Chaucer

Next, generate a list of household objects, kitchen utensils, appliances etc. A list of "Objects", or y

Vacuum Cleaner
Egg Whisk
Knife Drawer
Washing machine

An (optional) list of feelings, senses, thoughts etc - the "Sensorium", or z list.


For advanced users, a secondary (optional) list of unnecessary attachments, capabilities or attributes - the "Flair" or q list.

Weasel engulfing
Bee Releasing

(a secondary q list can be compiled using a structure that allows the placement at the end of a description)

with Tassels
that Releases Bees
with Beards
that bleeds
that engulfs Weasels
that's Underwater

Having generated your lists, randomly pick an item from each list and slot into one of the following syntecees:

(q1) + x + y (of z) + (q2)
(q1) + (x) + z + y + (q2)

or if you prefer, the less algebraic:

(Flair|Flairing) Notable Object of Sensorium (with Flair|that Flairs)
(Flair|Flairing) (Notable) Sensorium Object (with Flair|that Flairs)
Where () indicates an optional component.

For example:
Tasselled Richard Nixon Fridge of Lies
Bleeding Easter Island Spoon of Destiny, that Releases Bees
Dog Ham
Geoffrey Chaucer's Spade of Brilliance
Schrödinger's Vacuum Cleaner
Geoffrey Boycott's Spoon of Doom
Underwater Gypsy Twisting with Beards

Finally, make up some bollocks that provides (or distracts and confuses the reader to such an extent that they no longer require, understand, or even care for) an explanation - and you're away! Instant croissant heaven.
-- zen_tom, Dec 04 2008

Quasibaked: halfbakery by concatenation http://www.iq0.com/hbconcat.html
[calum, Dec 04 2008]

this set me off looking for this one. Idea_20Dough_20Garage_20Swap
[po, Dec 04 2008]

Succesful ideas authored using this approach - 1 Risk-taking_20estat...agents_20(of_20God)
[hippo, Dec 04 2008]

Succesful ideas authored using this approach - 2 Automatic_20Blow-Ou...e_20of_20Excitement
[hippo, Dec 04 2008]

The Framley Examiner http://www.framleyexaminer.com/
It's news, Jim, but not as we know it..... [8th of 7, Dec 05 2008]

Grind halfbakery and pour rant on it.
-- Spacecoyote, Dec 04 2008

As an addendum to your research I would also propose that an optional 'colloquial' factor be relevant.

Mentions of custard, pirates, ninjas, Internet memes, and other such Zeitgeist in an idea tend to gather attention and votes (either positive or negative) with an exponential decay over time and inversely proportional with respect to its originality (78th custard idea is V= CF/78th likely to get a vote- CF = CroissantFish variable).
-- Jinbish, Dec 04 2008

I feel strangely attracted to 'Geoffrey Boycott's Spoon of Doom'. Tell me more. I must know!
-- DrBob, Dec 04 2008

it's people like you zen_tom that give the bakery a bad name.

-- po, Dec 04 2008

Hmmm - the "Recession Fridge of Truth" actually sounds quite plausible...
-- hippo, Dec 04 2008

[jb] you're not wrong - general Zeitgeistiness could be rolled into the "Notables" list (tangentially, there was a news item in today's paper about a chap who found a binbag filled with approximately £10,000 in ripped up notes - the government said that he could keep it, but it's up to him to jigsaw it all back together again if he wants to spend it - I immediately thought that would make a good problem to put before the 'bakery)

Snap (nonsensical formula) response for [DrBob]
Geoffrey Boycott's Spoon of Doom
Grind leather and pour willow on it.

A large cricket-shaped spoon with which you can threaten your wife.
Contains Dog Ham.

Just to set the record straight - on the one hand, I'm sure I'm not innocent of the crime of formularisation myself - and on the other, an idea that apparently follows the formula isn't necessarily formulaic - I just wanted to raise the concept of the "formulaic idea" into the 'bakery consciousness - and see what we thought about it - after all, sometimes it can be fun.
-- zen_tom, Dec 04 2008

I think the irksomeness that you're experiencing is due to the "ideas for ideas' sake" phenomenon, wherein 'bakers, infused with a genuine and commendable enthusiasm for all things 'baking, tend to submit endless droves of tenuous, uninventive drivel, which they believe - having identified obvious trends (usually successful ones) - will receive widespread praise.

'Bakers new and old are guilty of this; it's the over-eagerness that is the cause, after all. But it still remains frustrating when confronted with so many "ideas" that fit this tired old formula, especially when you come to the bakery to be enthused, enlightened, educated and entertained. Alliteration overload there, but they all convey what I come to the 'bakery for.
-- theleopard, Dec 04 2008

Doesn't calum live in Dogham?
-- bungston, Dec 04 2008

This idea is genius. *pause to connote meaning* And helpful.
-- shapu, Dec 04 2008

... or indeed the Framley Examiner..... <link>
-- 8th of 7, Dec 05 2008

//they all convey what I come to the 'bakery for//

You came here *for* something? I feel like I walked into the wrong pub at seven o'clock, now it's midnight and I know all the regulars.
-- wagster, Dec 05 2008

What am I, the designated driver?

One thing about the formula that concerns me is the randomness. What's required is for the computer to identify similarities between the subjects in the lists in their shape, movement, application, whatever, and then combine them to hilarious effect. This renders the function:

If x = y (by k) then xy = h

where k = a factor like shape/use/action and h = hilarity. So

The algorithm observed x is similar to y in k, so x+y = h


Observation: A pneumatic drill moves back and forth like a woodpecker’s head.
Idea: Make a pneumatic drill in the shape of a woodpecker’s head. Funny.

Observation: The catcher in baseball (wicket keeper equivalent) where’s a ribbed bodyarmour that looks a bit like the keys of a xylophone.
Idea: Make baseball catcher’s bodyarmour also work as a xylophone. Rib-tickling.

Observation: The cork firing from a champagne bottle is a similar action to a human cannonball performing his trick.
Idea: Make champagne corks look like human cannonballs and paint champagne bottles like circus cannons. Droll.

With more information to draw from, the computer can link particular objects to others, like:

Observation: Gas domes look a bit like breasts.
Idea: Add nipple tassles to gas domes. Titular!

Where "nipple tassles" is the added information that the computer draws from its vast knowledge of breasts.
-- theleopard, Dec 05 2008

he he (+)
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Dec 05 2008

"Paris Tasselled Dog Annoyance"

Oh wait - that's baked.
-- wagster, Dec 05 2008

//Doesn't calum live in Dogham?//
To a certain extent.
-- calum, Dec 05 2008

That requires a new formula : x the [z] y

Where x is a list of things to do, and y is a list of people or things that can have things done to them. [z] is an optional device that allows discrimination within group y, as in:

Torture the Urban Snail

x = Torture
y = Snail
z = Urban

(It's starting to look remarkably like the concatenation link up there)

But as you said earlier on, it's not so much the title (which is all the "formula" can practically achieve) but the rhetorical valence transition that counts - and by the way, what is a rhetorical valence transition?

It sounds like it might be something to do with making an argument that's counter to the status-quo, or perhaps starting (or appearing to start) to argue on one side, but switching halfway through. Either that or something about crossing a region in the south of France using dialectic transportation.
-- zen_tom, Dec 17 2008

Is there a browser I can point at this page that will figure out those codes - I looked them up and have come away with something along the lines of finding the subset of custard umbrellas, multiplied by communist tennis courts, divided by all tennis courts and umbrellas. I am decidedly U+2368.

-- zen_tom, Dec 17 2008

random, halfbakery