Friday, April 6, 2012

Science Fiction Hors D'oeuvres

The late Christopher Hitchens said that everyone has a novel inside them, and in most cases that's where it should stay. In fictions of ideas, what's more common than rotten-to-the-core ideas is ideas that are kind of cool but might not merit a full development. The Idea Bird is a new tumbler specializing in bookless book blurbs. My favorite so far:

A scientist uses atomic decay detectors to build an insane quantity of random word generators, then speaks a question out loud. An insane quantity of software filters finds the generators which randomly give the most relevant answers. Bad generators are weeded out as "unlucky" and replaced. This goes on at computer speeds as long as it takes until there is one random generator that answers reliably 99.9% percent of the time. Since the spoken questions have no effect on random words pulled from atomic decay, the scientist announces the generator is indistinguishable from a sentient being, perhaps even God.

More here.

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