hum,mmm. Okay that’s enough of that. Please forgive my indulgence. Machine translation is so funny I blow chunks. There are few things guarunteed to make me laugh, but feeble and bizarre word substitution is one. Spell checkers can sometimes hit the mark too – like suggesting to change ‘denis’ to ‘tents’.
You know, Philip K. Dick’s most highly acclaimed science fiction novel, The Man In The High Castle had the main character sitting in his work cubicle doing useless things for the bureaucracy day in and day out. The only kick he got was feeding phrases into the computer, translating them into another language, translating them back and passing the newly made cryptic phrase around to co-workers to crack. The book was written in 1962.
Sometimes while looking at the trackback listings of well-patronised weblogs i see pings written in spanish or japanese or lots of other languages, and it makes me wonder what’ll happen with written language via the net. It’s definitely one area where browsers or (more likely) operating systems could use some AI or fuzzy logic. As yesterday’s post shows, current day machine translation is woeful (apart from the fun-factor).
Was just reminded of that recent incident where an american night club caught fire, and how, by coincidence, there was a small doco crew filming in there at the time. One of the news’ showed the footage of things that looked like larger sparklers on stage. Their brightness got more and more constant. It was sort of mesmerising but in this floaty way, the shot (and the camera person) reversed away from a it all. There was this little voice in my head thinking Hey, go back there I want to see what happens.
This is interesting (and a bit of a coinky-dink). A commenter (l.m. orchard) in this discussion about wikis had pretty much the same thing happen to them as Sir Flakey at Core. The Core wiki was running for roughly six months and (as far as I know) never suffered from meddling. And then over at MacGenius he had his PHP gallery tampered with after only a month or two. It’s funny how there seems to be a fair few web designers who aren’t sure about the open nature of wikis. I think wikis are probably just a bit ahead of their time.
Tony (and his mum) found some research on why songs get stuck in your head. He mentions how he ends up putting new lyrics to the offending tune. That happens to me too! Except i actually like doing it – in particular, Johnny and June Cash’s ‘Jackson’ and ‘Psycho’ by the Beasts of Bourbon. You think I’m psycho don’t you mama?
That’s a great song.
Okay, I was lying about cutting the ramble.
You’re right – the Core Wiki didn’t get messed with. This is akin to computers in the student labs. If you lock them down people will (absoutely guaranteed 100%) break them. If you leave them open they simply don’t bother.
Wiki is a funny thing – I love them – it’s often the simple elegant way which is impressive – BUT people just didn’t make use of the wiki – which is why I removed it from CORE for the moment – Wiki’s are ahead of their time I think.
PS | I am strongly considering grafting some internal Wiki structure onto MacGenius =). MacGenius (in it’s original build – was actually a wiki before it became MT)
Edit Comment / Delete Comment Block IP 22.214.171.124 / Block IP range 144.132.163.*
name: yak sox
Yeah, another of the coments mentioned that they work well when given a clearly defined and not too open-ended purpose.
One of these MT plugins makes a little use of the Wiki formatting (for tables) and I seem to remember the word ‘tiki’ in relation to Blosxom too.