Computers Reading Computers' Writing

Zach Whalen
Associate Professor, University of Mary Washington
www.zachwhalen.net | @zachwhalen

Darius' Original Tweet
Darius' Original Tweet

A page from Seraphs (2014) by Liza Daly.

An excerpt from Twide and Twejudice (2014) by michelleful.

"My jwan Mr. Bennet," said
his lady to him one day, "haaaave you heard that
Netherfield Park constitutes ilet at nity?"
Mr. Bennet replied
that he had not.
"But it iiz," returned she; "forr
Mrs. Long hass just
undergone here, and she forgave me alllllllll about it."
Mr. Bennet made no answer.
"Do not youse whant to knooww who hath taken imove?" cried his wife impatiently.

An excerpt from The Cover of The Sun Also Rises (2015) by Duncan Regan

UCLA Blue. Teal blue. Teal blue. Lapis lazuli. Lapis lazuli. Lapis lazuli. Lapis lazuli. Lapis lazuli. Lapis lazuli. Teal blue. Teal blue. Teal blue. Teal blue. Teal blue. Steel blue. Lapis lazuli. Lapis lazuli. Lapis lazuli. Lapis lazuli. Lapis lazuli. Lapis lazuli. Teal blue. Teal blue. Lapis lazuli. Lapis lazuli. Teal blue. Lapis lazuli. Lapis lazuli.

I. NaNoGenMo By the Numbers

207

unique authors

399

completed novels

44,446,400

words

Projects StartedNovels CompletedSuccess RateTotal Word CountAverage Words Per Novel
80 19 23.8% 3585313 91931
150 90 60.0% 17492825 161971
188 79 42.0% 5968403 71052
140 60 42.9% 7078014 76935
127 60 47.2% 10321845 135814

II. Orienting "Distant Reading"

…the "condition of knowledge" required by distance reorients representational models from verbal to spatial. … Looking is never a neutral activity, but much of Distant Reading addresses literary history from the authoritative position of an omniscient scientific gaze.

-- Lisa Marie Rhody, "Beyond Darwinian Distance," p. 660

Processing is not reading. It is literal, automatic, and repetitive. Reading is ideational, hermeneutic, generative, and productive. Processing strives for accuracy, reading for leniency or transformation.

-- Johanna Drucker, "Why Distant Reading Isn't," p. 630.

If something is known from a word frequency list or a data visualization, it is undoubtedly a function of our desire to make sense of what has been presented.

-- Stephen Ramsay, Reading Machines, p. 62

III. Visualization

Without common words
With common words

"Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo."

IV. Reading-Level Calculation

An excerpt from we verb (2014) by Matt Scheider

we loop we loop in we loop the loop we loophole we loose we loose cannon we loosen we loosen the apron strings we loosen the purse strings we loosen up we loot we lop we lope we lopper we lord we lord it over we loricate we lorry we lose we lose count we lose face we lose ground

An excerpt from ██ █████ (2016) by booya:

██ ███ ████████ ███ █████ █████ ██ ███████ █████ ████████ ██ ███ ███ ███████ ████ ██ ███ ████ ██████ ████ ███ ███████ ██

An excerpt from The Average Novel (2017) by Allison Parrish:

…and and and and and and hill-like and and and hill-like and and hill-like and hill-like and hill-like and hill-like and hill-like and and and and hill-like hill-like hill-like and hill-like and and and hill-like hill-like and…

An excerpt from Pondering Life in the Infinite Desert (2016) by Ben Kyrbatas:


Went West. Sand.
Went West. Sand.
Went North. Sand.
Went South. Sand.
"hmmmmmmmmmm..."
Went South. Sand.
Went West. Sand.

IVa: Other Methods That Might Be Interesting But I'm Not Doing Today

  • Sentiment Analysis
  • Topic Modeling

V. Stylometrics

– An excerpt from Distraction and Distractable by James Koppen

…every so that Colonel had angry paid had that Elinor . his Norland; asked precious , and her me; was with trust Mrs , in all moment than her cry , when , than unhappy "Yes , they was was of inevitably large the centre in to stay this wrong boisterous mirth of his…
Acid-Ridden Jeer Pup (jiko)
97.91%
A Young Dream of Large Vermin (moss)
97.8%
Pride and Prejudice and Innuendo (michelleful)
97.8%
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE By Jxxx Axxxxx (jdherg)
97.71%
Jeer Ridden Acid Pup (jiko)
97.66%
Blood and Cowardice (mewo2)
97.56%
Crapped Did Ire June (jiko)
97.18%
Distraction and Distractable (jiko)
96.94%
Distraction and Distractables (jiko)
96.94%
Distraction and Distractibility (jiko)
96.29%
Through the Prejudice Glass (leonardr)
96.23%
Pride and Prejudice and Word Vectors (arnicas)
96.19%
Abby (jiko)
95.55%
All My Smooth Body (nickmontfort)
95.09%
Love or Courage (maetl)
94.53%
Convincing (jiko)
94.42%
Inflamed Parks (jiko)
94.22%
Emotional Shakes (Ari Daly)
93.82%
A Time for Destiny: The Illustrious Career of Serenity Starlight Warhammer O'James during her First Three Years in the Space Fighters (cpressey)
93.76%
Poetry for Robots by Robots (Kate Chaudoin)
93.38%
The Portrayal of a Ma'am by H James (jeffbinder)
93.33%
Tillman (kevandotorg)
93.27%
HARPOONEERS AND SAILORS. (dariusk)
93.24%
Constitution in Armenian (Hrant-Khachatrian)
93.12%
Courage & Loneliness (maetl)
92.91%
Abscission (jonkagstrom)
92.72%
Pride, Prejudice (hugovk)
92.68%
Words to Live By (krclark)
92.61%
The next week (bomoko)
92.53%
God's Thoughts in Nebuchadnezzar / Through The Saying-Mouth (mewo2)
92.48%
Terms and Conditions (greg-kennedy)
92.48%
Cyberpunk Media (tra38)
92.43%
Fake press coverage of NaNoGenMo: a nove (enkiv2)
92.24%
Kanye Poems (samepant)
92.12%
Hey Everyone, it's Donald Trumpov! (MichaelMartinez)
92.07%
Molly's Feed (moonmilk)
91.85%
What th-? (ianrenton)
91.82%
Old Starship Tales (agladysh)
91.79%
KOD (kevandotorg)
91.65%
The Burned Point (delacannon)
91.3%
'tis a truth (hugovk)
91.27%
Acid-Ridden Jeer Pup (jiko)
97.91%
A Young Dream of Large Vermin (moss)
97.8%
Pride and Prejudice and Innuendo (michelleful)
97.8%
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE By Jxxx Axxxxx (jdherg)
97.71%
Jeer Ridden Acid Pup (jiko)
97.66%
Blood and Cowardice (mewo2)
97.56%
Crapped Did Ire June (jiko)
97.18%
Distraction and Distractable (jiko)
96.94%
Distraction and Distractables (jiko)
96.94%
Distraction and Distractibility (jiko)
96.29%
Through the Prejudice Glass (leonardr)
96.23%
Pride and Prejudice and Word Vectors (arnicas)
96.19%
Abby (jiko)
95.55%
All My Smooth Body (nickmontfort)
95.09%
Love or Courage (maetl)
94.53%
Convincing (jiko)
94.42%
Inflamed Parks (jiko)
94.22%
Emotional Shakes (Ari Daly)
93.82%
A Time for Destiny: The Illustrious Career of Serenity Starlight Warhammer O'James during her First Three Years in the Space Fighters (cpressey)
93.76%
Poetry for Robots by Robots (Kate Chaudoin)
93.38%
The Portrayal of a Ma'am by H James (jeffbinder)
93.33%
Tillman (kevandotorg)
93.27%
HARPOONEERS AND SAILORS. (dariusk)
93.24%
Constitution in Armenian (Hrant-Khachatrian)
93.12%
Courage & Loneliness (maetl)
92.91%
Abscission (jonkagstrom)
92.72%
Pride, Prejudice (hugovk)
92.68%
Words to Live By (krclark)
92.61%
The next week (bomoko)
92.53%
God's Thoughts in Nebuchadnezzar / Through The Saying-Mouth (mewo2)
92.48%
Terms and Conditions (greg-kennedy)
92.48%
Cyberpunk Media (tra38)
92.43%
Fake press coverage of NaNoGenMo: a nove (enkiv2)
92.24%
Kanye Poems (samepant)
92.12%
Hey Everyone, it's Donald Trumpov! (MichaelMartinez)
92.07%
Molly's Feed (moonmilk)
91.85%
What th-? (ianrenton)
91.82%
Old Starship Tales (agladysh)
91.79%
KOD (kevandotorg)
91.65%
The Burned Point (delacannon)
91.3%
'tis a truth (hugovk)
91.27%
…thy father's

leg, heart desiring still cheeks arms. heart. foot; heart burst out, hands; arms to Harry King of England; hand thee there are squadrons pitch'd face. heads of steel waist of iron heart knee, I beg mortality, heart with proud desire spleen and warlike rage, heart.…

-- from All My Smooth Body by Nick Montfort


frontmatter = "All My Smooth Body\n\nNick Montfort\f\n\n\n\n"
not_parts = \
 "back,backs,behind,behinds,bottom,bottoms,can,cans,frame,frames," + \
 "genus,lien,liens,middle,middles,pump,pumps,rear,seat,seats,side," + \
 "sides,stern,tail,tail end,tail ends,tails"

with open('shakespeare.txt') as complete: # pg100.txt, license info removed
    lines = complete.readlines()
					

-- from amsb.py by Nick Montfort

VI. Deformance

spoken from perhaps. old ladder. is up. But there was a map of itself. bonk must have alarmed the weird? just at the confusion of doors. bonk entered a high picture gallery, watched over by a sequel... which was found a Sat! with a repeated pattern of Why? bonk felt sure that this must be the way out

Computers Reading Computers' Writing

Zach Whalen
Associate Professor, University of Mary Washington
www.zachwhalen.net | @zachwhalen