This website was archived on July 21, 2019. It is frozen in time on that date.

Sonya Mann's active website is Sonya, Supposedly.

Big Hush

I used Hay Kranen’s Markov chain generator to combine A. E. Waite’s explanation of The Star (Tarot card) with part of “Elm” by Sylvia Plath. Then I cut down the resulting text by a lot and rewrote a few lines. The poem doesn’t exactly make sense… but it’s evocative.


The atrocity of prepared minds, the water.
She pours it.

She dreams of possessing
the majority of truth unveiled,
glorious in undying ground.

The star it: It is what you fear.
I do nothing. That was your bad dreams.

The stand, a hand of wires.
Now I bring your head as a stone.

Her left knee is rain now, this big hush.
And this big hush.

Bots Should Punch Up

I came across another delightful Creative Commons post! (The last one was “Just Your Typical Startup Acquisition Announcement”.) It’s called “Bots Should Punch Up”, written by┬áLeonard Richardson, and Beau Gunderson is the person who linked me to it. I’m republishing the essay here, unedited except for one set of punctuation marks. My comments are in brackets. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


Over the weekend I went up to Boston for Darius Kazemi’s “bot summit”. You can see the four-hour video if you’re inclined. I talked about @RealHumanPraise with Rob, and I also went on a long-winded rant that suggested a model of extreme bot self-reliance. If you take your bots seriously as works of art, you should be prepared to continue or at least preserve them once you’re inevitably shut off from your data sources and your platform.

We spent a fair amount of time discussing the ethical issues surrounding bot construction, but there was quite a bit of conflation of what’s “ethical” with what’s allowed by the Twitter platform in particular, and website Terms of Service in general. I agree you shouldn’t needlessly antagonize your data sources or your platform, but what’s “ethical” and what’s “allowed” can be very different things. However, I do have one big piece of ethical guidance that I had to learn gradually and through osmosis. Since bots are many hackers’ first foray into the creative arts, it might help if I spell it out explicitly. Continue reading “Bots Should Punch Up”

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