Thought pieces

Showerthoughts to researched opinion. May display signs of intelligence.

Adventures in machine-generated text: short-burst creativity, and why classical CS has it wrong

I’ve been reading Robin Sloan’s video game development diary with much interest. Partly because his joy of creation that shines through – and the world desperately needs more of that in these COVID-19 times. But also partly because he’s using machine learning to generate descriptions of castles for his video game. A bit of background: the three people who actually do read this blog of mine (and the significantly largely… Read More »Adventures in machine-generated text: short-burst creativity, and why classical CS has it wrong

What I learned from The Malazan Book of the Fallen

In which I read the Malazan Book of the Fallen as a writer and talk about the things I’ve learned, from handling themes to the tradeoffs of branching storylines to shaved knuckles in the hole.

The Ricepunk Manifesto

As a writer, I am powerless. In the face of armies and governments and media corporations with overblown pundits, I am just one beige soul with a keyboard. But I have my words. And while I cannot dispatch these pocket tyrants, I can perhaps strike back in my own way: with stories. Adding, entertaining, exploring, taking the apathy and incompetence and the petty struggle and turning them into stories worth… Read More »The Ricepunk Manifesto

The Poetry Machine

I’ve always admired the translations of Chinese poetry – I’m no expert on the field, but there are two poets named Du Fu and Li Bai that I really like. They were legendary masters from the Great Tang Dynasty, and (if the translations are accurate), they had a phenomenal talent for freezing a moment and capturing that particular slice of time with their words; their poems read like a string… Read More »The Poetry Machine