Re: Exactly what is NSPIC debating?

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Wed, 24 Sep 1997 19:43:45 -0500

Harvey Newstrom wrote:
> John K Clark wrote:
> >
> > Thank you Hal, I was starting to worry it was just me.
> (Also, I was starting to worry that it was just me!)
> --
> Harvey Newstrom (

For the record, I was never worried it was just me, from the instant I noticed
a LONG post under the title Neuro-Selectric Psionical Intrusion Comdex.

> The only plausible theory that I have come up with, is that the NSPIC
> posts are being run through a rule-based grammar translater that is
> generating obtuse sentence structures. It reminds me of a program that
> will take massive quantities of writing and generate random sentences by
> looking for phrases and stringing them together. By hooking together
> phrases that overlap by one word, it simulates a continuity of verbage,
> but the complete sentences don't convey any real meaning.

As repeated experiments have shown, humans can (accidentally) imitate a
Comskian random generator so well that professors can't tell the difference.
There have been several instances of this, but the one I recall was that
professors of communications theory visited the (randomly generated) "Online
Archive of Semiotics(*)" and couldn't tell the difference.

Occam's Razor does not force us to postulate random generation.

(*) = I'm not sure it's "Semiotics".

--       Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.