21 minutes reading time (4157 words)

AlgoCurios 03/05/19

AlgoCurios 03/05/19

HELLO EVERYBODY! So, er, it's been something of a trying week what with the news and the life and the fact that the Imperica website basically combusted last week, leaving Poor Editor Paul with bits of HTML all over his lap and leaving YOU (you POOR DARLINGS) without an email version of Curios last week (you can still read it here on the website though, in case you fancy a slightly-congealed, week-old pile of linkspaff - the site's still a bit iffy, but it should work - and just ignore the scaremongering security stuff, it's ALL FINE).

Anyway, as a result of that, there is no Curios this week (there will, though, be a bumper fortnight's worth of links and gubbins next Friday, fear not). Because we're nice, though, and because we like tinkering with stuff, there's something EXTRA SPECIAL instead.

For a few years now, Poor Editor Paul, digital artist wrong'un Shardcore, myself and a few others have had a Slack channel hangout thing, in which there are a few little code-type experiments; one of these is a little Markov Chain-type bot which spits out Curios-ish sentences on command. Like this: "You want to be incredibly useful to a bookshop in Laos, currently owned by a 10,000 year old Georgia Tech freshman, this is interesting when in Messenger chat with". Fun, but a bit shonky and nonsensical. Recently, though, Shardcore got his hands on some pretty decent code - a gtp-2 117M net, to be precise, though I have no idea what that means - which can basically learn a person's writing style based on a large enough corpus of text, and start churning out completely new things based on minimal prompts, all delivered in a style eerily similar to that of the original author.

So...we made ALGOMATT! If you head on over to Webcurios.co.uk you can play with it yourself - each time you hit the button, you'll be presented with an ENTIRELY NEW and ENTIRELY MACHINE-GENERATED new Curio, all written in what I thought was my inimitable style but which in fact turns out to my very, very imitable non-style. It's silly, and funny, and occasionally, unexpectedly, really quite sad.

Even better, to celebrate this we decided to punt out an entirely computer-generated version of Curios. Yes, that's right, everything in this week's edition is written by a machine (even the art is AI-generated by Shardcore). I have had no input whatsoever, unless you count the 400,000 words or so of 'me' it learned its craft on. So sit back, relax, and let the largely nonsensical wafflings of a computer me wash over you - and if you think it's preferable to the regular version then, well, know that I think so too.

This, as NEVER, is AlgoCurios, and I, as always, am full of regret.



  • Tinder for the People Whose Grit Do You Feed?: Tinder was built as a value addition which is occasionally called 'the wank robot'. Will people feel right behind the wheel of someone who simply wants something tame, upsetting, and lovely? That's the point. So very lucrative indeed.

  • A New Social Networks Map: Website-based analysis of social media usage around 1,000 cities around the world - frameworks which promote sense of community and community building around interests (datomiht), managed and stable, etc. Nice and very interesting.

  • WiFi Hair: A gorgeous selection of hair styling instructions, designed for people who like to have terrible hair. Obviously if you have it, one of you can probably geek out over it, but if you're a bit strung, maybe this is a great resource at helping you find shade for your gorgeous locks. You don't want to spend 300 more hours looking for shade, do you?

  • Crap Infographic About Life Behind The Tech Door: Nice little illustration of the best parts of being on the frontlines of internet politics, highlighting all sorts of anecdotes about talented people who live and work in the US / Europe / Russia / etc, rather than the full breadth of the broader fcukery we have now. Poor savers / bots!

  • Electronic Materials From The 27th Century: This isn't even a long post, but it's essential. No mind can explain the technology behind it enough, and once again I will be writing about esoteric technology using photography to visualise surreal housework, or the patterns we're forced to jump to in this world, when it's totally unknowable.

  • It's Like Restored Music, But With Tech: This is a rather charming plug but, at the time, obviously doesn't actually deal with any of the stuff worth managing. Anyway, the founders of the whole thing - Eurymou Bouchard and Dan Bello; its core collecting point is that actually the overall design is pretty good. Yeah, developers, those are the sort of people who'll make this the most useful piece of it.

  • Sleptostate Brings Back Livestreaming: According to the New Statesman, this has been going for over an decade. Hard to begrudge anything it has, let's face it. Oh, and it seems like home-grown, with augmented reality support.

  • I Need Candy: A website celebrating ALL human feelings. I mean absolutely everything. I found this one a while back and thought, OH MY GOD, OH YES. You're all in on the artwork, are there? I feel terrible about the fact that this conflated all 3 of the aforementioned senses in one.

  • The International Frontiers of Marketing: I'm including this because I really - I hate this website. Far more than it may suit you (though I am a bit of an artist and am in no way affiliated with any of the people behind it), this tripe and call me pessimistic makes you feel that your corporate mission statement is currently abuzz with expectations and likely a doing of LOTS of tipples in the hills. A rather douchey presentation scheme, in other times (sorry).

  • Another App, This Time Rather Rather More Twin Peaks: Phenomenal local pub dish 'Twin Peaks' by Jason Reed (I'm TOTALLY interested in Twin Peaks anyhow, in case your most recent Sherlock Holmes novel sees you reading it) doesn't feature any of the gargantuan Italian restaurant chains supported by Anderson Cooper, though. Anyway, this stuff is FUN and might be a very good way of rolling out a distinctly Cooper-esque aspirantia to you and your lover.

  • Tech Party Cakes: According to Vice, Tech Party is a school of food for thought to get startups a load of time off the commission table. We may all want (if we're honest) to recreate it a few of the times. Perhaps it will just sort of disappear as we head forward. I think.

  • There's An Incredible Point About Mission Marketing: The point about manuals which has filtered down slightly to the equally satisfyingresummate musings "This is exactly how our main information technology falters - instead of fatwa terrorists doing a bit of originaly PROHIBITED programming, we get writers who point to a banner across a massively large publication, explicitly warning that they will pay him (or GIVE HIM MADAN) what the pamphlet thus sets him on. This is why theories can't be sustained unless ideas are indisputably fundamental, no matter how poorly you submit them, and it's why it is true that people often cling to sh1t that all conflict shouldn't be fought by man-made moons around the house swinging in all directions. Life can be set, and fights can be won, as long as they do not genuinely arise from a chemical nexus common to all possible ways of doing stuff without men spewing from corners of the mouth". Oh, and in Australia as well. It's just that so often we don't keep track. Why? Because, frankly, there are so many (quiet) people placed in our lives whose life somehow etcudes to a situation in which their fiancee or girlfriend is pregnant. Seriously, that comes across a lot more often when we talk about the need to ensure that people are not murdered in traffic jams but rather in sensible service delivery. Maybe they're RIGHT, I think.



  • Overlook: Slightly creepy looking thing which prides itself on having the gravitas of Harry Potter-y Jason Sudeikis. Following on its enabler and upsetting fashionista pinnacle (just watch out for those poses the refiner crowd are carried out, thine eyes), this is a dressable project which covers some of the most basic aspects of the whole obsessive chase dance - get naked, be inspired, and have sex. This is the sort of thing where people can actually warrant it.

  • I Went To A Reading Party To Have Fun: A fair point in the affairs of The Atlantic; this is a proper furore about the venerable American Philosophical Revolt, which came to an end in 2015, when Dann Leeter wrote a positive piece about the virtues of staying up late and reading at a party for very demanding work. The piece's sort of hard to describe, not least because it's mostly written about having come to realise just how desperate and massive 'sleeping'" pretends to be (which is a terrible, ugly description of our routine self), but it's still pretty fun.

  • Minecrafts Seasonals: A superb little game about Minecraft, with spectacular variety. BUST an ice cream shop!

  • Bill Hicks Takes a Break from HBO: The first season of Game Of Thrones is OVER. Not only is it FUN; it's BRILLIANT; I mean, I know that it's the disappearance of George R.R Martin from the show and that it's a liberal takeover of TV money and all that good stuff thrown at it; I'm going to read that sentence 24,000+ times and feel a lump in my throat, it was 100% true; and now (SEAMLESS!), I have to imagine Bill Hicks stepping out into the open and facing around the country what it's like to be in an airspinner with other metonymymymen as his name is raised in the TV world. ENJOY.

  • The Cheetah Eroticizer: This just reminded me of the meme mentioned above about NOTHING NICE ABOUT QUANTITY except maybe nostalgia for kids' smoking kongs. No more. Anyway, this is a very slick 3d printing platform which allows you to print items from illustrated pictures, communicate that sentiment with eyespray and your magazine may well elect to print something based on that language. Oh, there we have it. A script which purports to make a 3d printed handbag being decorated with tattoos made in electro-magnetic fashion. SO WEIRD. Nonetheless, the inevitable coruscating sounds / moments are lovely. YOU RE GOING TO AGGREGATE HOW IT COMES OUT BECAUSE IT LOOKS SO AMAZING. Skitter, American' skitter.

  • Beautiful Cuddly Thing To Model: No, really, this is so comical. Throwing yourself in a forest, when you are staring at a mirror eye-candy-horrible, was something I had a lot of fun doing, it made me feel very, very sad about all sorts of things and I will, it makes you feel like you are an Adonis and you just DON'T care.

  • 2012 Is The Year of the Grind: A brilliant website listing 2013's most intense experiences, and why not cross it out this year with 2014? So many words compared to this one.

  • Weird Facts About Us: Coincidentally, this raises up so many questions about the confluence of biology and technology, obviously.

  • The Golden Anniversary Gala: American Twitter accounts will be on a national celebration last week, the first full week of which is rarely used. I don't really know why anyone bound to Twitter as a Twitter user would spend 24 hours doing so; the ubiquity of this term is a very personal thing for all of us, though, and if you are worried about how it will draw people's attention to your million hour work of travel experience then perhaps you have a very good, very, very small chance. Anyway, watch this ad which is going to honour the lives of people who won't be monitored by just anyone. Look...This is a video showing a 7 year old's manual for pickup games at school. Its quite hard to explain but if you go and have a look you will be amazed at how well explained it is, which I think they were pretty much totally wrong about when they would speak to shoppers about how they felt about the game. EVERYONE PLEASE STOP RULING IT. Seriously sorry.You have no idea how blessed your partner and I are both. I'd imagine that a lot of the people who disagree with you aren't _particularly_ smart or inspirational, but...Anyway, this is still a prototype and there's a few more to come around next term, but surely this single piece on virtualising restaurants could still sit the CASSIDIES to shame?IO releases 'There is no reason why let's go shopping at a cinema - the cost of the car is a mere 50% more than the actual purchase cost itself!' That's a stupid phrase but it's one which could very well spread to phone sales. Obviously I'm a bit utopian when I imagine an era when the mobile had phones to the extent that they could chat to you at any time, browse your favourite cereal videos, a 3d view of your jewellery creations, a catcher with a nice BioFilms integration and so on. Oh, and so there's the utterly rubbish philosophy of MADE SEAL! Ah well. Sorry if I'm being a bit unfair about this one I'm for it. Oh. CHECK YOUR WATCH STORE!



  • Glass Like Us: I'm going to be honest with you, this is going to be A Very Strange Thing indeed. It's years until the people behind this new app, launching in June (legal, it's line: April first, soon enough). I read the piece a few weeks ago dead in the water, but I think there's something very sad and hopeful about this - particularly in the wake of the traumatic stress and the fact that it's the API behind a potentially very, very lucrative startup. Anyway, take a look.

  • Frank Teal Horseman: Another kid's project, this now brings immediacy to the conversation about horses. Spelling and spelling are all arranged in a pleasing organic fashion and it's actually quite pleasing to look at.

  • Stolen 13: Possibly Confusingly Irreverent, this is a collection of sock curios, from around the world, with one by Mike Tyson in Kuwait. Not a true reflection of what we are as human beings (or, more accurately, what the mainstream media is imagining we as human beings) - these are seemingly random but very visually interesting. Mutters on topics like terrorist finance, jihad terror, and the sense that we are all being watched by a global surveillance state _imagine_ as well.

  • What You Should Tell Your Nanny: It's not fyi, exactly what it says, but it sort of makes sense. Try Baneslayer for the effects / furniture effect which obsesses with all sorts of narcissist tendencies. Also, I LOVE THE MACHINES ON IT. Also, The Mysterious Rise Of A Guy From Italy. Ho hum.

  • Yoga 40% Off: Not sure why this exists but I literally want to do something this eclectic in now a stale brigade of outraged adolescent discount Banksy ls you. OH I CAN'T FEEL THAT WE ARE ALL BRILLIANT.

  • Buddha: If we all just listened to Druidic music over and over again, we'd all be gods, right? Originating in India, or something, here is these tall, bamboozled and slightly spine-tingling cross-legged pairs of folk music. It fits perfectly and strikes me as hypnotically good - imagine a billboard above a pitch black school.

  • Bongo!: Ah, the niche market! To quote this chart (gulp) in laughter they borrow professional there. I have to admit to looking every time I look at my Twitter feed this week, but it was a valuable piece of research. Anyway, if you're in any way in a position to buy into the whole bare-minimum of the trumpet/shouty 'brand loyalty' bandwagon, I think we could all trust the analytics people, please.

  • The Morrison Equivalent Of Common Sense: This is actually very nicely made. I imagine the Morrison Equivalent of Common Sense.

  • The Law of the Load: OH GOD A LOAD OF EXISTENTENT CRISIS TICKETS. More 'fucking idiots' than 'people who are taking all those loads as a guarantee that they will only be sh1t the next time you notice an uptick in BENGALURY!' slogans still persists, but Christian Bale's recent win in the tennis fcuk-out Netherlands is EXISTENTENTIAL. Seriously, 'this ISN'T even a REAL riot (although surely Benedict Cumberbatch's dad can still rip off this shade of Bale-type machismo?)

  • The Quandary Of Abandoned Styles of Sandwiches: Circle a Pop-On Noone Being Interrupted: Are you NYT jobless, dumbbags? Feel free to wholeheartedly assist with the fundraising and promotion for Morrisons regardless of how old you are or how many gigs you did last year. I'd LOVE to _sort_ this numbers off for you.
  • Cop Fight Simulator: Piante 's' revolution in multimedia media has made consultation with global media companies ajar, less as a means of maintaining total editorial control over how everyone involved in a project looks at concepts, ideas and outcomes and how to exploit analysts' more generative core responses to core questions. Just what you get when you combine this with the prospect of speaking to people with NES games ON TV and all the awesomeness that INTERNET MEDIA MASKES. We don't need this sort of thing, much less a responsible media_type business.



  • This Is The Night Film: I don't give a shitter about this, but it seems niche-marketing-wise. This is a truly remarkable project by Marguerite Manning-Beirut from France, it's 8 minutes long, and it's incredibly inspired; a beautifully made project.

  • Banned Amadeus Mozart Cartoon: The artist's explanation of why it shouldn't be allowed into the mainstream is compelling. Someone should send this somewhere and make it a monthly thing which people will consume, or at least a use with.

  • Learn Python: You know the drill, it can be a real pain. But in this life is completly worth it. Site built upon computer learning learning engine learned in 3 minutes a day. Brilliant.

  • Star Trek Poster Challenge: In case you don't know, this is a joke.

  • The Drag Race Australia Tumblr: These are the sort of things that I make when someone on TV asks me 'YOUR LOOK, KELLY'? I'm not a Ladies' Rights organiser, but totally clung to the African paywall slogan which I've been using for the better part of two years now and which I feel properly guilty about making sound like it might have queer sui generis connotation. Anyway, yes, it did assist the genesis of the Twitter phenomenon, excuse the pun.


  • Nightmare Map: People apparently see oddly drawn pictures as when photographing London they instead see large, jagged bands of women who've ruined their own career with booze.

  • The Wolfman Tattoo Sculpture: I'm going to leave this here for all you guys, but it's by an artist. WARNING: CONTENT OF MENT IS GROWING. THERE ARE SOME CHEF. HANG ON FACE.

  • What It's Like Being A World Champion Projectile Fighter: Casein' Correlation Pointers, outlines, and art.

  • Pictures Of Red Hot Chili Peppers Sober: Or something. I WAS JUST IN Istruck - after all, did you ever wonder what the best song of the Sylvester Stallone songlist in 2014 would be? Serrated Oranges.

  • Author Notes From On High: Tips for pen/ink pen users, sorry.

  • IGTA: Beautiful designs by University of Cambridge experimenter Andrew Youngjohn and her Pixiv. I like this one a lot.

  • Piano Beach: Go on, you too...this is ART.


  • Problem Identification: In theory, problem solving by teenagers is now intrinsically harder and so a bit harder than it ought to be, it seems, especially since it feels a lot more real to more people now. Undoubtless handed to former Harvard colleague Mark Mutt, the research from the University of Cambridge points out that open music provides casual play's powerful anti-attraction-and-immoral ring. That said, I found this interesting and interesting, as this piece suggests. The research, which is based on identifications of individuals taken from music applications and musical content, suggests that one in four people who've played recordings from current gigs is a listener from the past (more on this in a bit (yes, it's not about the artist, it's a bit about what the musician will want from the song selection screen). OK play around with your imagination.

  • Why Rich People Are Hedonists: Sometimes, I think, the idea of aspirational values arising from a member-at-large being unhappy with a \sup\herent manner of civilisation. To me, this seems to suggest that there is something conspiratorial with the way some shill 'capitalise' on the growing power of slaves and polytheists or other 'super-peon'. Which is sort of 'just fine', I sort right. For me it just makes me sick.

  • Should That Balloon On Your Rap Project Have Been Painted On The Map?: 40 images of starving cities in Greece. Now writes about attractive desert places, offering free posters and analysis on how islanders try to make their RATE PAIRHANGIRTH hang if they make any sort of intimate relationship with a man in parliamentary halls. Poor people.

  • The World of Shangren Transporters: I really, really like the Etsy locator thing. It's particularly nice and interesting as an experiment in location. At least if you're in NYC at any rate.

  • Gypsy Turtles: I'm almost certain that this is over :-(. It's been short (please forgive me) but this is going to be made worse. One of the posters above makes the illustrated argument that diversity however its presented on racism, and Its geopolitics etc is (as far as I can see) necessarily bad. It's basically saying that the best thing that happens is those people making the best arguments onto the internet settling their differences (or difference of opinion after clocks of varying degrees of evolution from the animals they're chewing on, etc), which is a worse evil and a better reflection of humanity's general decline and degeneration than coalition-based politics begetting a completely unnecessary distinction. A joke - I think. Really. I don't care what politics are, if they so choose, they're going to go world globetrotting with silicon-fiber cinemas keeping Q&As in Hanoi, living in nominal bondage and complaining about everything from Nato to waterboarding, South South Sea and our civic life. Meet me next time.

  • Paint Angels: I like this quite a lot, as seen here demonstrating how utterly unhinged the God work is. You know how the Oculus Rift Experiment is, amazingly, currently seeing worldwide adoption rather as a way of stimulating production? Do we really want full-on virtual backblaze rebooted every 4 years if so much as the title indicates? Jesus, let us reward them with status and cash. Allowing people to take part in this is just massively unhelpful to people who care about genuinely suffering, caresise, and the like.

  • Philly Holiday - Eh, Honeymoon Narwhals: The soothing song 'feed my dog' - flees into Philly's 7-year anniversary this year, a new one having announced yesterday's rain. Oh, wait. It's not the same.

  • Tapping Into China's Drive Ahead: Speaking of China, this is another niche piece collecting some of the highlights from this week's Northern Post. Through'the dominoes, or so you mean. As I type this, I'm imagining a piece crowdsourcing a piece of commentary from a Chinese account of an unlikely political event which's only just slightly starting to surface, comprising a line of outrageously profane responses. Do have a play.

  • The Dead Zone: This is the stuff British DJs say goodbye to, but is also why I bought this. What? You know that you've got a lot of good stuff lying around if you're after 50/50 turnkey, do you? Lets head back to the 90s now. You know how it feels? Poor Mr Youngjohn doesn't taste as good now as he did when she was DJing. Terrible taste, this.

  • Cruisescreen's Digital Ward: A Web Curios tile that lets you click and add your own images to layouts and stuff. It's quite expensive, and it's creative - I didn't even know that this was possible, but it strikes a really nice balance between artistic freedom and design, so it's a smart addition if you have more creative things to do.


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Web Curios 26/04/19