Author Topic: [GASM] Robotic High Weirdness by Mail  (Read 7835 times)

Cramulus

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Re: [GASM] Robotic High Weirdness by Mail
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2009, 04:59:15 pm »
Hmmm, we might want to hone this idea down a bit...

let's commit to only sending post cards by mail. I think that's the most efficient, because we get a full color image and about ten lines of text. It's also the cheapest way to do it, at 52 cents a post card (instead of a buck a letter).

let's clarify what the bot is doing:

the bot would generate a post card like this
  -it would randomly select an image tagged with delicious
  -it would randomly generate text on the card based on our rules.


some of the post cards would seem coherent but have a surreal twist.
some of the post cards would seem incoherent but actually contain some info about the project
some of the post cards would use cold readings to ramp up paranoia, alluding to the greater Discordian conspiracy
some of the post cards would suggest a course of action or research which will lead to Discordia
some of the post cards would point the user at an online mission interface where we could string them along further... but maybe we should hold off on talking too deeply about that, as it's sort of a separate project.


we should of course make sure that some journalists and media personalities' addresses get in our database

Roko's Modern Basilisk

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Re: [GASM] Robotic High Weirdness by Mail
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2009, 05:25:12 pm »
A significant number of the listed factors can be found in the memebomb DB, which I can certainly troll through. Random flickr images can be done, but it might be a better idea to troll through some creative-commons or public-domain image database just to avoid copyright issues.

We could also have a database of images to choose from (a subset of all my cached images, paired with random memebombs, should make for a couple thousand unique combinations if we filter out the obscene ones, so I don't think this will be super-awful. We can also probably take a bunch of images from the pics thread and salt them with more 'normal' ones).

Cramulus

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Re: [GASM] Robotic High Weirdness by Mail
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2009, 05:31:27 pm »
we really don't need to worry about copyright, there's nothing illegal about printing out an image and mailing it to a stranger.

for images - I figured we'd select maybe 20 or 30 images tops and tag them on delicious. Then the bot selects a random one from the set of images tagged RHWMGASM. The advantage of doing it this way is that we'll be able to change the delicious tags and modify what the bot is sending without doing any re-coding


here are some images that I had in mind:
http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/bb163/wompcabal/HIMEOBSISWATCHING.jpg
http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/bb163/wompcabal/VISION.png
http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/bb163/wompcabal/gustavedorestamemora.png
http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/bb163/wompcabal/himeobsscorpie.jpg
http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/bb163/wompcabal/windmill.png
http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/bb163/wompcabal/Stallin.jpg


could be literally anything though

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Re: [GASM] Robotic High Weirdness by Mail
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2009, 07:00:14 pm »
It will give us a bigger database of images, I suppose. Still, I don't know how fair use would apply here, so I'm a little wary.

That said, drawing from the memebomb db would probably be pretty good if we need stuff specifically under ten lines.


Depending on how the images are transferred, it may or may not be easier to have a folder with a bunch of them, rather than using flickr or delicious. We shouldn't need re-coding as long as we can reload the list of available images when necessary.

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Re: [GASM] Robotic High Weirdness by Mail
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2009, 07:54:33 pm »
* this is an awesome idea.

* i agree with cram, we dont need to worry about copyright for this one. the act of copying is protected and it's just making one (1) copy and mailing it to a stranger. i don't see anything wrong with that copyrightwise. attribution might be a different story, but i can't see it doing any harm to just ignore it and not worry about it, in this particular case.

* too bad postful only delivers letters (no postcards) to the Netherlands at a higher price ($1.49).

* where/how do you get a random address?

* is it a problem if the random combination of memebomb/image/text somehow results in something real scary or threatening? or is that just part of the weirdness, and shouldnt happen too often anyway if we take some care.

* also since this thing won't be mailing out postcards that often, and people don't receive something more than once, you dont need 1000s of images, memebombs and complex sentence generators. it just decreases the probability that something awesome will come out. take a look at the twat-o-tron, it's already got a rather big database, but all it does is just stringing a couple of carefully selected sentences together.
so IMO, we select the useful memebombs from the OSMBdb top100 (some may be more suitable for this project than others), and hand select a bunch of awesome pictures, but also no more than 30-50, to keep up the quality.
if you want randomly generated text, go the twat-o-tron route, or maybe use my StringGenerator python class, which is kind of like a generalized framework for twat-o-tron-esque sentence generation. which is still quite powerful.

* personally I'd rather mail random weirdness or small assignments / unwitting O:MF programs than including this into some sort of ARG framework, but that's personal taste. I don't seem to "get" the point of ARGs.

* running AdSense to collect the money is going to pay very little, I'm afraid. it would be nice if we could somehow get the people that receive a postcard to drop a few bucks into the paypal account, but I don't quite see how. maybe linking to a site being completely upfront about it would work best in that case ("this is a project that mails random weirdness to random people. if you liked receiving your weirdness, please consider donating a few dollars. the program works a little something like this. blablabla. also, we are discordians. discordianism is awesome. if you really like receiving weirdness, consider donating your brain to eris discordia."
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Cramulus

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Re: [GASM] Robotic High Weirdness by Mail
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2009, 08:07:23 pm »
* where/how do you get a random address?

good question...

one method would be for a bunch of Americans to type in random addresses from the phone book

actual mailing databases are hard to come by.

As a subset of this prank, we could have it mail random people within a small database. Say... a group of friends, a church congregation, whatever. One by one, everyone in the give receives something mysterious, and they suspect each other of being involved....

but to answer your original question, I don't know.


Quote
* is it a problem if the random combination of memebomb/image/text somehow results in something real scary or threatening? or is that just part of the weirdness, and shouldnt happen too often anyway if we take some care.

I would prefer non threatening / scary meme bombs. Weirdness is scary enough for some people. I know a lot of people that would really lose sleep if they received a surreal postcard in the mail with a message just for them... and no way to figure out where it came from...

also we need to minimize the possibility of someone taking this to the police.

Quote
* personally I'd rather mail random weirdness or small assignments / unwitting O:MF programs than including this into some sort of ARG framework, but that's personal taste. I don't seem to "get" the point of ARGs.

In this case, the point would be to hook them into a series of mysteries, one after another, which eventually leads to the Principia Discordia or the Black Iron Prison or something. Because they had to work to get to that book, it has a higher value. And they will very likely search it for clues, revealing all sorts of stuff via the law of fives... :-P






ooh, possible answer to your first question


we could set up a website in which people can submit addresses to the database.

The site will explain the project and have a donate button...






Maybe the clue will be one gibberish word, somewhere on the weirdness
if they google that word literally, the only result will be our page with the donate button. So if someone investigates really thoroughly, they might be able to figure it out. But most people will remain mystified.

Cramulus

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Re: [GASM] Robotic High Weirdness by Mail
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2009, 08:42:32 pm »
TANGENT WARNING TANGENT WARNING


[000]: Cram: i just had a real evil idea. you know how you can enter an address into google maps. people would be FUCKING FREAKED if the memebomb was overlaid a streetview pic of their house or street. it's a bad idea, i know, but funny
Cramulu1: how do you mean?
[000]: well you have the address, to make the pic, you query google for a streetview image of that address, and then paste the memebomb over it

to clarify: he's talking about a bot that grabs a Google-maps Street View of an address, pastes a meme bomb over that picture, then mails it to that person.

Cramulu1: OOH you know what would be cool? To find an empty parking lot somewhere and paint a meme bomb in it that will be photographed by google earth...  And then link people to those coordinates
Cramulu1: oooooooooh
Cramulu1: WOW
[000]: hm more difficult project
Cramulu1: good idea!
Cramulu1: yeah that's really surreal...


Cramulu1: but we totally could send people a map of the neighborhood. Maybe a randomly placed X marked BUIRED TREASURE
[000]: haha cool
[000]: or link two addresses that are a bit near eachother and tell them to hide an object at the "red thing" on the image. the other card would say to look for a clue near the "red thing"
[000]: assuming there's a red thing. and its not a car or something temporary
Cramulu1: GREAT FUCKING IDEA
Cramulu1: yeah basically make one person leave a package for another person
Cramulu1: tell both people they're participating in some kind of amazing conspiracy
Cramulu1: It might be more complicated to do it this way, but one way to implement it: you mail a random person a letter saying "Hide this card somewhere in public. Then go to this url: http://blablabla". The url has a form which instructs them to describe, in plain language, where they hid the card. When they click submit, it triggers that description to be mailed to another random person in the neighborhood.

In this way, the card would be hid and found and hid again until it hits a "dead end"
   -ie, someone gets a "find it" letter and didn't find it

in that case, we can re-mail the "find it" letter to someone else in the neighborhood

Pariah

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Re: [GASM] Robotic High Weirdness by Mail
« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2009, 10:32:40 pm »
Not really weird or anything but I think Cain's "No Strings Attached Freedom" is one of the better essays written here. Maybe mail that.
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Re: [GASM] Robotic High Weirdness by Mail
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2009, 10:34:17 pm »
Only problem with Google street view is that it can be off by a house or two especially in extremely close quarters.
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Re: [GASM] Robotic High Weirdness by Mail
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2009, 10:46:57 pm »
This whole thread is full of amazingly awesome!

:mittens: to everyone.

Triple Zero

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Re: [GASM] Robotic High Weirdness by Mail
« Reply #25 on: May 25, 2009, 10:01:17 am »
Only problem with Google street view is that it can be off by a house or two especially in extremely close quarters.

yeah, but still recognizable and creepy. a bigger problem would be to actually fetch StreetView images through a google API or reverse engineering. all very possible, but also time-consuming.

current, much easier, idea is to have a cool+weird image for the front of the postcard, selected from a small list of 30-50 images or so (more than enough, since nobody will receive a card twice, and this ensures higher quality images).
and some sort of text for the back of the postcard. could be just a memebomb, but maybe also more.

once that is running we can look at more advanced weirdness.
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Re: [GASM] Robotic High Weirdness by Mail
« Reply #26 on: May 28, 2009, 02:53:35 pm »
this is why i collect random business cards :lulz:

ETA if you need a few just borrow from the free lunch fishbowl at restaurants
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Re: [GASM] Robotic High Weirdness by Mail
« Reply #27 on: May 28, 2009, 05:07:35 pm »
My 30-second search into Google API indicates that they have things for embedding Google Maps and Google Earth thingies in web pages, but I'm not seeing anything that would just let you send a query and get an image back, which is probably what we'd need.
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Triple Zero

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Re: [GASM] Robotic High Weirdness by Mail
« Reply #28 on: May 28, 2009, 05:14:00 pm »
yes that's also what i found. they dont have a public API for that. probably because of copyright. however someone else might have written one. such things are called "scrapers". let's see.

hahahaha they *really* dont like it if you do that, it seems :) check this out

http://igargoyle.com/streetview/
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Re: [GASM] Robotic High Weirdness by Mail
« Reply #29 on: May 28, 2009, 08:46:36 pm »
Addys:

finding specfic and random addresses for businesses/etc is relatively easy online. google a tele/addy directory for a city/state and a category (i got a huge hit for "churches" in Spokane, WA)

not quite sure what the impact/use of sending to a congregation/corporation might be. but with some minor PI techniques, it should be relatively easy (relative to, say, helping a badger give birth) to get a partial list of congregants/employees.

Also (The Tedious Way™): local libraries tend to have a mass of phone directories from many counties and states, which frequently include addresses (unless a body forks a buck fifty to avoid being listed- damn vultures of Ma Bell!). These could be studiously compiled and entered into a database that is randomly selected from.

i really like the idea of issuing to closed social groups so they think one of their own is the perpetrator. i have a former church that's under a lot of duress ATM that i would love to spring this on- may have to do it myself.

Overall, :fuckmittens:!

If my specific services can be used in anyway for this, PM me with details.

[note: lacking programming skill of almost any sort, i'm willing to dig for info on closed social groups, contrive cold reading elements, and gather addresses the boring way. or something else that doesn't involve programming.]
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