Spam Poetry: “Cris-Crossing the Universe”

I have tried my hands at different kinds of experimental internet poetry, and all of the poems turned out to have a dystopic touch or tantalizing hints to some fundamental philosophical truth. Perhaps this says something about 1) The Internet or 2) about my subconsciousness.

Since I have reduced blogging frequency, the number of spam comments plummeted accordingly – from 600 to 150 spam comments in the queue. So it has got harder and harder to find meaningful spam. In addition, there is a new variety: Such comments are not composed of meaningful sentences, but phrases of three or four words are stitched together to form a lengthy comment that sounds like postmodern poetry in its own right.

But I try to rise to the challenge, and even add one more hurdle. Rules for this poem:

  • Each line is a snippet of a spam comment.
  • Snippets must not be edited
  • Only one snippet can be extracted from one spam comment, but not every comment has to be utilized.
  • New: Snippets must be used immediately in the order of spam comments (descending by date), and they must not be re-arranged afterwards.
  • All comments have to be harvested in a single session.

The following lines were taken from about 125 spam comments in the queue on October 1st.

The idea shows through the pamphlet
where people need to respond

temperatures will most likely govern
long-lasting usable cartoon figures

in certain places the floor is sinking
We have a very big problem.

withdrawal insomnia
The arrangement exists because of the persistence

arrangement - persistence

using ontology within all things
There should be one internal link

You’ll be able to move to another location
Could certainly come zombies

A Dreamcatcher bard who have been heard
sober as opposed to
stepping off point
the one that has problems with panic attack

We will dissect too
cris-crossing the universe far far.

cris-crossing the universe

Scattered all over
the location where the profits have been

conspiracy delayed
raving about choosing real humans

our personal fashionable ethos
As opposed to the isolation
produced by Zombie galleries
creating an irritatingly low experience

in the sci fi shooting living space
extremely like black topics

Our favorite self-theory
That particular creep
seriously electrifying

seriously electrifying

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Once, Maurice sent me a link about STEAM, where STEM incorporates the arts. I think your spam poetry should offer a template for future STEAM development, where the scientist designs an experiment to collect data from culture commenting upon itself.

    I am currently in the middle of mid-semester exams, so this post is a real treat in the midst of assignments and lectures. I am also putting off review for a geometry class exam. I’ve discovered that I really do not like traditional approaches to geometry, agreeing with Courant that I favour “precise reasoning based on operations with numbers” to “an undesirable margin of vagueness”. (I warped that a bit by taking it out of context, which suggests more about my biases than it does Courant’s, I suppose.) ;)

    1. elkement says:

      Thanks, Michelle! I would go for an infinite loop, poetry from poetry …. from poetry :-) Maybe an interesting thing to implement – as a poetry bot.

      All the best for your exams – I hope you enjoy your classes! I think ‘we’ (today) are generally better trained to think in symbols representing geometry (like: vector calculus) than in geometry itself. Even Feynman struggled to understand Newton’s original – purely geometrical – proof of Kepler’s laws.

      1. Somehow it makes me feel better to learn that about Feynman. To what I’ve been exposed, the geometrical proofs aren’t that difficult (yet), but I still dislike them. Too many words, too much like studying philosophy or humanities. As for the other classes, I like them quite a lot. This is the first semester in which I can explore different branches of mathematics and test what I like or don’t like. So far, no surprises. And I do prefer vector calculus over classical geometry!

        1. elkement says:

          I can’t resist now to link to my old post now, Mastering Geometry is a Lost Art, about Newton’s proof, Feynman’s issues with it, a modern simplified video version, and my general musings about what we just discussed here:

          When I talk about history of science I always fear I get facts or nuances wrong (as you learn so many dumbed-down versions / simplified versions of history when you learn just the science), so I better quote ‘the original’ … which is not Feynman himself, but science writer Margaret Wertheim in her book about outsider physicists. Feynman rescontructed the proof when preparing a special lecture:

          [Feynman said to his students:] “For your entertainment and interest I want you to ride in a buggy for its elegance instead of a fancy automobile.”

          “In the preparatory notes Feynman made for his lecture, he wrote: “Simple things have simple demonstrations.” Then, tellingly, he crossed out the second “simple” and replaced it with “elementary.” For it turns out there is nothing simple about Newton’s proof. Although it uses only rudimentary mathematical tools, it is a masterpiece of intricacy. So arcane is Newton’s proof that Feynman could not understand it.”

          … in the age of calculus, physicists no longer learn much Euclidean geometry, which, like stonemasonry, has become something of a dying art.

          For a man who would soon be granted the highest honor in science, it was a DIY triumph whose only value was the pride and joy that derive from being able to say, “I did it!”

          I think Newton’s derivation must really have been hellishly difficult as Feynmans was a genius and often devastated colleagues’ morale when he solved their problems (in very diverse subfields of phyiscs) in a few minutes – after they had been working on them for months.

          But part of the difficulties might be related to an uncommon, ‘ancient’ presentation. I read some historical stuff on thermodynamics, and the most difficult thing was to establish 1:1 mappings on the way they used certain notions and definitions and their modern counterparts. Sometimes they used concept considered wrong and outdated day, but still reached correct conclusions via some valid ‘isomorphism’ in argumentation (e.g. Sadi Carnot, using caloric theory instead of the Second Law).

          Which branch of mathematics intrigues you the most?

          1. Thank you for pointing me back to this older post. I was surprised that I didn’t remember it, then noticed I hadn’t read it. The date was from about that time I was working for that magazine, all those crazy hours… but now I have a whole set of posts I can go back and read, and I look forward to it!

            I suspect that with calculus it is too easy to feel immense impatience with the straight edge and compass. It’s like chopping wood for a fire, but you have a perfectly fine furnace to use, and no real time to mess about with an axe…. but then, to add to it all, somehow there is also a requirement to create poetry (those tedious proofs) while you go about the whole strenuous business of chopping and whacking, hauling and stacking the logs.

            As for interests… This is a bit ironic, at least on the surface of things, but I’ve been following a bread crumb trail of questions and interests that seem to be leading toward a (newer) type of geometry. It’s probably too soon to really define it, but I’m trying to learn more. For now, though, it seems that anything touching on applied maths is really interesting to me. Calculus, analysis, some of the algebra, and I really like any of the stuff that comes from combinatorics. I’ve put off differential equations so I can have a summer course this upcoming year, but I’m feeling impatient to get into it already. And next year I go back to physics again. I still have a continuing interest in some of the questions that came up for me in my experiences with building, as related to heat distribution and condensation, and by that odd and freaky way that serendipity can work, I often (usually later) find explicit connections between the ideas that interest me most in mathematics, and this particular topic. Some of the academic advice I received this year was to devote some of my time to exploring these sorts of connections, so I have a little (supervised) project under way that helps keep life interesting.

            I like this observation you make: “When I talk about history of science I always fear I get facts or nuances wrong (as you learn so many dumbed-down versions / simplified versions of history when you learn just the science)” I relate to this. It is amazing and surprising to me that the history of an idea unfolding can contain so much information about the idea itself. So often, the subtle uses of a process or theorem are more explicit in the historical context than they are in modern textbooks, perhaps because the writers have forgotten the need to be explicit about such things. (It becomes a DIY project in itself just to understand the context of how an idea came into existence, and then make better use of it.)

  2. Qatharsis says:

    Gave it a try using mailbox spam. :)

    I’ll say it just one more time
    You’re on the market for table lamp
    Sensitive touch dimmable switch
    The temptation to ignore it
    Small parts? Very big parts?
    No problem, the injection machine
    Obtain Life Member-Privilege
    I do believe that God is really in control
    Grasp the Privilege
    Congratulations once again
    This is a reminder

  3. zinemin says:

    “there is one internal link” — this is my favourite line. :)

    1. elkement says:

      Thanks :-) Perhaps such poems could be used in corporate assessment centers? ‘What does your favorite line in a spam poem say about you?’

  4. You continue to blaze new trails through the literary world …. bravo. I especially liked the oxymoronic phrase (in your introduction) … ” … meaningful spam.” My favorite phrase from the work itself … conspiracy delayed, raving about choosing real humans …. what CAN that MEAN?

    1. elkement says:

      Thanks, Dave! :-) I think even if I had the original comments, I could not make sense of some phrases. Some of the comments were ads for games (I believe), therefore the lines about zombies and the universe, maybe also ‘real humans’, ‘chosen’ as avatars in games.

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