Predictive Text Predicts Florida Man’s Next Escapade

Ah, Florida Man. Whether it’s the result of Florida’s generous public records laws, the diverse population of the Sunshine State, or its staunch commitment to underfunding mental health treatment, the “Florida Man” meme is a…something…to behold.

One of the best parts of Florida Man is that no one can predict his wacky antics. Except maybe…predictive text?

I compiled the first 20 Google News results for “Florida Man” on April 27, 2020 into a text bank and fed it to Botnik. Here’s what predictive text predicts Florida Man will get up to next.

predictive florida man

Florida Man Threatens Himself With Underage Loans

A Florida man tried to avoid work in the coronavirus pandemic but was caught by officers who discovered him with a duck. Reports said he confessed to putting a fake name on his Twitter.

Florida Man Accused of Slipping on Facebook Post

A Florida man claimed he owned several pink diarrheal tablets. Advocates of church cruelty said he was upset because the golfers were very rude.

Florida Man Arrested Tuesday on Suspicion of Marijuana Cruelty

A Florida man was arrested Tuesday after being accused of shooting his friend while smoking marijuana. After deputies responded to the threat, they drove off.

“It’s like medication isn’t even being called that,” claimed the sheriff. “Between you and me, anti-sales messages are worthless.”

Florida Man Wanted on Charges of Violating His Car

A Florida man who allegedly discovered his cat in a blue Chevrolet has been identified as a 22-year-old victim of spite. Along with reckless driving, his charges include talking about this crazy stuff and dumping water onto his brother.

“Florida prisons are stressful for no legitimate reason,” said the man, when he was asked to explain his nightly medication. “That’s why I don’t go to jail without a fake license.” 

Florida Man Says He Can’t Really Afford a Gun

A 74-year-old Florida man says he bought 203 arrows, but that he couldn’t afford a firearm. He said he also has extensive criminal warrants for some unknown reason.

Warrants for his arrest included a church golf course, coronavirus news and eluding groups of teens. 

A police spokesman said he actually had no excuse for making dinner donations without a firearm.

Florida Man Asked Stranger for 20 55-Gallon Plastic Drums Filled With Drugs

A Florida man asked a stranger about trying laxatives Monday, according to emails forward to Buzzfeed by the beach president. 

“He shocked himself,” said a lady. “To his brother, he was just a bad person, but he was also my wife.” 

An address led to a small bridge outside Miami, where Florida police identified the man as a suspicious person. 

Florida Man Summoned His Inner Florida Man

In a mad rush of spite, a Florida man summoned his inner Florida Man Saturday when he mistook someone walking into a house for a church pandemic group. 

“I linked to help on the sand plane as well as I could,” said the man, a 70-year-old postal abbreviation. “And if you like living, you’ll ask another person for assistance.” 

Police are investigating whether this news report is prohibited in Florida. 

Florida Man Tried Crazy Thing

A Florida man tried to apply for assistance but was charged with possession of yard signs Thursday night, according to Deputies with Drugs.

“Violating the law is a sociologist thing to do,” said the sheriff. “Because not enough people are asking for 9,000 dollars during the coronavirus pandemic.”

The man’s name was not disclosed because he is a sociologist.


Help me make better choices than Florida Man: buy me a coffee or share this nonsense on social media.

 

The History of May Day…Maybe

It’s time for another predictive-text history lesson.

Today: The history of May Day, as presented by Botnik‘s predictive-text keyboard after I fed it the top 20 Google search results for “history of May Day.”

predictive may day

The First International Holiday for Good Wine: A May Day Celebration

May Day was celebrated traditionally on three days in Revolutionary Russia. Over 500,000 years the holiday continued to inspire astonishing causes, like Maypole dancing and Maypole singing.

The First Celebration of Labor

In 1350, Detroit auto workers were exploited for their religious speeches. Rites performed throughout this period include the Gathering of Workers, Leaving Baskets Hanging, and Pretty Streamers and Ribbons Involving Police Fatalities. 

Beginning in 1959, May baskets were employed to celebrate insurance. Through struggle and conflict, unions endorsed severe fertility. 

Literally no one knows who threw the first Russian Revolution, organization of which was considered quaint by the standards of the proletariat.

Pope Adrian II raised a bomb into the water in summer 1915, adopting the 8-hour workday for all peoples.

The Pagan Origins of May Day

The manifestation of spring colors in May 1889 was the first celebration of the goddess of spring. Thousands of people danced around, which later came to be regarded as a national scandal.

How did the traditional of dancing continue when witches are reputed to fight class warfare even in Chicago? Conventional wisdom states class development finally experienced mimes.

In 1707, the final victory over the Time Cattle would end the Pagan practices of Light Origin and Revelry With Bonfires.

May Day and Labor

During the Industrial Revolution, May Day evolved downward. Class solidarity was not celebrated by the Puritans, who frowned on April 19 (Walpurgisnacht being more regularly exploited for its healing benefits). 

Connected to Saint Philip of the Capitalist System, class distinctions raised severe rioting resolutions in Chicago and Cleveland.

Officially, the workers’ demands indicated that anarchists were feeling needlessly well. That changed into popular secular efforts to improve human society, however, when Engels published The Communist Origins of the Maypolea book opposed by Morris dancers. 

Interweaving courtship and labor rights, immigrants jointly utilized power and energy to fight owners of the factories. They organized character plays also. Called “May Queen Guinevere’s Maying and Police Protest,” these clubs escalated into rock and other radical cultural movements. 

May Day Celebrations Around the World

Poland: Government workplaces across Poland close on May Day so that everyone can steal a kiss from a crofter. 

Cuba: In countries like Cuba, taking baskets filled with Christmas greenery from young children is normally not celebrated. 

India: Activities people used to do in India are still allowed today, like getting ready for winter and receiving May Day tales from friends. 

Germany: In Germany, activities related to agriculture and pipe making are still celebrated today. 

England: Traditionally, eggs died annually due to evil powers of capitalism. Within the working class, however, solidarity can steal the skin from young men first. 

The USA: Thousands of motorbikes attend the American Fighting Traditions Festival, fought for theatrical and political liberation. 


For more predictive-text history lessons, see Botnik’s pontification on Mother’s Day, Easter, or Thanksgiving. To support my efforts to turn these predictive-text posts into a book, buy me a coffee.

Predictive Text Easter Crafts With Botnik (With BONUS Pictures of the Results)

Last year, I put the top 20 search results for “Easter” into Botnik, which regaled us in turn with this predictive-text history of Easter.

This year, I decided to try something a little different.

I fed the top 20 Google search results for “Easter crafts” to Botnik and generated the following predictive-text Easter crafts. Unlike previous predictive-text posts, however, I curated these to include only the crafts that used items I have in the house (seeing as we’re quarantined).

Then I followed the directions.

Please enjoy these Easter crafts brought to you by predictive text.

predictive easter crafts

Easter crafts are so simple to make and kids can help make them while you get a mom to help. DIY bunny ideas for Easter are endless as we think about Canada.

Busting with boredom? These adorable keepsake Easter fingerprints are so simple, they’ll make sure adults do crafts together. Give away fancy treats and glue your toddler to your family’s tablescape for an understated sophistication.

Easter Crafts For Gluing Eyes On

This craft activity fills Easter baskets with colorful puffy eggs. Try it with recycled eggs, featured on Facebook!

  • Glue your card stock and yellow pen to your hands.
  • Open both sides of the fingers and add three tablespoons.
  • Enjoy watching them!

Hop About Contact Lens Solution

Ideas are endless fun. Kids will totally think you’re super awesome when you fill this cute duck with boredom!

  • Paint a subtle floral stamp on a small box.
  • Attach twine to the front and wrap it around itself.
  • Fill the whole thing with salt.

Flower Pot Kids Kids

Easter holidays and googly eyes are all you need to make these delicious Easter treats for Mother.

  • Paint or plant two small animals in a flower pot.
  • Craft bunny ears from watercolor paint and add them to the top.
  • Always put tape on the best part of this batch.

Painted Egg Decorations

Make this entire craft while you stay at home.

  • Step 1: Draw lines along the flat side of two pieces of paper.
  • Roll rubber cement on the whole thing.
  • You don’t even need an egg!

Creativity by Markov Chain, or Why Predictive Text Isn’t the Novel-Writing Shortcut You’re Looking For

Over the past year, I’ve played with Botnik‘s predictive text generator to create everything from alternative histories of popular holidays to terrible Christmas carol lyrics to the median New Year’s resolutions. It’s fun, it’s silly, and it is far more labor-intensive than most people imagine computer-generated texts would be.

Most of the conversations I see around AI and text generation assume that writers are going to be put out of business shortly. They assume that AI can not only generate text but generate it well, without human intervention.

These assumptions are…a bit overdone.

Here’s why predictive-text novels won’t be the next big trend in literature.

social media image with title of blog post

What’s a Markov Chain?

Predictive text is typically powered by a Markov chain, an algorithm that tracks a set of defined “states” and determines the probability of jumping to the next state from a current position in any one state.

For instance, if you wanted to create a super-simple Markov chain model of a writer’s behavior, “writing” might be one state and “not-writing” might be another. (This list of possible states is called a “state space.”) At any given time, the writer is either “writing” or “not-writing.”

There are four possible transitions between “writing” and “not-writing”:

  1. writing to writing (“must finish paragraph!”),
  2. writing to not-writing (“what’s on Netflix?”),
  3. not-writing to writing (“once…upon…a…time”), and
  4. not-writing to not-writing (“why yes, I WILL binge all of The Witcher, thanks”).

Thus, the probability of making a transition from any state to any other state is 0.5 (here’s a visual representation). At least at the beginning.

Markov chains also have a limited ability to learn from data inputs. For instance, one could program a two-state Markov chain to predict whether you will write or not-write on any given day, based on last year’s calendar. (If you’re like me, your Markov chain will be more likely to predict that you’ll write tomorrow if you wrote today, and more likely to predict not-writing tomorrow if you didn’t write today.)

What Does This Have to Do With Predictive Text?

Predictive text algorithms are Markov chains. They analyze words you have input in the past (or in the case of Botnik, how often words appear in proximity to other words) in order to predict the probability of you jumping to a particular word from the state “the word you just wrote.”

Why Writing With Predictive Text is Hard

You don’t need to understand the nuances of Markov chains to grasp that a book written by one would be tough to produce – but that understanding does make it easier to explain why.

Markov Has a Short Memory

As mentioned above, Markov chains have a limited ability to adjust their predictions based on factors like how frequently a state appears or how often it appears relative to (as in, before or after) other states.

The key word in that sentence is limited.

Markov chains don’t have any memory of the past. They can tell you which word is most likely to appear after this word, but they can’t tell you whether that prediction has already appeared 500 times or not at all.

In online predictive-text memes, this means that some results get stuck in an endless loop. For instance:

Predictive text meme Tweet

Predictive text meme Tweet that reads “Trans people are going to be a good time to get a chance to look at the time to get a chance to look at the time to get a chance to look at the time….” A response reads “Ok but did you get a chance to look at the time?”

This was a response to a predictive-text meme on Twitter that challenged people to type “Trans people are” into their phones and then hit the predictive-text suggestion to generate a result. This Twitterer’s predictive text got caught in a loop pretty quickly – it doesn’t recognize that it said “time to get a chance to look at the” already. It takes another human to save the joke here: “Ok but did you get a chance to look at the time?”

What Does This Mean for a Predictive-Text Novel?

A Markov chain’s predictive limitations pose two problems for long-form creative text generation:

  1. The Markov chain can get stuck. The more common a word is, the more likely it is to get stuck. “A,” “and,” “the,” “of,” and similar function words can easily trap the chain.
  2. Novels depend on memory. Story development requires attention to what came before. Predictive text, however, can only predict what word is most likely to come next. They can’t do that in the context of prior theme, character or plot development.

The results, therefore, are more likely to be incomprehensible than anything else – at least without careful editing. (I’ll get to that below.) For some examples of absurdist Markov chain results, see r/SubredditSimulator, which consists entirely of Reddit posts by Markov chains.

The Raw Material Blues

While generating last year’s various holiday posts on Botnik, I quickly discovered that the raw material fed to the predictive text generator makes a huge difference in the quality of the output.

If you’ve read the post series, you may have noticed a trend: In each one, I note that I fed “the first page of Google search results” or “the first twenty” Google search results” to Botnik (those are the same number, by the way). Why so specific?

It appears that the minimum size of the text bank Botnik requires to produce text that is funny but not incomprehensible is 20:1. In other words, if I wanted a blog-post-sized text, I needed to put in at least 20 texts of equal or greater length.

Twenty to one might even be undershooting it. Most of my predictive-text posts are around 500 words, while the top Google results from which they were generated tended to be 1,500 to 2,000 words.

What Does This Mean for a Predictive-Text Novel?

I haven’t tested this ratio on anything longer than a blog post. I do not, however, have any reason to believe that the ratio would be smaller for a novel. In fact, I predict the ratio would be larger for a coherent novel that looked sufficiently unlike its predecessor to survive a copyright challenge.

In every holiday blog post I generated via predictive text, the generator got “stuck” in a sentence of source text at least once. In other words, the Markov chain decided that the most likely word to follow the one on screen was the next word that already existed in a sentence somewhere in my source text.

When generating text from Google’s top twenty blog posts on the history of Thanksgiving, for instance, it was pretty easy to pick up on these sticking points. I didn’t have the entire source text memorized, but I knew my Thanksgiving history well enough to recognize when Botnik was being unfunnily accurate.

For a predictive-text novel of 70,000 words, one would need:

  1. Approximately 1.4 million words of source text (minimum), or about twenty 70,000-word novels, and
  2. A sufficient knowledge of that source text to recognize when the predictive text generator had gotten stuck on a single sentence or paragraph.

Point 2 has some creative opportunities. A predictive-text novella based on Moby-Dick, for instance, might benefit from repeating a large chunk of Moby-Dick verbatim (said novella would need to stay under 10,455 words to fit within the source text limitations, if you’re wondering). But the writer would still have to know Moby-Dick well enough to recognize when predictive text was simply reciting the book versus when it wasn’t:

 We, so artful and bold, hold the universe? No! When in one’s midst, that version of Narcissus who for now held somewhat aloof, looking up as pretty rainbows in which stood Moby-Dick. What name Dick? or five of Hobbes’ king? Why it is that all Merchant-seamen, and also all Pirates and Man-of-War’s men, and Slave-ship sailors, cherish such a scornful feeling towards Whale-ships; this is a question it
would be hard to answer. Because, in the case of pirates, say, I should
like to know whether that profession of theirs has any peculiar glory
about it. Blackstone, soon to attack of Moby-Dick; for these extracts of whale answered; we compare with such. That famous old craft’s story of skrimshander storms upon this grand hooded phantom of honor!

A Future for Creative Writing?

I learned with the first predictive-text holiday post that I couldn’t accept the predictive-text generator’s first suggestion every time, nor could I click suggestions at random. I was still writing; it’s just that I was choosing the next word in each sentence from a predictive-text generator’s suggestions, not from my own much larger vocabulary.

Many conversations about predictive-text creative writing suggest or assume that predictive-text will eventually take over our own creative processes – that it will supplant writing rather than support it. Not in its current form, it won’t.

For me, some aspects of writing via predictive text are actually harder than writing on my own. The Markov chain frequently backs into function-word corners and has to be saved with the judicious application of new content words. Punctuation is typically absent. Because the algorithm has no idea what it wrote previously, it doesn’t know how to stay on topic, nor does it know how to build coherent ideas over time.

Everything it couldn’t do, I had to do – and I had to do it with my next word choice perpetually limited to one of eighteen options.

That said, I love the idea that predictive-text authoring could arise as an art form within writing itself. Predictive text generators challenge us to engage with the art and craft of writing in new ways. They set new limitations, but they also suggest new possibilities. In so doing, they create an opportunity to engage with writing in new – and often hilarious – ways.

Anyway, here’s Wonderwall:

So maybe
Ya go to sadness baby
Cause when you tried
I have wasted dreams


Support the arts: leave me a tip or share this post on social media.

The Celebration of Mothers and Motherhood and Maternal People Who Mothered Us: A Predictive-Text History of Mother’s Day

It’s that time again, folks. I dumped the top 20 Google search results for “Mother’s Day” into Botnik’s predictive-text app, and here are the results. 

Please enjoy this predictive-text history of Mother’s Day in the US and other countries, brought to you by Botnik.

danialexis.net (3)

The Celebration of Mothers and Motherhood and Maternal People Who Mothered Us: A History of Mother’s Face

Mother’s Day was needed.

Anna Jarvis trademarked the first official mother, who was originally imported from Antwerp. [citation needed] 

Anna resented that mother’s traditional commercialization was celebrated. Women were unsuccessful at being seen as much of anything.  Only women’s golf could reclaim their pawned sewing. 

Motherhood needed to improve. The sacrifices mothers made for the holidays would overwhelm most people.

Political Carnations for Mother’s Day

On the first Mother’s Day, cards were slaughtered by the state governors. Children helped mother give herself an occasion for sales. 

The same day, a special cake resembling a white carnation was held at least four times. The special cake made mothers everywhere organize protests, because it cost too much. 

Advocating peace and freedom, mothers fought hard to prevent businesses from profiting by giving away New York. Unsuccessful control of women led to voters.

President Woodrow Wilson named mother goddesses to the Protestant Church, which consumed much of Lent in 1908. In 1925, November was first ridiculed by President Roosevelt. 

Years later, broadened by continuing enthusiasm, peace became popular again. In 1904, 1948, and April 2017, three children were awarded medals for helping their mothers with breakfast. All three children were notorious attention-seekers.

Anna Jarvis never profited from Mother’s Day. Because of this, Anna resented Nazi control of flowers and other gifts. Anna Jarvis died thousands of years later, denouncing mother’s annual remembrance from her hometown.

Families Gather Together

Children spend approximately $2.6 billion on pampering their mothers. Breakfast is considered mother’s favorite, and plastic flowers are the leading food choice.

Kids peak on this day, so tradition is to give their school a public protest. Or mom can just sleep in. 

Fundraisers outside the home offer roses to families that cannot celebrate the individual.

Today, fathers can also receive gifts, including spa services held in Philadelphia. Fathers can be mothers who died, too.

Father’s Day is celebrated in preschools, but only by children. Mother’s actions and patience for disturbing chores power Mother’s Day guilt.

Celebrating This Special Day

Secular American traditions of Mother’s Day have been created by conflicts around the world. War ended in 1865, years earlier than anyone needed.

According to Hallmark, mortality is widely associated with revering mothers. Cards remain the most important choices honoring motherhood. Letters honoring spa packages have withered, but anyone can pick up the phone. Vacuums put mother in a sanitarium.

Honor mothers and humans by spending most of your own money on women. Motherhood can feel bad, so feminist groups are encouraged.

To make Mother’s Day special, practice mother’s favorite ethics. Improve mom with different forms of $, and try to lower your wallet. Society will enjoy the idea.

 

History of Jesus Day: A Predictive Text Guide to Holiday Fun

It’s time once again for holiday joy brought to you by Botnik‘s predictive-text writer.

One of the most bemusing parts of building a predictive text bank for several US holidays is that these holidays are both highly religious and highly commercial in nature. We saw a hint of this with the St. Patrick’s Day post, but it gets even weirder with Easter – arguably the most important day in the Christian calendar and also in the chocolate bunny sales calendar.

I dropped the top 20 search results for “Easter” into Botnik. Here’s everything you need for a “hoppy” holiday.

DANIALEXIS.NET (2)

History of Jesus Day

(a predictive-text guide to Easter by Botnik)

Easter, or White Sparkly Easter, celebrates the resurrection of Jesus’s crochet skills. Consequently, it’s the tutorial we love giving and getting.

Lent: A Great Treat

Easter begins with Lent, a small piece of tape, and a pipe cleaner through the eye. Lent is believed to bring health over the next year, when bunnies lay fertility leaves across your chair. Lent astounds me.

God foam just makes Lent immediately more fun. Special ideas for activities include going to visit church and taking pictures of the foam on the Christian agenda. This is called “Palm Sunday” and serves as the start of Jesus Week.

Passover: Feasts for Everyone

Easter is also associated with the hexagonal corners of Passover, in which one takes less than a second to create this adorable woodland creature. Historians question Easter bunnies’ creativity, but by cutting cupcakes out of Passover feasts, you can probably change everything they know.

Passover feasts are as easy as human sized traditions to share. Crackers and icing make an omelet, or you can eat real food. Some households even let kids get their own template!

 Pagan Origins in Pagan Celebrations

Jesus celebrated fertility and mud pies. In pagan times before Jesus, branches of Christianity had such an awesome handmade craft!

Pagans claimed to create Easter over 25+ years in a DIY plastic egg. Decorating Easter quietly, or turning kids into makeshift stamps, can help historians question this story.

Pagan traditions include salmon crafting, afternoon bunny slime, and recipes for more creativity. Pagans do not be edible, but after Mass, rolling eggs downhill can make even the most popular kids suffer. These sufferings are viewed as an agricultural victory.

Easter Services That Pop

At an Easter service, females with flowers sit on top of the Gospels, while essentially ignoring their own death. Men may dump cold water on potato halves, making handprints on Ash Wednesday to keep in Eastern Orthodox countries. Children run about their rooms, holding onto salvation and flossing with God.

Are crafty things perfect for your perfect kiddos? Make adorable art for your favorite death by crucifixion! Easy peasy fun ideas for making all religions Easter include attaching googly eyes on your family to share salvation.

Surprise the tutorial by cutting eggs into tiny craft balls. Glue gun instructions to Pontius Pilate and wrap a ribbon around the season.  Don’t forget blood!


Whether your Easter involves celebrating the Resurrection or stuffing your face with chocolate – or both – you can share the spirit by buying me a coffee or sharing this post.

The Traditional Feast of St. Patrick and Cabbage: A Predictive Text History of St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, so in keeping with previous holidays, I asked Botnik‘s predictive text engine to weigh in on this history of this historic history day.

I fed the top 20 Google search results for “history of St. Patrick’s day” to Botnik, which produced the mean St. Patrick’s day history based on predictive text. It’s…enlightening.

stpatrickandcabbage

The traditional feast of saint patrick and cabbage

(a predictive text history of St. Patrick’s Day by Botnik)

Saint Patrick is said to have 20 official public houses. This story has coloured numerous Irish people ‘s idea of the saint, who lived during Lent and returned to Ireland in 2007.

St. Patrick’s tradition began when president Dwight the First identified St. Patrick to explain why Ireland began. The saint himself could not know why Ireland was affected by sectarian revelry, but for those who supposedly wielded political power, Irish culture was a significant cause for dyeing its river green.

During the fifth Irish diaspora, which includes celebrations today, people attended schools founded by government ministers. This was a yearly cause for their death. However, after Dublin and Herzegovina banned drunkenness and jerseys, cultural parades began featuring Patrick’s album.

According to Samantha and the Cabbage, Irish mythology has presented numerous parades involving bagpipes and endowed widows. These practices describe St. Patrick’s two tests in Roman Britain: observing baptisms and growing shamrocks in a large church. Many legends grew to celebrate stereotypes, which did not help to celebrate Ireland.

Boston is known for fostering novelty merchandise on St. Patrick’s day, since the city wasn’t always recognised as a place. This all changed in 2008, when Hallmark looked at Notre Dame and was credited with religious beef soup for the day.

In 1961 sanitation workers used Patrick’s downtown house to explain why Ireland began. Everything made clear, Irish families mandated Patrick himself should think of the Irish at least on March 17.

Beginning in Nairobi, the traditional feast day of St. Patrick is celebrated annually on Sunday before making democracy merchandise and cabbage initiatives. Saint Patrick himself could lead his religious procession, if he was not repealed.


Keep ’em coming: Buy me a coffee or check out my book