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Randomly Generated Paper Accepted to Conference 658

Posted by timothy
from the swi-jljkd8623hds-s89s-da-s dept.
mldqj writes "Some students at MIT wrote a program called SCIgen - An Automatic CS Paper Generator. From their website: SCIgen is a program that generates random Computer Science research papers, including graphs, figures, and citations. What's amazing is that one of their randomly generated paper was accepted to WMSCI 2005. Now they are accepting donation to fund their trip to the conference and give a randomly generated talk."
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Randomly Generated Paper Accepted to Conference

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  • by extremescholar (714216) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:02PM (#12225300)
    Random Post!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:02PM (#12225301)
    Their original plan was to do this with a patent application instead... but decided they needed a challenge.
    • by deathcloset (626704) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:28PM (#12225613) Journal
      You know, this random generated article being accepted reminds me of this idea I once had.

      I thought it would be rather interesting to create a program the randomly creates musical works. In fact, I would like it to create millions or billions of these works and to submit them for copyright :)

      I think it would be possible to create every possible permutation of a 4 bar, or heck up to 16 bar melody, rhythm and harmony.

      Then I could sue any new release by any record company 8D
      • by EsbenMoseHansen (731150) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:54PM (#12225894) Homepage

        You would need quite a few. Just the combination of the first 8 notes is 26^7=8,031,810,176, assuming the first note's placement is irrelevant, and assuming up to an octave's jump in value either way. That is discounting rythmic variations, which would add quite a few extra combos.

        The outcome space for a melody is astoundingly large.

        • by Anonymous Coward
          If you just start combining random tones together you won't make anything that sounds like music. Once you've played the first couple of notes in a piece there are only certain notes that follow that will "sound right" to someone who is used to hearing (for example) typical Western harmonic music. It has been estimated (An Introduction to Information Theory: Symbols, Signals, and Noise by J. Pierce) that basic melodies contain about 2.8 bits of information per note. Applying this, the first eight notes woul
        • Not funny, but sad. (Score:3, Informative)

          by tepples (727027)

          You would need quite a few. Just the combination of the first 8 notes is 26^7=8,031,810,176, assuming the first note's placement is irrelevant, and assuming up to an octave's jump in value either way. That is discounting rythmic variations, which would add quite a few extra combos.

          Remember that not all the melodies on an album have to match for there to be grounds for a lawsuit. If just one of the two or three melodies in just one of the 10 or 12 songs in just one of the thousands of albums released ann

      • by hunterx11 (778171) <hunterx11@gmail. ... minus physicist> on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:56PM (#12225925) Homepage Journal
        Looks like Mozart beat you to it [univie.ac.at]. His method is more restricted, but the music you get actually sounds pretty musical.
      • by JonTurner (178845) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @03:03PM (#12226022) Journal
        >>I would like it to create millions or billions of these works...

        Billions? Why bother? Based on my listening experience, Clearchannel and the record execs seem to have built empires on no more than three variations.

        So keep it simple. Who needs the Circle of Fifths, or any of those pesky black piano keys when C-G-D and some random notes/rap over a drum track (serving as the bridge) will do? Repeat "ad naseum"

        1) happy, mindless dance tune by teen-star-du-jour. 90beats per minute minimum, bass drum is primary instrument. May require heavy use of DSP processing to keep singer on pitch.
        2) Rap about rapper knocking other rappers off the top of the charts and or "crunk whack party", "bustin' caps" or "dubs." Word "bitches" is mandatory. Threatening violence is a plus. Don't forget shout out to imprisoned/dead homies on extended mix version.
        3) Wheezy, whiny country & western tune, mandatory mentions include pickup truck, whiskey. Extra chart-topping potential for use of word "fool".
        • by The Good Reverend (84440) <michael@@@michris...com> on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @03:28PM (#12226281) Homepage Journal
          Billions? Why bother? Based on my listening experience, Clearchannel and the record execs seem to have built empires on no more than three variations.

          Blah, blah, blah. I wish there was an Onion article like the "Area Man Constantly Mentioning He Doesn't Own A Television" one for people like you.

          Guess what? Lots of music produced today is made for mass consumption. And guess what else? Even more isn't. While it might not be as popular, it's certainly available, especially online in the last ten years. Just because you're too lazy to go look for it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Hell, some people like pop music.

          Past that, remember also that this is by no means a recent trend - it's existed for the entire history of pop music. As long as music's been sold for a profit, there's been someone deciding what sound to sell, and how to create the "next best thing". Your generalizations are old and tired.
  • by umrgregg (192838) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:02PM (#12225303) Homepage
    In other news a randomly generated story submission was accepted by /. moderators.
  • by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:02PM (#12225304) Homepage Journal
    It's a thankless job to begin with. Now you have to approach each one with, "is this the real deal, or some bs-generated thing?"

    Oh, and a collection of my as-yet unpublished white papers will be available soon. Cheap. :)
  • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:02PM (#12225307)

    Excerpt from the submitted paper:

    We question the need for digital-to-analog converters. It should be noted that we allow DHCP to harness homogeneous epistemologies without the evaluation of evolutionary programming [2], [12], [14]. Contrarily,the lookaside buffer might not be the panacea that end-users expected. However, this method is never considered confusing. Our approach turns the knowledge-base communication sledgehammer into a scalpel.


    I've received auto-generated spam emails that read a lot like this. Nice to know the WMSCI is on their toes...but judging from the content on their home page, I'm not surprised that they consider this paper conference material.

    From the WMSCI's website:

    Through WMSCI conferences, we are trying to relate the analytic thinking required in focused conference sessions, to the synthetic thinking, required for analogies generation, which calls for multi-focus domain and divergent thinking. We are trying to promote a synergic relation between analytically and synthetically oriented minds, as it is found between left and right brain hemispheres, by means of the corpus callosum. Then, WMSCI 2005 might be perceived as a research corpus callosum, trying to bridge analytically with synthetically oriented efforts, convergent with divergent thinkers and focused specialists with non-focused or multi-focused generalists.


    What's scary is that the second paragraph was written by humans.

    (FYI, the full text of the paper in question can be found here [mit.edu], and the WMSCI website can be found here [iiisci.org].

    • by tehcrazybob (850194) <ben.geek @ g m a i l.com> on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:08PM (#12225378)
      People who act surprised by things like this don't read Dilbert nearly often enough.

      It seems as though corporate America consists of people trying to write as much as possible without actually saying anything. If you don't believe me, go look at the mission statement of any big company. It doesn't read like English. If it did, they might be expected to actually make something concrete.
      • by Guppy06 (410832) * on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:13PM (#12225452)
        "If you don't believe me, go look at the mission statement of any big company. It doesn't read like English."

        How else do you expect them to stretch "To make money" out to fill up an entire page?

      • by maxwell demon (590494) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:24PM (#12225563) Journal
        You are surely informed about the undeniable fact that there are some required statements to be said about the absolute absence of anything resembling content. It enables you to produce large amounts of texts without the need of unnecessary using the central nervous system.

        Hmmm ... still too short. Err, I mean, the length still lets something to be desired. Err ... the total number of words is clearly beyond the threshold of acceptability. Ok, that's better, next try: The total number of words the above text actually consists of can easily be seen to clearly be beyond the business-standard threshold of acceptability. Yes, that's it! ;-)
      • That reminds me of an episode of 'Yes, Prime Minister' I saw recently. The PM had a very detailed plan to solve the education, unemployment, and security problems in the country. He was preparing to describe his plan in a television broadcast when his assistant suggested he change the wording.

        Paraphrasing:

        Assistant: 'Well, Prime Minister, why don't you say that we are examining a number of different proposals, evaluating each of them for their effectiveness, expense, and practicality, and will select th
    • by markhb (11721) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:12PM (#12225433) Journal
      It gets worse... they submitted another paper that was rejected, they asked why, and got this [mit.edu] in reply (several paragraphs, complete with random statistics, to say "it's too much work for us to tell you.")
    • I am mentally divergent, in that I am escaping certain unnamed realities that plague my life here. When I stop going there, I will be well.

      Are you also divergent, friend?
    • by kat11v (848737) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:15PM (#12225472) Homepage
      This is a problem that plagues most legal documents, user manuals, and scientific papers. I recall being very frustrated (not to mention bored out of my mind) reading published research material for a 3rd year psychology course. Of all the people, you would think at least psychologists would appreciate clear, concise descriptions.

      Personally I think the problem is cultural and affects people who are intelligent and know it, but not intelligent enough that they feel they don't have to prove themselves. The more obscure your references are and the more complicated your train of thought, the smarter you must be, right?

      Luckly there are folks like the Plain English Campaign [plainenglish.co.uk], " fighting for public information to be written in plain English." If you ever have to write a public document, I recommend reading through their Examples and Free Tutorials sections.

      • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:21PM (#12225534)
        The more obscure your references are and the more complicated your train of thought, the smarter you must be, right?

        Seems to work for Dennis Miller.
      • by shirai (42309) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @04:11PM (#12226864) Homepage
        Don't get me wrong, I am a fan of plain English and I love the idea behind the "Plain English Campaign," but their guides are poor for a website that is advocating Plain English.

        Consider these lines from their guide "How to Write Plain English."

        Most experts would agree that clear writing should have an average sentence length of 15 to 20 words.

        Should read:

        Make your sentences about 15 to 20 words long.

        And...

        However, at first you may still find yourself writing the odd long sentence, especially when trying to explain a complicated point. But most long sentences can be broken up in some way.

        Should read...

        If you find yourself writing a long sentence to explain a complicated point, try breaking your sentence up.

        Or...

        If your sentence is too long, try breaking it up.

        Or...

        If your sentence is too long, break it up.

        And...

        To explain the difference between active and passive verbs, we need to look briefly at how a sentence fits together. Almost every sentence has three important parts. There are three main parts to almost every sentence:

        Should be:

        Well, whatever it is, it shouldn't say the same sentence twice at the end.

        These are just a few examples and I'm sure one could advocate the use of the original in some situations. But read the entire article [plainenglish.co.uk] and you will see useful information and perhaps "better-than-average use of plain English" but it won't be as great as it must be for a site of this kind.

        My test for well written in English is that my mind doesn't wander. I knew this wasn't great English because I sometimes found it hard to concentrate on the material. This is especially bad when I'm interested in it. IMHO, the "Elements of Style" is a better introduction to good writing.

        Before you jump all over me for any badly constructed sentences in this post, remember that the standard for a "teaching plain english" article has to be much higher than a SlashDot post. ;)
    • Shades of Sokal? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by eddy (18759) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:20PM (#12225531) Homepage Journal

      Looks like Sokal [nyu.edu] All Over Again

    • by s20451 (410424) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:41PM (#12225759) Journal
      For one thing, if you visit the site, the paper that got accepted was accepted as a "non-reviewed" paper.

      Even so, before you go off the deep end on this, in my field (which is EE, not CS) it is generally accepted that the conferences are for preliminary results, and the journals are for final results. As a result, conference submissions tend to receive cursory reviews, and journal submissions receive highly rigorous reviews.

      At many (but not all) conferences, authors tend to be given the benefit of the doubt, so long as the paper is not obviously ridiculous or plagiarized.

      I attended a recent conference at a major university [jhu.edu] where, rumor had it, 200 papers were accepted and only four were rejected. In spite of this, I found the quality of the conference quite high. You have to go into such things realizing that some crap is going to get through the filter. However, it's nice to hear what everyone is working on, even if the ideas are not completely finished and some of the work might not be going anywhere.

      You give the author the benefit of the doubt in a conference submission. The time to be rigorous is at the point of submission to a journal, and in my field, acceptance to a journal is normally crucial to having an idea accepted by the entire community.
      • At many (but not all) conferences, authors tend to be given the benefit of the doubt, so long as the paper is not obviously ridiculous or plagiarized.

        Yes, but did you look at the paper? Figure 6 on "millennium hash tables" (which I admit shows an excellent linear relationship) plots the dependence of "seek time (cylinders)" on "latency (celcius)". Figure 3 measures "time since 1977" in teraflops. Okay--maybe reading the paper is too much to ask, but couldn't they at least have looked at the pictures?

        I dare say that the paper is "obviously ridiculous".

    • by mikael (484) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:49PM (#12225840)
      've received auto-generated spam emails that read a lot like this.

      Out of curiosity, I did a keyword search for the strings used in these E-mails. They pull out batches of 14 words (or around 70 characters) at random from several different online book websites. An example includes US General history books [onlinebooks4free.com]
    • by tbo (35008) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @04:02PM (#12226750) Journal
      About a month ago, I got an email from "Prof. Nagib Callaos" inviting me to submit papers to WMSCI. When I first got it, I thought it was another piece of Nigerian Money Fraud spam. It has that blend of apologetic politeness and bad english that is unique to the Nigerian Fraud spams...

      Dear Dr. (my name here):


      We are sorry to take a bit of your valuable time, but we thought it is good
      to inform you that we extended up to March 29th the deadline for submitting
      papers to WMSCI ((http://www.iiisci.org/sci2005). The extended deadlines
      are as follows:

      Paper Submission: March 29th
      (http://www.iiisci.org/sci2005/website/submi ssion. asp)

      Invited Sessions Proposal: March 29th
      (http://www.iiisci.org/sci2005/invitedsessio n/orga nizer.asp)

      Notification of Acceptance: April 19th.

      Final Camera Ready Manuscript due: May 3rd.

      Consequently, we are sending you again the invitation to participate in
      WMSCI, as follows.

      On behalf of the WMSCI 2005 Organizing Committee, I would like to invite
      you to participate in the 9th World Multi-Conference on Systemics,
      Cybernetics and Informatics (http://www.iiisci.org/sci2005), which will
      take place in Orlando, Florida, USA, on July 10-13, 2005.

      You can get the conferences Call for papers in
      (http://www.iiisci.org/sci2005/website/callfor pape rs.asp).

      The best 10% of the papers will be published in Volume 3 of SCI Journal
      (http://www.iiisci.org/Journal/SCI/Home.a sp ). 12 issues of the volumes 1
      and 2 of the Journal have been sent to about 200 university and research
      libraries. Free subscriptions, for 2 years, are being considered for the
      organizations of the Journals authors.

      We are emphasizing the area of Quantum Information which is related to your
      specific area.

      Also, we would like to invite you to organize an invited session related to
      a topic of your research interest. If you are interested in organizing an
      invited session, please, fill the respective form provided in the
      conference web page, and we will send you a password, so you can include
      and modify papers in your invited session.

      Organizers of the invited sessions with the best performance will be
      co-editors of the proceeding volume where their sessions' papers were
      included and of the CD electronic proceedings. They will also be candidate
      for invited editors, or co-editors of a possible WMSCI Journal issue
      related to their invited session papers.

      You can find information about the suggested steps to organize an invited
      session in the Call for Papers and in the conference web page:
      http://www.iiisci.org/sci2005 .

      If by any reasons you are not able to access the page mentioned above,
      please, try the following pages: http://www.iiis.org/sci2005 .

      If you need a detailed Call for Papers, don't hesitate in asking us for it.

      If the deadlines are tight and you need more time, let me know about a
      suitable time and I will inform you if it is feasible for us.

      Best regards,

      Professor Nagib Callaos
      SCI 2005 General Chair


      My apologies to Professor Callaos if he actually is Nigerian.
    • by Stiletto (12066) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @04:13PM (#12226896)


      Through WMSCI conferences, we are trying to relate (+1, non-action) the analytic thinking required in focused conference sessions (+1, vague), to the synthetic thinking (+1, jargon), required for analogies generation (+2, prepositional phrase overload), which calls for multi-focus (+2, oxymoron) domain and divergent (+1, buzzword) thinking (+1, word used three times in one sentence). Sentence bonus (+3 run-on)
      We are trying (+1, repeat) to promote (+1, non-action) a synergic (+1, buzzword) relation between analytically and synthetically oriented minds (+1, jargon), as it is found between left and right brain hemispheres, by means of (+2, prepositional phrase overload) the corpus callosum (+1, jargon). Then, WMSCI 2005 might be perceived (+1, non-action) as a research corpus callosum (+1, jargon), trying to bridge (+1, non-action) analytically (+1, word overuse) with synthetically (+1, word overuse) oriented (+1, buzzword) efforts, convergent (+1, buzzword) with divergent (+1, buzzword) thinkers and focused (+1, word overuse) specialists with non-focused (+2, again?) or multi-focused (+3, AAAGGHH) generalists. Sentence bonus (+3 run-on) Paragraph bonus (+5 meaningless)



      TOTAL SCORE: 41 (a new world record)
    • by jnorden (152055) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @05:19PM (#12227643) Homepage
      Wow - this has given me a whole new perspective on an age-old problem.

      The quest for a computer which has the intelligence of a human is going to succeed, and fairly soon.

      It won't be accomplished by advances in AI algorithms or hardware, though.

      All we have to do is wait for the average level of human intelligence to fall far enough, and the current software will have accomplished the feat!

  • by Rollie Hawk (831376) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:02PM (#12225309) Homepage
    n/t
  • Hmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by daeley (126313) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:03PM (#12225312) Homepage
    Do they accept randomly generated quotes from Linus Torvalds? ;)
  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:03PM (#12225313) Homepage Journal
    How long before /. accepts an article randomly generated?

    or has it already happened? [mit.edu]

    downtown Holland, Michigan is in flames as a randomly assembled protest practices their own brand of metamoderation.

  • by ShaniaTwain (197446) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:03PM (#12225320) Homepage
    Whats the equivalent monkeys per typewriter power of this software?
  • Review (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Big Mark (575945) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:04PM (#12225331)
    This paper was recently accepted as a "non-reviewed" paper!

    So... no-one organising the conference has actually read it? Anything would've gotten through in that case. Even slashdot trolls.
    • Re:Review (Score:3, Informative)

      by sellin'papes (875203)
      non-reviewed papers do not mean that they haven't been read. It means that it hasn't been reviewed. In the case of scientific articles, review means that your peers follow the same process and methods and see if they come up with the same conclusions.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:05PM (#12225344)
    I for one welcome our new randomly generated comment/story overlords from soviet russia where comment posts you.
  • by shoppa (464619) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:06PM (#12225354)
    It's always been well-known that if you can't get your paper published in a refereed journal, you can probably get it published in some conference proceedings. I've even used this trick while I was in academia.

    At the larger conferences they make some attempt at screening out the known crackpots. The amount of effort varies.

  • by GillBates0 (664202) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:06PM (#12225363) Homepage Journal
    check out the Random Slashdot story generator [bbspot.com] if you haven't done so already. I give it a few weeks before one of these gets accepted by the editors.

  • No big surprise (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ghoti (60903) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:08PM (#12225379) Homepage
    The organizers of this stupid conference (and also some "WSEAS conference on all and everything") keep spamming me with emails about how their deadlines have been extended and how I am invited to submit a paper. This just confirms that those conferences are total crap - if not outright scams.

    Actually, a former professor of mine once did something similar. They submitted a paper that they had written by hand, but that didn't make any sense (something about evaluating footprints in dark rooms) to a conference that was known for its crap quality, and it was accepted. This broke that conference's neck, however.

    With some luck, this thing will have a similar result.
    • Re:No big surprise (Score:3, Interesting)

      by russotto (537200)

      I remember that one. It was two papers, one about "radiosity in an enclosed space with no internal light sources" or some such thing. (of course, the problem is trivial). The other was about footprints and actually sounded kind of interesting, though entirely silly. Both were accepted.



      Here's a link:
      Fake VIDEA papers [uni-dortmund.de]

    • Re:No big surprise (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Y2 (733949)
      The organizers of this stupid conference keep spamming me with emails about how their deadlines have been extended and how I am invited to submit a paper.

      Ditto. Sometimes I'm asked to be a session organizer. Complaints to their upstream have no affect.

  • by nweaver (113078) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:09PM (#12225398) Homepage
    Don't forget Mazieres and Kohler's great submission as well, "Get Me Off Your Fucking Mailing List" [nyu.edu]
  • by bergeron76 (176351) * on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:09PM (#12225402)
    After this news item, I highly doubt they'll still be able to go to the conference.

  • by Wansu (846) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:10PM (#12225408)


    An electronics lab instructor I had in college didn't read our notebooks carefully. I answered a question with the phrase, "mumbo jumbo, dog-faced in the banana patch" and he checked it.

  • It wasn't reviewed (Score:5, Informative)

    by R.Caley (126968) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:10PM (#12225412)
    So it's hardly supprising it wasn't rejected. That people orgaising conferences will accept papers just because no one can be arsed to read them is, of course, a different matter.

    So, this doesn't come close to the sucess of Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity [nyu.edu] which got into a peer reviewed journal.

    • by ragnar (3268)
      For those unfamiliar with the situation, the should read the following:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_Affair [wikipedia.org]

      It may sound like a nice prank, but it was (and still is) considered intellectually dishonest to permit the thing to go to publication, even if Social Text failed in their peer review process.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:11PM (#12225416)
    Click here [pakin.org] before you moderate!!!

    I, not being one of the many insolent, vicious used-car salesmen of this world, am going to make this short but sweet: In this era of rising sesquipedalianism, we must shine a light on slashdot's efforts to test another formula for silencing serious opposition. That's self-evident, and even slashdot would probably agree with me on that. Even so, I have to wonder where it got the idea that it is my view that my bitterness at it is merely the latent projection of libidinal energy stemming from self-induced anguish. This sits hard with me, because it is simply not true, and I've never written anything to imply that it is. Let's start with my claim that slashdot's inveracities are based on a technique I'm sure you've heard of. It's called "lying". I like to think I'm a reasonable person, but you just can't reason with brutal, disgusting junkies. It's been tried. They don't understand, they can't understand, they don't want to understand, and they will die without understanding why all we want is for them not to keep us perennially behind the eight ball. Now, I don't mean for that to sound pessimistic, although if you're interested in the finagling, double-dealing, chicanery, cheating, cajolery, cunning, rascality, and abject villainy by which slashdot may impose a particular curriculum, vision of history, and method of pedagogy on our school systems one of these days, then you'll want to consider the following very carefully. You'll especially want to consider that I want to give people more information about slashdot, help them digest and assimilate and understand that information, and help them draw responsible conclusions from it. Here's one conclusion I definitely hope people draw: Slashdot's callous, raving beliefs (as I would certainly not call them logically reasoned arguments) condemn innocent people to death. Slashdot then blames us for that. Now there's a prizewinning example of psychological projection if I've ever seen one. I want to make this clear, so that those who do not understand deeper messages embedded within sarcastic irony -- and you know who I'm referring to -- can process my point.

    Slashdot prizes wealth and celebrity over and above decent morals and sound judgment. Now, I could go off on that point alone, but it continuously seeks adulation from its bedfellows. If you doubt this, just ask around. I once had a nightmare in which slashdot was free to make widespread accusations and insinuations without having the facts to back them up. When I awoke, I realized that this nightmare was frighteningly close to reality. For instance, slashdot's magic-bullet explanations are thoroughly otiose. Let's remember that. This is not Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia, where the state would be eager to instill distrust and thereby create a need for its dictatorial views. Not yet, at least. But it argues that the most ridiculous pip-squeaks you'll ever see are easily housebroken. I wish I could suggest some incontrovertible chain of apodictic reasoning that would overcome this argument, but the best I can do is the following: It possesses no significant intellectual skills whatsoever and has no interest in erudition. Heck, it can't even spell or define "erudition", much less achieve it. Slashdot says it's going to make a big deal out of nothing faster than you can say "gastrohysterorrhaphy". Is it out of its malign mind? The answer is fairly obvious when you consider that this is kind of a touchy subject to some people. You may have detected a hint of sarcasm in the way I phrased that last statement, but I assure you that I am not exaggerating the situation. This letter has gone on far too long, in my opinion, and probably yours as well. So let me end it by saying merely that slashdot measures the value of a man by the amount of profit it can realize from him.
  • by rice_burners_suck (243660) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:11PM (#12225418)
    This one should have been published on April 1st. The real April Fools joke would have been that it's completely true, but everyone would have thought that it's a joke. And that, my friends, is what April Fools is all about.

    Now if only they could modify this thing to produce papers on selected subjects, using a writing style "learned" by analyzing some of the user's own writing, so that students won't have to waste all their time writing stupid papers, and would have time for more important matters, like actually learning the material, hanging out, drinking booze, and having unsafe sex.

  • EPIC (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lord_Dweomer (648696) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:14PM (#12225458) Homepage
    This story reminded me of the EPIC [gatech.edu] Flash (yeah yeah) video about the future of news media. Basically google ends up not just aggregating content by computer, but writing it by computer as well. Very interesting.

  • Random Complaints (Score:4, Interesting)

    by funny-jack (741994) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:24PM (#12225562) Homepage
    I've always been a fan of Scott Pakin's automatic complaint-letter generator [pakin.org]. When I was in college, we used this all the time, including for submitting letters to the editor of our school paper. Letters that were actually printed [thefalcononline.com]. (Guess which one).

    This post was brought to you by a shameless plug [blogspot.com].
  • Profit Motive (Score:5, Informative)

    by gvc (167165) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:25PM (#12225574)
    These junk conferences are organized for no reason other than profit. Accepting everything that is submitted is consistent with their objective.

    The deal is, in an effort to get tenure or grants in a publish-or-perish world, mediocre researchers submit to these things. They are published if and only if they pay the registration fee. For this particular conference, the fee is a mere $US 390.

    And there are no quantity discounts. If you have n papers you pay n times the fee.
  • by davids-world.com (551216) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:25PM (#12225579) Homepage
    Hmm, it made it to the conference, but it's non-reviewed. So what? The server is /.ed, can't read the correspondence, however, there's little merit for an author to get a paper into a non-refereed publication, I guess.

    Alan Sokal did better back then, when the NY-based physicist wrote up an article that got published in a journal (Social Text, IIRC) - journals are supposed to be rather strict in what they accept.

    The nice thing here is that they wrote a probably neat NLG (natural language generation) system to write the paper - it seems to be more practical than previous multimodal NLG systems that are much more domain/application-dependent, but generate stuff that makes sense.

    Looking forward to that random talk...
  • by krunk4ever (856261) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:26PM (#12225592) Homepage
    we should pit this against the essay autograder [slashdot.org] and see what grade we get. then we can refind it so it always generates A+ worthy papers.
  • by itsNothing (761293) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:26PM (#12225593)
    I remember reading a report about 10 years ago about a group of researchers trying to prove that a given conference was bogus. The group generated 4 papers (including a random one) to see which among them would be accepted. My favorite was entitled:
    Ray Tracing in the Absence of Light
    It was accepted.
  • Based on their CV? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by monecky (32097) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:30PM (#12225637) Homepage
    From the WMSCI website:

    " Acceptance decisions related to the submitted papers will be based on their respective content review and/or on the respective author's CV.
    " ...so they may not have even read the paper.
  • by elgatozorbas (783538) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:34PM (#12225673)
    How do you feel about Randomly generated paper accepted to conference?
  • by Anita Coney (648748) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:43PM (#12225784) Homepage
    I clicked the link and created a random article. Before it appeared I went to the bathroom, got a snack, etc etc etc. A while later I came back and started reading the article.

    By then I forgot all about it being randomly generated. I was trying to read it and I asked myself, "Why the fuck did I open this link, it makes no sense?!" A couple seconds later I remembered.

  • by Mustang Matt (133426) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:50PM (#12225857)
    Here's a snippet of my most recently generated article. This is some great stuff!

    We have taken great pains to describe out evaluation setup; now, the payoff, is to discuss our results. We these considerations in mind, we ran four novel experiments: (1) we ran massive multiplayer online role-playing games on 13 nodes spread throughout the Planetlab network, and compared them against multi-processors running locally; (2) we measured database and WHOIS throughput on our human test subjects; (3) we ran SMPs on 42 nodes spread throughout the Internet-2 network, and compared them against fiber-optic cables running locally; and (4) we compared expected interrupt rate on the GNU/Hurd, FreeBSD and L4 operating systems. We discarded the results of some earlier experiments, notably when we measured database and RAID array latency on our network.

    Now for the climactic analysis of the second half of our experiments. Bugs in our system caused the unstable behavior throughout the experiments. Similarly, the many discontinuities in the graphs point to amplified energy introduced with our hardware upgrades. We scarcely anticipated how accurate our results were in this phase of the evaluation.
  • by Tjp($)pjT (266360) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:59PM (#12225963)
    Mail you transportation fund donation to a random address.
  • by Jakeypants (860350) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @03:05PM (#12226031)
    Using various probability statistics, I've developed a random /. comment generator that'll always, without fail, get me a +5 Insightful! Let's see how this goes...

    Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux

    To cancel it out, I also wrote one that guarantees -5 Flamebait, too:

    Microsoft Microsoft Microsoft Microsoft Microsoft Microsoft Microsoft Microsoft Microsoft Microsoft Microsoft Microsoft Microsoft Microsoft Microsoft Microsoft Microsoft Microsoft
  • by cmacb (547347) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @07:11PM (#12228678) Homepage Journal
    I'd say the conference itself is the product of some random text generator.

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