Informatics: computer poetry

It has been a quiet day in the Forum- lots of writing about Ada and GIL, and a little reading through the first couple of chapters in Data Made Flesh: Embodying Information, edited by Robert Mitchell and Phillip Thurtle (part of my trawl from the library). Then the usual emails and daydreaming and wandering up and down the spiral staircase.

For lack of anything more glamorous to report (than that I wrote lots!), here’s a little treat a computer-forensics friend of mine introduced me to one Burn’s Night:

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I websurfed, weak and weary,

Over many a strange a spurious website of ‘hot chicks glaore’,

While I clicked my fav’rite bookmark, suddenly there came a warning,

And my heart was filled with mourning, mourning for my dear amour.

‘Tis not possible,” I muttered, “give me back my cheap hardcore!”

Quoth the server, “404”

According to Thomas, it’s untitled and by anonymous. If anyone can point me to the original author I’d be grateful. In the meantime I like of think of it as ‘Poe, 2.0’.

This is a mini-excerpt from Ada and GIL. I’m breaking the dialogues down into mini-scenarios, each with a heading to help me reference them when they all get put back togetehr again. This one is called ‘Ada on Reading’, and I selected it because I find it amusing, which tells you quite a lot about my sense of humour:

‘Why do you even bother reading at all? Can’t you just plug in somewhere and upload it into your brain?’ Ada asked.

‘Into my system,’ GIL corrected her.

‘Isn’t it an inefficient use of your time?’

‘I find pleasure in mixing this form of data input with the context in which it is received. When I recall this book,’ GIL picked Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein up from the top of the stack. ‘Then I shall also recall the time spent here, in your company, and the patterns of the frost in the puddles outside on the roof garden. It will be… pleasant.’

‘You told me once that you remember everything.’

‘There are some moments it is a pleasure to spend time remembering; they are more than just knowledge to draw upon.’

Ada was touched. ‘You enjoy remembering me? But you see me almost everyday.’

‘One day you will be dead.’

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2 thoughts on “Informatics: computer poetry

  1. Thomas brought it to my Burns night a couple of years ago, as well as a poem written entirely in binary code. Haven’t managed to find the latter yet, but i have vague memories of it being a limerick or similar…

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