Published: Stupid Manuscripts

I am very pleased that Interstellar Fiction has published a story of mine called “Stupid Manuscripts”.  You can find it here:

            http://interstellarfiction.com/fiction/stupid-manuscripts-by-antha-ann-adkins

The idea behind “Stupid Manuscripts” – that a computer could generate random scientific articles, one of which might be close enough to right that a scientist could use it – is one that I had in my files for years and years before I found a fun way to write it.

The ability of a million monkeys to randomly type out Hamlet (or any other work of Shakespeare) sooner that the heat death of the universe has been proven to be almost impossible.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_monkey_theorem

However, computers have been used to generate text a word at a time a number of times.

In fact, a computer wrote a book in 1984:

            http://www.ubu.com/historical/racter/index.html

And computers have written fake science articles to test how well science journals and conferences screen their papers:

            http://thatsmathematics.com/blog/archives/102

            http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17288-crap-paper-accepted-by-journal.html

And a computer was used to generate a chapter of the “world’s worst novel” which was written to show that Publish America will accept anything:

            http://www.travistea.com/

Unfortunately for my character Hugh, in reality all of these generated works are nonsense.

The likelyhood of a computer generating a close-to-right scientific article (particularly one with equations, where you’d go back to the case of the infinite monkeys typing a character at a time with an even bigger alphabet of symbols) is still highly improbable.  So Hugh really had a lot of work to do …

And I had a lot of fun playing with acronyms.

I hope you enjoyed the story.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s