Spam Poetry

I can’t be the only one who has a free email account, and from time to time checks the ’spam’ folder before deleting it all, just in case some genuine person has sent an email that has triggered the spam filter somehow. The filth and annoying crap you find in there is just incredible. Today, I had a crazy idea for something funny that could be done with all this junk.

I had the crazy idea that I could write a program that reads my junk mail everyday and generates some ‘poetry’ from the text it finds there — that’s poetry in the very loosest sense of the word, you understand — we won’t be winning any literary prizes here, me thinks :)

The ‘poetry’ generator would suck up the text from each email, attempt to digest it by breaking it down into sentences, add it all to a huge spam database, and would then try to assemble it into some form or other. The algorithm that could be used here would be an interesting study for someone with a lot of time on their hands, but that’s not me. I feel certain that some crazy person has already achieved this somewhere. A quick search in Google reveals that other people have been thinking along the same lines, as I would certainly expect.

What would be terrific would be to have the spam text, sent by prolific spammers, harvested and new ’spam poetry’ generated from all the crap, and then sent back to the very criminals that sent out the crap in the first place ;-)

And if the spammers were ever convicted, their sentence could be to listen to all this spam poetry — like having to endure listening to Vogon poetry. Now, that would be enough to put them off even thinking about being spammers.

The algorithm that could be employed for this could be truly awesome: analyse existing poetry styles: stanza length, line length, word lengths, rhyming. Then randomly select properties from this analysis and use it to form decisions in the generation algorithm for the ‘poetry’. The mind boggles :)

This can be a subject to return to one day, if I ever find any free time once all my ‘1 million things to do before I die’ list is complete ;-)



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