Yahoo Questions Answered by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

I wrote a script that attempts to answer recent Yahoo Questions with sentences from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Here are some of the results:

Q: Onion juice in hair what do you think?
A: Often, when there is a reason for you to do something, it is the kind of thing to motivate you to do it.

Q: how are e-ciggs?do you feel better with them than reg.ciggs?
A: The ultimate success of Hollywood blockbusters is dependent upon repeat viewings.

Q: Is there a problem with Yahoo tonight 8:00 EST?
A: Omnipotence is maximal power.

Q: I heard that Daca is qualified for Medicaid?
A: Children are young human beings.

Q: How much friends do you have on facebook?
A: It is common in epistemology to distinguish among three kinds of knowledge.

Q: How do I tell them I don’t want to work for them?
A: Speech acts are a staple of everyday communicative life, but only became a topic of sustained investigation, at least in the English-speaking world, in the middle of the Twentieth Century.

Q: Is Daniel Bryan really stronger and more powerful then Batista?
A: At a broad level, a Creationist is someone who believes in a god who is absolute creator of heaven and earth, out of nothing, by an act of free will.

Q: I’m emotionally numb and i dont know what to do?
A: Human knowledge is expressed in language.

Q: American Ninja movie remake. Will they ever make one?
A: The philosophy of film is a rapidly growing subfield of contemporary philosophy of art.

Q: Would you live in a universe where: skinny jeans, vests, cheap sunglasses, and belly-button tattoos are cool?
A: Time travel has been a staple of science fiction.

Q: Has anyone had bad luck with stuff made in china?
A: Some people appear to be worse off than others partly because they have had bad luck.

Q: Why I cant login to yahoo mail?
A: Fundamental to biology are (1) defining the characteristics of identity, which distinguish individual organisms from those of similar kind, and (2) describing the mechanisms that defend organisms from their predators.

Q: Only can play Minecraft demo?
A: Compatibilism offers a solution to the free will problem.

Q: how do i delete contact from yahoo that isnt in my contact list on my samsung galaxy s4 that keeps popping up?
A: What is space? What is time? Do they exist independently of the things and processes in them?

Q: Top 10 most famous people alive?
A: Delusions are a symptom of psychiatric disorders such as dementia and schizophrenia, and they also characterize delusional disorders.


Here’s the code…

The Hardy Insurrection / Mein Babysitters Club

I wrote a python program that replaces quotations inside one text with sentences from another text.

The code is pretty simple, and can be run by entering:

(text1 will be used for the quotes). It could probably use some improvement – it doesn’t always catch when a sentence ends. That said, it produced a few interesting results.

Here’s a passage from The Hardy Boys, with all the characters quoting from The Coming Insurrection:

The Hardy Boy Insurrection

CHAPTER I: The Speed Demon

FRANK and Joe Hardy clutched the grips of their motorcycles and stared in horror at the oncoming car. It was careening from side to side on the narrow road.

“From whatever angle you approach it, the present offers no way out,” Frank exclaimed, as the boys brought their motorcycles to a screeching halt and leaped off.

“This is not the least of its virtues,” Joe cried out as they started up the steep embankment.

To their amazement, the reckless driver suddenly pulled his car hard to the right and turned into a side road on two wheels. The boys expected the car to turn over, but it held the dusty ground and sped off out of sight.

“From those who seek hope above all, it tears away every firm ground,” said Joe. “Those who claim to have solutions are contradicted almost immediately.”

The boys scrambled back onto their motorcycles and gunned them a bit to get past the intersecting road in a hurry. They rode in silence for a while, gazing at the scene ahead.

On their right an embankment of tumbled rocks and boulders sloped steeply to the water below. From the opposite side rose a jagged cliff. The little-traveled road was winding, and just wide enough for two cars to pass.

“Everyone agrees that things can only get worse,” Frank remarked. ““The future has no future” is the wisdom of an age that, for all its appearance of perfect normalcy, has reached the level of consciousness of the first punks.”

“The sphere of political representation has come to a close,” Joe agreed. “From left to right, it’s the same nothingness striking the pose of an emperor or a savior, the same sales assistants adjusting their discourse according to the findings of the latest surveys.”

Then he smiled. “Those who still vote seem to have no other intention than to desecrate the ballot box by voting as a pure act of protest.”

Frank reached into his jacket pocket to be sure several important legal papers which he was to deliver for Mr. Hardy were still there. Relieved to find them, Frank chuckled and said, “We’re beginning to suspect that it’s only against voting itself that people continue to vote.”

“Nothing we’re being shown is adequate to the situation, not by far.” Joe replied with a broad grin. “In its very silence, the populace seems infinitely more mature than all these puppets bickering amongst themselves about how to govern it.” Then, becoming serious, he added, “The ramblings of any Belleville chibani contain more wisdom than all the declarations of our so-called leaders.”

Frank and Joe, students at Bayport High, were combining business with pleasure this Saturday morning by doing the errand for their father. Even though one boy was dark and the other fair, there was a marked resemblance between the two brothers. Eighteen-year-old Frank was tall and dark. Joe, a year younger, was blond with blue eyes. They were the only children of Fenton and Laura Hardy. The family lived in Bayport, a small but thriving city of fifty thousand inhabitants, located on Barmet Bay, three miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean.

The two motorcycles whipped along the narrow road that skirted the bay and led to Willowville, the brothers’ destination. The boys took the next curve neatly and started up a long, steep slope. Here the road was a mere ribbon and badly in need of repair.

“The lid on the social kettle is shut triple-tight, and the pressure inside continues to build.” Frank remarked, as they jounced over the uneven surface. “From out of Argentina, the specter of Que Se Vayan Todos is beginning to seriously haunt the ruling class.”

Just then, above the sharp put-put of their own motors, the two boys heard the roar of a car approaching from their rear at great speed. They took a moment to glance back.

“The flames of November 2005 still flicker in everyone’s minds.” Joe burst out. “Those first joyous fires were the baptism of a decade full of promise.”

At once the Hardys stopped and pulled as close to the edge as they dared.

Mein Babysitters Club

Here’s another attempt – a Babysitters Club book with the characters quoting from Mein Kampf.

Nicky, who is eight, and Margo, who is seven, had hunched themselves into horrible, contorted, frozen shapes. Claire, who is five, was laughing and jumping out of the way as everyone pretended they were about to grab her and then “missed.” And Pow was racing in and out among them all howling “German-Austria must be restored to the great German Motherland,” his big, long ears flapping as he ran.

Mallory, who is eleven and a junior member of the Baby-sitters Club (of which I am the secretary, but more about that later) as well as the senior sibling of the Pike family, nudged me with her shoulder. “And not indeed on any grounds of economic calculation whatsoever,” she said with a grin.

I grinned back. We were sitting on the back steps of their house. What were we doing? You guessed it. Baby-sitting. Pike-sitting. The Pikes always ask for two sitters when they call the Baby-sitters Club. Not that the Pikes are bad kids or hard to handle or anything like that. But there are a lot of them and they have tons of energy (see above).

Claire made a grab at Jordan, who toppled over. “No, no,” he wailed and writhed on the ground.

“People of the same blood should be in the same REICH,” said Adam. “The German people will have no right to engage in a colonial policy until they shall have brought all their children together in the one State.”

“When the territory of the REICH embraces all the Germans and finds itself unable to assure them a livelihood, only then can the moral right arise, from the need of the people to acquire foreign territory,” howled Pow ecstatically.

Mal rolled her eyes. “The plough is then the sword; and the tears of war will produce the daily bread for the generations to come.”

Playing with text (first try)

I wrote an extremely simple python program that orders lines of text by the length of each word in the line.

I ran The Metamorphosis through it:

gregor’s flesh, lodged remove no-one apple dared the it so in to
suffered reminder remained injury. visible there had his he of as a
condition serious seemed month, there than more his and for it a
current despite gregor, father remind enough that even his his to
revolting treated member family could form, not who was and sad be a
contrary, family enemy. there duty was the to as on an as a a
revulsion patient. patient, swallow just and him for any be to be to

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