210: 90's Flowchart

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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90's Flowchart
Freestyle rapping is basically applied Markov chains.
Title text: Freestyle rapping is basically applied Markov chains.


"Stop. Hammertime" is a line in MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This". "Stop, collaborate and listen" is a line in Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby". Both are hit rap songs from the 1990's. The flowchart gives you a good start if you want to sing a 90's rap hit.


(A flowchart asking if it's the '90s. The no branch says "stop", while the yes branch says "stop", then "hammertime", with a subbranch reading "collaborate" and "listen")

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Nothing to be said about Markov Chains? In context, you'd take a large amount of "well formed lyrics", slice them up into sub-chains and then aim to assemble new larger chains of words by randomly linking fragments to neighbours that match the original fragment, to create novel 'runs' at the larger level. Noting that there need not be any 'sensible link' from one fragment to its neighbours' neighbours.

Spambots (used to?) do this a lot to make an automatic 'good looking text', randomly, to get past basic spam-blockers for email and forum messageboards. The unaware reader could even get sucked into the nonsense, for a short while.

For a rapper's output, you'd probably want some additional cross-link checking so that rhyming, aliteration, assonance and consonance emerge from the result. Although for really free-form lyrics it could be much more about the rhythm of the output, so simple syllable-counting might be the main criteria of control.

Now word that suitably for the Explanation and someone might find it interesting. ;)

(Also, in severl ways the opposite to Markov chain construction, I always liked the Darwinian Poetry site. Some of the output from that is strangely intersting, although it's been several years since I was active on the (then usable) forums and helping nudge the process onwards.) 23:42, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

Here [1] you can see how a reasonable explanation can be destroyed. Sorry Dgbrt, but what you wrote simply makes no sense for someone who didn't already know the songs and what you deleted is exactly what was needed. In particular, the deletion of {{w|U Can't Touch This}} and {{w|Ice Ice Baby}} is beyond my understanding. Xhfz (talk) 23:34, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Calm down, I did enter the wiki-links to that songs for the first time and your latest edit is great. What's the problem?--Dgbrt (talk) 23:51, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
OK, a closer check gave me this: Links were not original by me, but I did UNDO an edit (by deleting them.--Dgbrt (talk) 23:59, 16 August 2013 (UTC)