Juxtaposition Bots: @TwoHeadlines, @oneiropoiesis, and @AndNowImagine

The three bots reviewed in this entry all carry out essentially the same technique– they create a tweet based on the juxtaposition of material from two different sources–  yet produce output that feels quite different. The reasons for this are partly thematic, partly due to the data source, and partly because of the way the join the juxtaposed elements.

An important early bot that uses this technique is Ranjit Bhatnagar’s @Pentametron, which retweets iambic pentameter tweets joined by end rhyme and creating surprisingly cohesive and occasionally humorous couplets. Juxtaposition is also a poetic technique that became prominent with Modernism and is a central strategy in Ezra Pound’s poetry and poetics. This entry will analyze “Two Headlines” by Darius Kazemi, “Dreams, juxtaposed” by Allison Parrish, and “And Now Imagine” by Ivy Baumgarten.

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“Kenosha Kid (@YouNeverDidThe)” by Darius Kazemi

 Profile summary Kenosha Kid Tweets Following Followers 2,576 1 35 Kenosha Kid @YouNeverDidThe  Brute-forcing an episode from Gravity's Rainbow. Tweets every two hours. By @tinysubversions.  Kenosha · itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagel… Bot Bot BestOf TheBots Matt Schneider Bot Performance  Followed by Bot Bot, BestOf TheBots, Matt Schneider and 4 others.      Kenosha Kid ‏@YouNeverDidThe 39m      You! Never, did the Kenosha Kid...     Details     Kenosha Kid ‏@YouNeverDidThe 3h      You never! Did... The. Kenosha! Kid...     Details  Go to full profile
Open “Kenosha Kid (@YouNeverDidThe)” by Darius Kazemi

This bot is “brute-forcing an episode from [Thomas Pynchon’s novel] Gravity’s Rainbow” by tweeting the words “you never did the Kenosha kid” with different punctuation every two hours. The bot description links to a Language Log entry that explains the episode– basically about a man who, under the effects of sodium amytal, goes on “an obsessive meditation on alternative possible analyses of the six-word sequence ‘you never did the kenosha kid.'” Inspired by the algorithm described here, Darius Kazemi created a bot that seeks all the possible combinations of that word sequence with punctuation (and appropriate capitalization). The result is a tour-de-brute-force of different syntactic structures and meanings that can emerge from this simple string of words. Try reading the following tweets out loud.

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“@Darius_at_GDC” by Darius Kazemi

Screen Capture from the “@Darius_at_GDC” twitter account, created by Darius Kazemi. Text: "@tinysubversions isn't attending GDC 2013, so he created me to attend in his place. Tweet 1: GEE DEE CEEEEEEE Tweet 2: We are going to revolutionize the notgames. We're hiring passionate developers toZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz *snort* Tweet 3: It's been a struggle just to keep my eyes open."
Open “@Darius_at_GDC” by Darius Kazemi

This bot is a stand-in for Kazemi at the Game Developer’s Conference happening at the time of this posting in San Francisco, because he will not be able to attend for the first time in 10 years. So instead of pining away on Twitter as #GDC tweets flood his stream, he created a bot so his friends could have the pleasure of his company in their own streams, which as we know, is almost as good as his being there. If that were all this piece was, it would be little more than a Kazemi-themed Twitter equivalent of this:

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“Rapbot” by Darius Kazemi

“Latour Swag” by Darius Kazemi

Screen capture of "Latour Swag" by Darius Kazemi. A picture of the @LatourSwag twitter profile showing its most recent tweets. Text: "@latourbot + #swag: an attempt to approximate @10rdben in bot form. Tweets every 15 minutes. By @tinysubversions. It's another ploy by the Finance Ministry and you too will have swag. #SWAG. Since they are able to interrupt, these people must be tied to new interests and boylieber happy JB! #teambieber #ilovejb #SWAG #MyLife"
Open “Latour Swag” by Darius Kazemi

This Twitter bot produces a mashup of the “Bruno Latourbot” and original tweets that use the #swag hashtag. Kazemi describes the selection algorithm in detail in this excerpt from his blog posting about the creation of this bot.

Basically how it works is I get the last 100 Twitter search results for “#swag” that also contain the word “and”. Then I grab the last 100 tweets from @LatourBot. I take every #swag tweet that’s not an RT and push it to an array. I take every @latourbot tweet that has “and” or “,” in it, and push it to an array. Then I say there’s a 50% chance it will be latour-then-swag, and 50% that it will be swag-then-latour. If Latour comes first, I take a random Latour tweet from the array and take all the text up to the “and” or the “,”. Then I take a random swag tweet and take the text after the “and” in it. Then I do latour + ” and ” + swag. There you go.

Here’s a link to the source code.

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