Friday funny – Climate Chat-bot in evidence

Josh writes: As you may know, Microsoft recently launched a Chat-bot called ‘Tay’ as an experiment in “conversational understanding.” “The more you chat with Tay”, said Microsoft, “the smarter it gets, learning to engage people through “casual and playful conversation.” ”

But as the Verge noted.

Unfortunately, the conversations didn’t stay playful for long. Pretty soon after Tay launched, people starting tweeting the bot with all sorts of misogynistic, racist, and Donald Trumpist remarks. And Tay — being essentially a robot parrot with an internet connection — started repeating these sentiments back to users, proving correct that old programming adage: flaming garbage pile in, flaming garbage pile out.

Sounds familiar? Well, on BishopHill the other day we learned that Bob Ward’s Twitter account may be manned by something very similar.


And it looks like it’s going to last a lot longer than Tay.

Cartoons by Josh

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April 15, 2016 7:18 am

So are we to conclude that the Bob-bot passes the Turing Test; you can’t tell if you’re communicating with Bob or the Bot?

Reply to  H.R.
April 15, 2016 7:19 am

To be fair, you are supposed to use a bot and a human, not two bots 😛

Mike McMillan
Reply to  Mark
April 15, 2016 10:53 am


Reply to  Mark
April 15, 2016 12:22 pm

“And Tay — being essentially a robot parrot with an internet connection — started repeating these sentiments back to users, proving correct that old programming adage: flaming garbage pile in, flaming garbage pile out.”
OH MY!!! Makes me wonder how many people who “parrot” AGW talking points might be robots!!!!!:)

Gunga Din
Reply to  Mark
April 15, 2016 1:15 pm

OH MY!!! Makes me wonder how many people who “parrot” AGW talking points might be robots!!!!!:)

Maybe not robots but they’ve welcomed and accepted the same programming.

Reply to  Mark
April 15, 2016 1:24 pm

Here’s a robot making talking points … Researchers at Orebo University in Sweden are working on a robot that can help fight climate change by spotting methane leaks in landfills.×236.png
Gasbot is a project from the AASS Research Centre at Orebro University in Sweden. It’s a Clearpath Robotics Husky A200 mobile robot (awarded for free through Clearpath’s Partner Program) equipped with a pair of laser scanners, a GPS, and a remote gas sensor.
That’s right … robots with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads. Mwa ha ha ha …

Reply to  Mark
April 15, 2016 3:27 pm

Reply to Aphan; Not bots, tools!

Reply to  Leo Wiser
April 15, 2016 4:16 pm

All bots are tools, but not all tools are bots?

Reply to  H.R.
April 15, 2016 11:35 pm

The finer point might be…. Does Bob pass the Turing test. 😉

Reply to  H.R.
April 19, 2016 12:40 pm

Doesn’t matter H.R. If you like your bot, you can keep your bot.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  H.R.
April 19, 2016 10:05 pm

Sounds more like the Tourettes test.

April 15, 2016 7:18 am

Facebook are at this too I think, I dont use it but read it somewhere.
Even if these people are not using bots, there are a limitless supply of willing g085h1t3 activists willing to do it for them for free.
Some of those loony online alarmists who spout the same myths over and over, many of those are probably bots

Reply to  Mark
April 15, 2016 10:14 am

Three years back, the legendary Maurizio Morabito clued me in that I was jousting with a climate change Twitterbot ( ) who made the mistake at that time of having his avatar photo matching the face of Barton “Woody” Emanuel, the brother of Kerry Emanuel. The man (or bot) has changed his handle a couple of times, now it is @TheWoodman2 . I checked a few moments ago, just as in the screencapture I got a year or so ago (comment image:large ) still matches what I see when I attempt to view his/its Tweets: I’m blocked from conversing with a bot or viewing its Tweets.

Reply to  Mark
April 15, 2016 12:22 pm

Sorry Mark…didn’t read far enough down before I posted. You beat me to it!

April 15, 2016 7:25 am

“misogynistic, racist, and Donald Trumpist ”
Isn’t it sad the way leftists have to force their idiotic assumptions into every conversation.
And I’m saying that as someone who does not support Trump.

Reply to  MarkW
April 15, 2016 7:30 am

If Donald Trump isn’t misogynistic and racist, who is?

Reply to  coaldust
April 15, 2016 7:43 am

Maybe YOU.

Pamela Gray
Reply to  coaldust
April 15, 2016 7:44 am

If you like your leader, he/she can dribble all kinds of garbage out the mouth with little to no loss of followers. If you don’t like your leader and the leader says for example, “Have a nice day.” you will have street riots against the SOB.

Reply to  coaldust
April 15, 2016 7:44 am

A large proportion of the male population of the middle east and much of asia ARE happily misogynistic and racist. In other words they believe in their racial superiority to other races and in their superiority to women – AND they would happily deny such groups egalitarian rights with men of their race.
So – take your pick.
In answer to your question.
If you wish to assert that Donald Trump is racist, then please specify a specific racist statement that he has been made.

Reply to  coaldust
April 15, 2016 7:53 am

Once again, the leftists demonstrate their innate desire to believe that anyone who disagrees with them is evil.

Reply to  coaldust
April 15, 2016 8:51 am

Trump has never knowingly issued a “racist” remark (denying illegals entry OR wanting to stop any none citizen entry is NOT racist, it’s the LAW in action). However he has been verbally negative on women on occasion, but, hey, I thought women were complete mental equals these days and could take it. However Michelle Fields and 16 well known supporters have proven otherwise as just imagine if a male reporter had complained so much over so little and then filed charges; I think we all know what he would be called (kitty kat).

Reply to  coaldust
April 15, 2016 8:59 am

I work with two grad students that think that Trump is a misogynist. The other day I was working nearby them as they spoke loudly to each other over the motor noise of the machine they were working with. They didn’t think anybody could hear them. Their conversation was rather degrading regarding women. Later I told them about the motor boat effect whereby everybody on a lake can hear the fisherman’s conversation easily as they shout at each other over the motor. I mentioned how misogynist they were, much to their embarrassment. Hypocrisy is alien to them.

Reply to  coaldust
April 15, 2016 10:19 am

> If Donald Trump isn’t misogynistic and racist, who is?
Many of the so-called “social justice” reformers and politicians, who tend to be the worst bigots and hypocrites.
For example, American President Obama has routinely used “race baiting” to achieve his goals. And also “Republican baiting”. He bends over backwards to appease the Iranians, getting nothing in return. But he won’t lift a finger to try to “appease” his “worst enemy”, the Republicans.
It is not bigotry to oppose “reforms” which encourage able-bodied people to quit working and expect a handout from Big Govt. Better to instill old-fashioned “work ethic”, and promote free enterprise to create a productive competition for jobs and wealth.

george e. smith
Reply to  coaldust
April 15, 2016 10:37 am

Does anybody know what a translation of ‘ La Raza ‘ into English is ?
What about ‘ Irish-American ‘ ?

Michael 2
Reply to  coaldust
April 15, 2016 11:43 am

“If Donald Trump isn’t misogynistic and racist, who is?”
Tom and probably others. I regret not keeping a list.

Reply to  coaldust
April 15, 2016 12:24 pm

Democrats should be lining up to vote for him then!!!

Joel Snider
Reply to  coaldust
April 15, 2016 12:34 pm

‘If Donald Trump isn’t misogynistic and racist, who is?’
Perhaps it’s those who exploit racism and sexism and other various forms of bigotry and hatred, and then exacerbate, perpetrate, and stoke it to a fire for their own interests. Usually by labeling political opponents as one of the above.

Gunga Din
Reply to  coaldust
April 15, 2016 1:51 pm

I don’t want him as the Republican nominee (Especially not as a third party candidate. That would put Burnie or Pillagery in the White House for sure.) But if he IS the nominee, I’ll vote for him.
Is he a woman-hater? From seeing his first and second wife, I’d have to say, no, he does not “hate” women. He’s just not a feminist.
(I work with a feminist. She “hates” one of my female co-workers. One of her reasons is that she got married and had a baby. Another is that she is a Christian.)
A “racist”? Hmmm… There are many who judge a person to be inferior to themselves because of the color of their skin or even their beliefs. (See above.)
Who is a racist? David Duke, Al Sharpton etc. come to mind. “Racist” come in all colors.
Is he a racist because he puts the rights and benefits of American Citizenship above those of illegal immigrants? No.

Gunga Din
Reply to  coaldust
April 15, 2016 1:58 pm

Worst I’ve ever messed up a quote!
Here is what was supposed to be in the blockquote.

coaldust April 15, 2016 at 7:30 am
If Donald Trump isn’t misogynistic and racist, who is?

The rest of my previous comment ( was my reply.
(I think I’ll take my nap now.8-)

Reply to  coaldust
April 15, 2016 2:00 pm

Pamela – Do I detect a bit of sexism? Surely if the leader is he/she then when they say “Have a nice day” they are a SOB/DOD??
Have a nice day.

Reply to  coaldust
April 15, 2016 7:40 pm

Obama by far

Reply to  coaldust
April 15, 2016 8:42 pm

Let’s see… about 9 years ago racism as a concern in the USA was 17%, now, after 8 years of Democrat Rule it is about 35%”’
Who benefits from fomenting racism? Who pushes racisim “awareness” at every turn? Who “organizes” racist demonstrations nation wide? Oh, the Democrats…
Follow the advantage and you will find Southern Democrats behind racism from about the Civl War onward.
(Me? I’m an Independent. A pox on both their houses and don’t you DARE call me a Republican… I grew up with a Mexican “best friend” and speaking Spanish and my grandchild is part Puerto Rican and maybe some Africa in there, but nobody cares enough to say for sure… he’s cute in any case… I don’t care what you do with your body parts, or with whom, and could not care less what drugs you use… as long as you share with friends 😉 BUT, I do insist on “keeping a tidy mind” and that does NOT allow for revisionist history, nor for ignoring that the Republican Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation and that the Southern Demcrats were livid at it… or that about 2.8 MILLION died in the Civil War (most of them white) to assure slavery ended. So any ‘reparations’ were paid in blood, then.)
So, to answer your question, I’d say it is the Democrats who are the racists. AND fully exploiting their plantation… Those who yell about it the most, are, by definition, the ones most aware of it and using it.

Reply to  coaldust
April 16, 2016 11:39 am

Johanus, I believe the term you are looking for is “Protestant work ethic”.

Reply to  coaldust
April 16, 2016 12:00 pm

As an outside observer and after noticing the weakening of U.S. influence and the increase of national debt at the rate of $3.400,000,000 per day over the last 8 years I would have thought misogyny was the least of your problems.

Reply to  coaldust
April 16, 2016 2:00 pm

Well Bill got his dangler out in the Whitehouse and, and well there’s this lol
Trump is not PC, that’s what we are talking here lets be honest. I dont agree with some stuff he says but when I see everyone trying to destroy him it makes me root for him, if for nothing else just to see the drama unroll, if Regan could pull it off, Trump is a sharper tack surely.
He is saying two things no one else will say. 1 The media are batards and he is right and 2 he admits American is not great “I want to make America great again”. This resonates with many folks.
He’s not PC but he has a right to his opinion and a right to free speech. We have a right not to listen or voice disagreement in return.
Controlling speech, and changing language “climate change” ect, forms of control, people do become aware of this fact and feel the strain of it on society.
When did the modern world become one giant bed wetter safe space?
WARNING: This post may contain trace amounts of “micro violence”.

Eugene WR Gallun
Reply to  MarkW
April 15, 2016 9:49 am

Pamela Grey — Truly said — Eugene WR Gallun

Reply to  Eugene WR Gallun
April 15, 2016 12:13 pm

Eugene WR Gallun, regarding your comment in the next post, “You seem someone with little to do but spread nonsense on the internet. One has to wonder if you and indefatigablefrog are not the same person.”
Please re-read what was posted by myself and what was posted by Mark.
I have absolutely nothing to do with the speculative imaginings of another person.
Nor did I wish to get into dispute with this person, Mark, over matters about which I have no interest and know nothing – i.e. GM mosquitoes and the creation/emergence of Zika.
The information which I then referred to, regarding Gate’s opposition to cheap generic patent infringing drugs in the developing world is neither controversial nor part of a conspiracy theory.
Whether or not General Motors have manufactured a specific range of Zika carrying mosquitoes, is not my concern. 🙂
Regards, the Frog who shall remain Indefatigable.

Reply to  Eugene WR Gallun
April 15, 2016 8:52 pm

Um, Mr. Frog,
I think GM means Genetically Modified, not General Motors…
You might want to adjust spectacles…

Leonard Lane
Reply to  Eugene WR Gallun
April 15, 2016 10:39 pm

Perhaps if the minorities and Democrats would stop thinking and saying all their opponents are racist for 4 or 5 years I don’t think racism would be, or would perceived to be, a problem. The term now is nothing more than a manufactured outrage for political and personal gain.

Reply to  MarkW
April 15, 2016 9:51 am

Hey, if we in Canada can elect a pot smoking snowboarder as Prime Minister, why not Trump??

Reply to  Wayne Delbeke
April 15, 2016 10:24 am

For some reason, I cannot imagine Trump on a snowboard.

Reply to  Wayne Delbeke
April 15, 2016 4:01 pm

If you want Trump, you can have him!!

Reply to  Wayne Delbeke
April 16, 2016 12:12 am

It appears that more voters want him than anyone else.

Scottish Sceptic
Reply to  Wayne Delbeke
April 27, 2016 12:39 pm

Why would trump elect the Canadian Prime Minister?

Reply to  MarkW
April 15, 2016 10:24 am

You may be assuming facts not in evidence. When I read this story when it first came out, it mentioned that people were quoting Trump to the bot. misogynistic, racist, and Donald Trumpist ”, may mean misogynisitc, racist, and also repeating Donald Trump quotes. Not equating them.

Reply to  Greg
April 15, 2016 10:26 am

At no point did I claim that these people thought Trump was misogynist or racist.
What I found interesting was that this was obviously a list of offensive statements, and Trumpisms made the list.

Joel Snider
Reply to  Greg
April 15, 2016 3:58 pm

I interpret the statement differently – that the Verge was deliberately trying to equate ‘misogynistic, racist’ with Trump with an off-the-cuff remark, not that he was being quoted or even referenced. Basically, going along with the media strategy out of places like the Huff Post and others of constantly referencing Trump as sexist and racist.

Reply to  MarkW
April 16, 2016 11:20 am

Racism, sexism, religious and political prejudices, etc. are one means by which the global elite keep “we-the-people” divided, malleable and controllable. You don’t necessarily have to like someone or their beliefs in order to work productively with them to achieve goals that are mutually beneficial. All of us have prejudices, and they will never be eliminated. However, we do not need to allow these prejudices to interfere with accomplishing important goals. So long as our prejudices keep us divided, then it becomes easy for special interests to set the agenda, and, more often than not, that agenda will be to their benefit and not to ours. The elite are well aware of this.
What is required is a free and open government directed by a set of laws that apply equally to all, and within which all people are granted the most equal participation possible. Such a government was envisioned many years ago by the founding fathers of the US. Unfortunately, in recent years too many of us have grown apathetic with affluence, and have lost sight of this important ideal, opening the door to those who believe they are above the law and are naturally superior to the imasses who deserve to be controlled and managed in order to serve their own ends.

April 15, 2016 7:32 am

The topic of the Tay Disaster (wait a minute…that sounds like an oil spill in the Moray Firth!!) is discussed with brilliant humour in this recent episode of the youtube broadcast “Week In Stupid” (recommended).
Along with internet trolling in general and some issues which arose when internet users were invited to name an arctic vessel. These topics are discussed (link below) from 14:24. I found it all to be hilarious. The internet eats itself, finally.
Hopefully in the future the internet will become an utter waste of everyone’s time.
And then we can all go back to surfing, playing frisbee or walking up mountains etc, for entertainment.

P.S. Apparently scientists have now found a direct link between Zika and brain defects, apparently. Just out of interest.

Reply to  indefatigablefrog
April 15, 2016 7:44 am

Zika was discovered in 1947. Pretty sure any effects are known long before now, it was patented decades ago by guess what Foundation?
There is some suspicion it’s spread is related to the batches of GM mosquitos released in south america.
Guess where the misquitos came from..
Zika is just the thing to scare people into not reproducing

Reply to  Mark
April 15, 2016 7:48 am

Interesting, Mark. I must confess that I had not done my research into Zika. I was just parroting an announcement that a causal link had been established.
Formerly I had supposed that the proposed link was likely to be due to shoddy statistical analysis.
And the failure to fully grasp the problems of identifying a causal relation based upon two very low incidence factors.

Reply to  Mark
April 15, 2016 8:12 am

Yes the patent was submitted by the R Foundation years ago, if you research you find that N1h1 was also patented years before the “outbreak”.
Zika was discovered in the Rhesus monkey in Ugandan forests in 1947, not in humans.
Zika appeared after GM mosquito were released to fight Dengue
The Rockefeller foundation patented Zika and the Gates Foundation owns the GM mosquito.
Both are very serious proponents of 500m people globally

Reply to  Mark
April 15, 2016 8:13 am

And both are certainly backing and funding the social engineering of “climate change” heck Gates is the prime mover in making US kids dumber, with common core!

Reply to  Mark
April 15, 2016 8:15 am

Philanthropy hacking, changing the world with your money and power

Reply to  Mark
April 15, 2016 8:25 am

I don’t know much about Gates and his campaigns. But I do know that he used his money and influence to heavily push to deny the people of Africa and India access to cheap generic alternatives to drugs that are under patent in the west.
Such generic alternatives are often of extremely high quality. And it is hard to see why we should not be more forgiving of extremely poor people who depend upon them.
It is not as though there are not adequate profits to be made here in the rich west, where such generics are clearly not widely available.
It’s certainly curious. If not enough to raise doubts about Gate’s motives.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Mark
April 15, 2016 9:22 am

I think it is irresponsible to repeat things like ‘GM mozzies released’ and ‘some suspicion’ and ‘patented’. This junk is the basis of grossly misleading urban myths that run round the world resulting in things like the failure to eliminate polio only a few Nigerian villages short of success. Rotary International and others devoted three decades and several hundred million $ to eliminating it and groundless fear created by such junk ‘maybe’s’ were picked up by village mullahs and polio escaped into several countries within months.
Everyone likes a little speculation and conspiracy (because there are so many real ones). Bill Gates is not trying to eliminate the human population by deliberately spreading zika-infected genetically modified mosquitoes around South America. Now, say that twice out loud. Then chase down whoever you heard this nonsense from and tell to do the same.
There is enough junk climate science to last for a century already circulating in the minds of alarmists and catastrophists. Zika is real and tragic. So is spending $1.5 trillion per year on trumped up claims of climate tipping points and boiling oceans. One totalitarian Hollywood-simulating catastrophe at a time, please. Creating additional ‘stupid’ is not going to help us get our science reputation back.

Reply to  Mark
April 15, 2016 9:42 am

?? GM mosquitos ?? for real- ? could you please provide a link, or something which provides scientific verification that there is such a thing- thanks.

Reply to  Mark
April 15, 2016 9:59 am

thebillyc April 15, 2016 at 9:42 am:
“?? GM mosquitos ?? for real- ”
pwned …

Eugene WR Gallun
Reply to  Mark
April 15, 2016 10:15 am

You seem someone with little to do but spread nonsense on the internet. One has to wonder if you and indefatigablefrog are not the same person. Or maybe one of you is a bot of the other. I just can’t tell which is which.
What is the result of your posting? No one here takes it seriously recognizing it for the absolute nonsense it is. You have pushed nobody”s buttons here or outed anyone but yourself as an idiot. I recently wrote a poem in which I used the line “all idiots self-revealing”. You are just more proof of that truism.
Eugene WR Gallun

george e. smith
Reply to  Mark
April 15, 2016 10:42 am

So Just about the current number of people using Micro$oft Windows, is a sustainable world population ??

Reply to  Mark
April 15, 2016 11:53 am

Can you give us the patent application number? Is it a WO number?

Reply to  Mark
April 15, 2016 12:36 pm

“all idiots self-revealing”. Not only is your poetry hilarious, sharp and completely true, but that phrase right there is one of those “golden nuggets of wisdom” that seems to be eternally and always true.
It’s like a mathematical constant…certain “idiotic” behavior/thinking/speech IS ALWAYS self-revealing…almost in direct proportion to the degree in which the person doing it believes their words are making someone (or something) else, look bad. Can you write me a scientific formula for this? Something like “projection x verbiage x repetition increases in direct proportion to the degree in which the person speaking/acting is cognitively impaired” 🙂

Reply to  Mark
April 15, 2016 1:48 pm

Wow, Mark, what a load of gibberish. You need to stop listening to Alex Jones. He’s mind pollution.
There’s no patent on Zika or H1N1, and any patent issued in 1947 would have expired in the 1960s.
The “GM mosquitoes” are >99.9% male, and quasi-sterile (offspring die off, which is the point), and they are not infected with Zika, and male mosquitoes don’t bite anyhow.
Although Zika was discovered in 1947, there were no known human infections until the 1950s, and no major outbreaks until within the last decade, so it is unsurprising that the effects are still being discovered.

Reply to  Mark
April 15, 2016 9:15 pm

Zika is a big deal in South America simply because a LOT of folks now fly all over the world, some of them Zika infected, and it moved to a virgin population there. Since all the “moms” didn’t have it as sniffles when they were 12 (or 3…) they don’t have antibodies and NOW in THEM it causes infantile micocephaly and other horrid things. Once everyone has had it, the “moms” will have antibodies and the “OH GOD!” side effects will drop off to the same level as in Africa.
Nothing at all to do with GM mosquitoes, any patents, or much of anything else. BTW, the state of the art in biochem in the 1940s was nowhere near the point where you could patent a virus… It wasn’t until the late 60s that we had enough clue about polio to even make a decent vaccine against it ( I watched the process closely as the Big Sister’s Best Friend had leg braces from it and I wondered if I might ‘catch it’… then got vaccinated…)
Frankly, Mark, I wonder if you are really that stupid, or are being paid to pollute threads with conspiracy ideation in a (futile) attempt to paint “climate deniers” as some kind of ilk… Well, clue time: WE are much much smarter and much much more moral than the folks pushing a phony AGW dogma for purposes of self enrichment could ever imagine. We come in all political stripes (from a few outright socialists, through progressives and democrats to even republicans and, like me, independents with a libertarian leaning) all genders and a whole lot of “orientations”. We are united mostly by a belief in the value of truth and honesty seasoned with a good helping of willingness to call “Bullshit” when someone tries to pour crap down our throats and call it honey.
So just to make it clear: You are looking a bit the idiot in your postings and “style”. While I find it fun to laugh at, it makes me feel guilty in the laughing. So, on the off chance you are NOT a bot and NOT a paid shill: Please take a bit of time to think about how silly your assertions look. It really does reek of Space Alien ideation and a belief in the power of crystals to make you happy… If you are “that way”, my condolences on the loss your parents have suffered…

Eugene WR Gallun
Reply to  Mark
April 15, 2016 10:26 pm

Aphan — Thank you for the kind words.– Eugene WR Gallun

Dave in Canmore
Reply to  indefatigablefrog
April 15, 2016 7:47 am

great vid thanks!

Reply to  indefatigablefrog
April 15, 2016 10:52 am

Perhaps the designers of Tay’s artificial intelligence could have benefitted from a little bit more of the original, all organic article themselves.

Dave in Canmore
April 15, 2016 7:37 am

Way to go Microsoft! I was starting to worry there was a shortage of people with nothing useful to say on the internet. Crisis averted!

Reply to  Dave in Canmore
April 15, 2016 8:15 am

Well, spell checkers denied us the opportunity to immediately establish that a person was an imbecile based upon their poor spelling. And the advent of grammar checkers (see Grammerly) will have the same effect with regard to poor grammar.
So, unfortunately we will no longer have the pleasure of being able to happily disregard criticism that arrives in the form of “your an idiot”, for example.
I have treasured occasions in which an antagonist has demonstrated such incompetence.
But, now every imbecile will be able to hide behind the mask of both spelling and grammar checking.
Essentially, even real people will be transmitted via a robotic system of homogenization:

Reply to  indefatigablefrog
April 15, 2016 8:31 am

Honestly, if someone’s argument boils down to ‘you’re an idiot’ then I’m going to ignore or ridicule them, regardless of how perfect their spelling or grammar are.

Reply to  indefatigablefrog
April 15, 2016 10:45 am

I had a student whose written English was hard to understand. I suggested that he try a grammar checker. His written English then became impossible to understand.

george e. smith
Reply to  indefatigablefrog
April 15, 2016 10:46 am

So what do you suggest when the spell checker, and the grammar checker are both imbeciles ?
I have more words scribbled on the wall in my bathroom, than Micro$oft knows.

Tim Hammond
Reply to  indefatigablefrog
April 15, 2016 10:59 am

You seriously think being able to spell makes you clever? And following utterly fabricated “rules” of grammar is frankly unintelligent – the rules are nothing more than what was deemed correct usage at a point in time by self-appointed experts and/or misguided attempts to apply Latin rules to a non-Latin language.
If you think an argument can be refuted because of spelling or grammar, you are the fool.

Reply to  Tim Hammond
April 15, 2016 12:30 pm

“You seriously think being able to spell makes you clever?”
Nope – but I have noticed a general correlation that exists between the level of performance in a range of tasks and intelligence.
That’s is not to say that , ability to spell MAKES you clever.
No causality was implied.
Nor was it suggested that a perfect correlation exists.
By taking my comment far to seriously you both manufactured a straw-man and invested some effort in demolishing it.
Obviously I am aware that some people who are highly intelligent have poor literacy skills in English.
Obviously, especially in the case of people who are not native English speakers.
But then, how could I, or anyone else worth talking to, not be aware of that? Why should this case need to be made?

george e. smith
Reply to  indefatigablefrog
April 15, 2016 11:05 am

I can’t even imagine how the average EFL person comes across, when speaking (as a tourist maybe) French, German, Italian, Spanish, just for starters, not to ignore the Viking languages or Asians, as to grammar specifically. And English has to be about the most convoluted hodgepodge; not even addressing the problem of American per Noah Webster.
So I am not much into criticizing the English of others, specially when I have no idea what their starting point is.
I once had the pleasure of coaching a young Chinese Lady (Beijing mainlander) in American, written and spoken. Talk about the blind leading the blind. But Kiwi English is not exactly ‘Strine .
I would read e-mails she forwarded to me, and send back suggestions when I had time to get to it. I didn’t pre-edit anything she sent out.
She never ever repeated a ‘misteak’ after I suggested a correction.
Biggest problem, I had with her English, was she spoke and wrote British English, which she learned in Beijing from Hong Kong English teachers. So I had to point out that she was not wrong, but not ‘American’ either which is what she wanted to be.
Speaking to her (two years in USA at age 26), she had essentially zero accent, that would stamp her as Asian. Some people are just determined to succeed at whatever they wish.

Reply to  george e. smith
April 15, 2016 12:39 pm

Obviously people who have learned English as a second language are quite forgiven.
But, these days I notice that widely – foreign English speakers seem to have a better grasp of the formalities of the English language than acquaintances who have emerged from the English comprehensive system.
I myself, was taught no formal grammar whilst at school in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Apparently the rules of grammar were perceived to be old fashioned, or somesuch notion.
I therefore had to instruct myself as an adult. I was still using an apostrophe in “it’s” (belonging to it) right up until I was picked up on this habit a few years ago on the internet.
Pretty shocking really.
An education system in which I was taught for example, Fourier Series but not the standard use of the apostrophe.
Something odd going on there!!!

Reply to  indefatigablefrog
April 15, 2016 11:16 am

That’s pretty much what Obama did.
Got no time for flat earthers.
Or it’s you’re an idiot, so there.

Reply to  indefatigablefrog
April 15, 2016 12:38 pm

ur punctuation needs checking 2. horrors; 2 few “,” in places.

Reply to  _Jim
April 15, 2016 12:43 pm

Also, an errant “e” in Grammerly.
I’m the worst offender.
But, I was only messin’.
Anyways – I don’t wanna end up speakin’ to no robots.

Reply to  indefatigablefrog
April 15, 2016 12:39 pm

See my comment above to Eugene. There is no app, system, or computer program that can possibly cover up “stupid” for long. Like Eugene said-it’s “self revealing”, and the more you try to hide it, the more you reveal yourself.

Reply to  indefatigablefrog
April 15, 2016 10:10 pm

Where to start….
Ok, for The Frog:
I’m well into “Gifted” land on I.Q. (Mensa+ on several tests). I can’t spell worth a damn. Spelling has zero connection to “skill” and certainly none to intelligence.
In defense of myself, I grew up with an English Mum and Irish-German American Dad, and both spelled a bit differently… then the French neighbors had their own way and we shared, me teaching them English at about 5 years old and them teaching me some French without knowing it…, and the Mexican Best Friend had yet another way… so it goes. In grammar school and high school I learned Spanish, in college French to French Lit and a quarter each of German and Russian… on my own learned enough Italian to “get by” on a trip; and found Norwegian and Icelandic of interest via tape… Swedish was useful the year I had a contract at Eriksson and then Japanese for martial arts and that Japan trip… and then I found a fascination with Esperanto, Ido, and eventually Interlinqua (by far the best of the constructed / auxiliary languages IMHO). Then there was that dabble in Irish and Scotts Gaelic… not to mention the time I got enough Greek to realize I didn’t like the alphabet and the “dive” into Latin so I could read the Vulgate in the original… and a half dozen others I’ve forgotten to mention and the dozen or three computer languages…
The point? At the end of that, God help you at keeping straight in which language it is “apartment” vs “appartement” vs “appartemente” vs “appartemant” vs… (sometimes I think the Semitic languages have it right and just leaving out the vowels works best… that whole writing O but sometimes pronouncing it like A in Russian is just such a pain.. ) True intelligence recognizes the similarities and maps them all to one common point. Understanding.
As Mark Twain put it: “Never trust a man who can only spell a word one way”… or was that someone else… or was it “I will say that a man must be a great fool who can’t spell a word more than one way.” or…
Note that languages change. We do not speak as Chaucer did, nor as Shakespeare did, nor even as Churchill or even Nixon did. So in fact, the person who can only spell “one way” is the dolt holding back progress and fighting the inevitable advance of time… Oh, I ought to mention that learning to read Olde English in the original can muck up thy spellin’ a mite too. (FWIW, most of my ‘wrong’ spellings often show up in olde English, so maybe I’m just channeling the past.. or those old English books I read at about 5 had more impact… who knows… .)
Per grammar checkers: Send Chaucer, Shakespeare or most any poetry through a grammar checker and cringe…
Per ESL: Frankly, one of the joys of English is that we are most accepting of just about anything and there are dozens of ways to say a thing, none wrong, just marking your origin and POV.
Per English being “hard” or “convoluted”:
I’ve done a “language dive” into somewhere north of a dozen languages. Some all the way to the end, others less so. I can assure you beyond any doubt (with the possible exception of Sanskrit that is in some ways hinting it is a constructed language…): THEY ALL ARE SCREWED UP AND HAVE STRANGE BITS!
From the thousand and one case inflection word/tense/gender of most of the indo-European group, to the der-die-das strangeness of German (they overload it with multiple uses) to the “What, only ONE past tense?” of Russian or the “Why do you need 7 past tenses?” of French (including “passe simple” only used in literature…) to the Greek that hasn’t change much in 3000 years except in that the ancient and new are not mutually intelligible to the “only 9 sounds” Polynesian to the “Vowels? VOWELS? WE DON’T NEED NO STEEKING VOWELS!!” of the Semitic group.and on and on it goes… (And don’t even get me started on “yam” and “mother” being the same in one Chinese dialect if you don’t get rising / falling tone right… or some such).
I’ve looked at DOZENS, in depth. Gaelic has a herd of letters you just do not pronounce, except when you do, or they change another sound. Polish has sentences that run on for pages. Finnish has more cases than God… (though I admire the “asymptotic” case of Hungarian… you can say “approach but never to touching the wall” with a verb ending… nice…) The simple fact is that ALL LANGUAGES are full of crap.
Not one of them is pure.
I set out decades ago to find The One Best Language For Logical Thinking. The answer? Whatever one you grew up in. As a native speaker, you know all the pitfalls and circumlocutions. It really IS that simple.
(FWIW, I have a fondness of the agglutinative languages (as opposed to inflected) since English is headed that way, losing case and gender endings and headed to a “kit of parts” where you assemble any bits you like. He to whom gave it? Who was it given to? Gave it, who? English really doesn’t care so much… )
So please, give up on beating up on English as somehow stranger than others. Otherwise I’m going to ask you to explain the differences of Vulgar Latin vs Church Latin vs Law Latin vs High Latin vs… or Attic Greek vs Modern; or High, Low, and Swiss German vs Yiddish or…
Even Sanskrit, that looks to have artificial constructed aspects to it, in an attempt to achieve purity, comes in several favors over time. Each not quite clear to the other.
So take pleasure in speking wa’evah ya’ll like; ’cause its all fiin w’me!

Reply to  E.M.Smith
April 16, 2016 12:01 am

I appreciate, all of your valid points.
But, to cut to the chase – The internet is vast and filled with variety, and life is short. So I have decided to indulge in the topics that interest me, with people who share those interests and who share a comfortable use of a familiar language.
I am not keen on wasting my time at any point talking to a “bot”, or for that matter receiving messages which whilst from a human have been effectively re-processed by a bot to meet standards of spelling and grammatical norms.
Life is far too robotic as it is.
Ultimately, this comes down to personal preference. But I feel that progress in this area is now in danger of removing the ability of the receiver of messages to discern what, if any, human input went into creating them.
I’m not personally a grammar or spelling nazi.
I’m never even precisely sure when I should use who or whom.
Perhaps I’ll figure it out one day.

Reply to  indefatigablefrog
April 16, 2016 12:08 pm

Dear Frog: Who / Whom is one of the last remaining case inflections in English. “Who” does something, and he does it “to Whom”. It’s that simple.
Who hit whom. Whom was hit by who? Whom who hit? Whom was killed and who did it? Who tolled the bell, and for whom the bell tolled? Actor, patient (or acted upon).
Also note that any use of a spell checker to decide *I* “was an imbecile based upon their poor spelling” would be a gross error… so you are being “denied[…]the opportunity” to make gross errors. Not much loss.

Reply to  E.M.Smith
April 18, 2016 7:55 am

Thank you. This is sinking in already.
I think that I was getting it mostly right.
But I didn’t consciously understand the rule.
I was perplexed in situations such as “Who comprises the group”, “The group is comprised of whom”.
Probably where the concept of A acting upon B is not instinctively clear.
I’ll get there now that I have seen the rule explained.
I should have anticipated that my earlier comment would invoke fury.
But, I imagined that everyone here was a spelling genius!!

Reply to  indefatigablefrog
April 16, 2016 1:24 pm

Mike Smith,
That was one of the best explanations of Who/Whom I’ve read.
Caesar wrote treatises on the correct use of Latin. Unfortunately, almost all were lost. But taking Latin in school, I would put it high in priority for logical meaning…
…if you understand what I mean. I mean, I’m writing this in English.

Reply to  indefatigablefrog
April 18, 2016 8:38 pm

E.M. Smith – I’ve done a “language dive” into somewhere north of a dozen languages. Some all the way to the end, others less so.

In all of your linguistic travels, did you ever run across a proper antonym for postpone?
The Latin roots of postpone are post and pone, which means literally to place after. So to place before would be pone and pre, or prepone. But prepone is not a word that exists, or rather existed until very recently, and usually in a computer science context.

April 15, 2016 7:52 am

This creation is reminiscent of the Postmodernist Bullshit Generator.
An automated webpage that creates a bespoke Postmodernist style essay with each visit or page refresh.
What is most notable is that the quality of its output is, in general, superior to the purportedly authentic postmodernist crap that emerges from modern academia.
I could provide examples. But the veracity of my claim is proven by the success of the Sokal Hoax:

Reply to  indefatigablefrog
April 15, 2016 12:40 pm

^^ Approaching 100% recursion by the looks of it too ^^

Tom Halla
April 15, 2016 8:25 am

It would’t be so funny if it wernt so true.

April 15, 2016 10:03 am

O.T but,
..Oh no !! Not again !! Japan hit with 7.0 earthquake, Tsunami warning issued !

Reply to  Marcus
April 15, 2016 12:41 pm

How long before someone attributes it to global warming, climate change?

John Whitman
April 15, 2016 1:37 pm

Bob Ward acts more borg-like than bot-like.
Borg as in the Star Trek alien invaders.

Reply to  John Whitman
April 15, 2016 2:04 pm

At least the Borg have a logical reason for their actions.
They wish to assimilate knowledge from other life forms to increase their own.
Where they come unstuck is the use of force to do so, and the assumption they are always right and smarter than the people they want to assimilate.
Sounds a little familiar suddenly…

Reply to  Felflames
April 15, 2016 4:14 pm

“At least the Borg have a logical reason for their actions. They wish to assimilate knowledge from other life forms to increase their own.”
Um no. Maybe you meant to say Vulcans.
“The Borg are a collection of species that have been turned into cybernetic organisms functioning as drones in a hive mind called “the Collective” or “the Hive”.”
“In Star Trek: First Contact, the Borg Queen merely states that the Borg were once much like humanity, “flawed and weak”, but gradually developed into a partially synthetic species in an ongoing attempt to evolve and perfect themselves.” (wiki)
The Borg did not just assimilate “knowledge” from other species, they assimilated entire races of people (and other species) entirely, and created an organic/synthetic drone army in a bent mental quest to become a “perfect species”. THEY saw this as logical. No one else did. Not even the Vulcans. 🙂

NW sage
Reply to  Felflames
April 15, 2016 4:16 pm

“Resistance is Futile”

Reply to  Felflames
April 15, 2016 10:23 pm

Persistence is puerile!

John Whitman
Reply to  Felflames
April 16, 2016 12:22 pm

Sauce for the goose (old Spock quote) => Ward for the Borg

April 15, 2016 3:35 pm

As McGonagall once famously said: “…the Tay, the Tay, the silvery Tay, up you go and doon in a day.”

Reply to  jorgekafkazar
April 15, 2016 4:15 pm

I was thinking of the movie “Nell”……”Tay in the ween……Tay in the ween….”

April 16, 2016 12:22 am

If an argument-bot concerns you, check this out.
You can literally no longer believe your eyes.

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