Political advertising on social media is at risk of being lost forever

Lyndon B. Johnson Political pamphlet for sale on eBay

Not that long ago almost all political advertising was clearly visible in the physical world. Posters, newspaper ads and pamphlets were widely circulated, collected and preserved. It is not unlikely that you are able to walk into an antiquarian book shop and find examples of political propaganda hundreds of years old. Other copies will end up in attics, basements, shoeboxes and occasionally be donated to archives or sold on eBay. It was easier to see who said what and to whom. This enables modern day researchers to understand how campaigns worked and what issues people were engaging with. Such research contributes to new knowledge about our society and help us understand how we got where we are. Continue reading

Christmas carols and death metal lyrics in Tensorflow

Image of saints singing.

After the previous experiment with a character based recurrent neural network (RNN) for romantic novel titles I wanted to find more details about word level RNN:s. I was happy to find that Sung Kim has made it easy to explore word-level RNN:s with Tensorflow in this repository. Training text is 50/50 Christmas carols and death metal lyrics.

Output examples below. (added line breaks and bolded lines that seemed like reasonable song names :-). The resulting tets seem choppier than the character level RNN I tried previously. But still fun!

Christmas is Mutiny

Santa fall is running around my place,
Bound to take your power, tonight. Next Lord of death,
Rudolph the pestiferous Desire To Noel, Fa-la-la-la-la.
I’ll hear my hippopotamus.
Death With rage Bound to popping; And time Glory to town.
Majestically doom!
Filled with blood In their ruthless Bloodstorm!

O Christmas

O Christmas, build a one-horse open day In the year.
Toys at his deer,
A bit of fury, Our Christmas Grandma can walk the truth.
Absence of demons
Oh down the ash of the seeker,
And like the merry organ,
night setting into their head
Please take the primal shape.

Okiku doll of a snowman

Okiku doll of a snowman, be it I saw them repent.
The pig prison, pick him into your rage,
Shake Saints with time,
Jingle finally great every anywhere,
O tidings of night enwrap from the frosty air.

Ding, giddyup, lie beam beginning in high.
Over you my name with our soul. When the glory Hail!
And praises the life in the bed;
The incarnate musical la-la-la-la

Christmas is your mother

Christmas is your mother Falling with my last light
The empire be here On the blanket or Helminthes Gee, Santa rest.
The Jester of Italy. Hey! baby Prayer on,
Bright forces! Slave! of their soul.

I’m lost they can go, We just keep your King.
Everything wind loud is denied! away!
Between Christmas-time sweet,
Kill for brilliant sight,
SNOW Zombies white.

Hoof-prints of their insanity

Hoof-prints of their insanity
Bright forces! Slave!
All he can’t drown in me, why High I go.
that we broke this medication, of the wide open sleigh.
With inferno is lies I must find both to a Merry Christmas.
With Mommy’s mother’s Create Christmas Eve creatures away!!!


(Image, remixed, from Europeana/British Library)

Chat Roulette Kastanjett at Stupid Hackathon Sweden

A service for al castanet players who want to talk to other castanet players over morse code.

The Stupid Hackathon is a one-day event where participants conceptualize and create projects that have no value whatsoever. Me and Memeleader made Chat Roulette Kastanjett – a service for all castanet players who want to talk to other castanet players over castanet morse code. We made a small chat website (with the help of socket.io and Heroku), wired up castanets with a micro Arduino controller running morse code debugging code. And we won a prize!



Nurse Christmas Havin’s Love or Using Deep Learning for Romantic Novel Titles

A couple kissing behind a handheld fan.

Torch is a scientific computing framework with wide support for machine learning algorithms. Andrej Karpathy has an excellent blog post explaining recurrent neural networks (RNNs) and character level models. With his sample code for Torch it is very easy to get started creating your own RNN by using text from a specific domain. This model learns to predict the next character in a sequence. The model can be used to generate text character by character that looks similar to the original training data. Continue reading

Method and system for monitoring Lego hate on Twitter

Diagram of an arduino based lego execution robot. A computer monitors twitter for "I hate lego" and push a small lego figurine over the edge via a servo.

(Cunningly illustrated using patent application art). A small Python script monitors twitter for the phrase “I hate lego”. Upon finding a matching tweet it sends a signal to an Arduino board that turns a servo pushing a small lego figurine over the edge of a table. Live example here (at approx 7:30). A hack for the Make All event in Stockholm. Continue reading

Visualizing Statistics in Minecraft

Minecraft screengrap showing cows in fron t of colored boxes representing the government expenditure of the united kingdom.

Data about public sector spending is often hard to understand and compare. Statistics about government is often presented in tables. In this hack I have used open data from Eurostat (the EU statistics agency) about government expenditure for a set of countries and rendered sets of boxes in a Minecraft world. This makes it possible to explore the data by walking (flying) around the world. Continue reading