The NaNoGenMo 2020 Roundup

Despite everything, November still arrived in 2020, and with it a new crop of “novels” written by computer programs for National Novel Generation Month. Last year I wrote a recap of the 2019 entries highlighting some of my favorites. This year saw fewer entries than before, but there are still some gems worth pointing out.

Hopefully you are familiar with NaNoGenMo already. If not, put simply, it’s an event where programmers write a computer program that outputs a “novel” — a document of at least 50,000 words. Computers are not yet writing best-sellers, but the projects that people come up…


The NaNoGenMo 2019 Roundup

Each November, dozens of programmers, NLP enthusiasts, computer artists, and other folks gather together to participate in National Novel Generation Month. The goal, like NaNoWriMo, is to produce a novel; the difference is that, rather than writing the novel by hand, NaNoGenMo participants write a computer program which generates a novel. There are only two real requirements: By the end of November the program must output at least 50,000 words, and the source code must be made available.

Despite its origin as a half-joking tweet, NaNoGenMo has now run for six years, and it remains the highest-profile long-form computer writing…


It doesn’t matter which license you use. They’re all bad.

“The Zax” (Dr. Seuss)

I grew up learning Linux during the late 90s, getting into OSS through the usual proponents. I remember the BSD vs GPL wars, the continual back-and-forth on Slashdot about which license was “more free”, what the GPL’s virality meant for users. And every year was the Year of the Linux Desktop.

These licenses were products of a different time, purpose-built weapons refined to take down exactly one target: Microsoft — the 800lb gorilla in the software industry, on the warpath with their “Embrace, Extend, Extinguish” philosophy. …


The “debate” is over. Show them the door.

Photo by Greg Hume, CC BY-SA 3.0

You’re familiar with the Dr. Seuss story, Horton Hears a Who, right? The one with the elephant? In the story, the Whoville citizens are faced with an impending existential threat: if they do not all band together and take action, collectively raising their voices as one, their entire world will be tossed into hot oil and they will all be boiled alive. It’s a remarkable story with an uplifting message. Spoiler: they rally everyone just in the nick of time, and manage to save themselves from certain doom.

Now, imagine the story a bit differently: despite all evidence to the…


OP promises a scientific, accurate, unbiased determination of your core personality. Don’t believe the hype.

(photo by Richard Heeks)

Overview

Objective Personality Theory is a relatively recent system of typology that has been in public use/development since 2014. The creators of the system, Dave and Shannon (“D&S”), produce regular video lessons and documents that explain its foundations and application. Most people become familiar with the system through the content of their YouTube channel, or through exposure on typology forums, blogs and subreddits. D&S offer an online class of video lessons for a monthly fee, as well as a Typing Service to get an official typing through their system.

The system claims to build upon the four functions (x2 attitudes) originally…


A much-needed retrospective on her life and career.

Just kidding. Harper Lee was great.

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Greg Kennedy

Dad, programmer.

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