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Descent into Lameness

Here’s your non-post for Sunday.

Just to show how far I’ve come in four years, here is my post from September 14, 2004, reprinted for your pleasure:

20 questions – this computer is awesome

It guessed a wolverine before any other animal, and I answered half the questions “Unknown”. Pretty impressive. The funnier part is the Uncommon Knowledge (scroll down), like the wolverine may be used by a basketball player, probably could be placed on my head, and may be colorless.

20Q: “Play
Computer wins
Play Again
You were thinking of a wolverine.
Is it small? You said Probably, I say No.
Does it live in a burrow? You said Unknown, I say Yes.
Does it dig holes? You said Unknown, I say Yes.
Is it a type of cat? You said Unknown, I say No.
Does it purr? You said Unknown, I say No.
Does it have a long tail? You said Unknown, I say No.
Is it multicolored? You said No, I say Yes.
Contradictions Detected
It does not matter if our answers disagree, as over time the game will change its answers to reflect common knowledge. If you feel that the game is in error, the only way to fix it is to play again.
Similar Objects
a mountain lion, a bobcat, a jaguarundi (a wildcat from Central America), a mongoose, a porcupine, a marmot, a hyrax (African mammal), a werewolf, an anteater, a jackal, a lynx, a puma.
Uncommon Knowledge about a wolverine
Does it have striped fur? I say Yes.
Does it swim? I say Probably.
Does it break if dropped? I say Probably.
Would you like to be one? I say Yes.
Can you get information by using it? I say Probably.
Does it grunt? I say Yes.
Does it contain a liquid? I say Probably.
Can it be chewed? I say Yes.
Does it jump? I say No.
Does it smell bad? I say Yes.
Do you open and close it? I say Yes.
Does it eat fish? I say Yes.
Can it be placed on your head? I say Probably.
Does a basketball player use it? I say Yes.
Is it colorless? I say Probably.
Is it found in mines? I say Probably.”

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14 Replies to “Descent into Lameness”

  1. Nat

    Useless info about 20Q, the program was design but a very smart guy who lives up the street. It was a school project, that, it true geekness, he kept up with. Then make a whack of cash on it, when this toy manufacturer made a toy with it.

    Geeks shall truly inherit the earth.

  2. Janna

    I just went and tried it myself.
    I’ve tried pizza, aspirin, and raspberry, and it’s correctly guessed it every time.
    I’m gonna go back and try again.
    This is how much of a social life I have on weekends.

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