From the strings, there are poems possible, much, much more than there are particles in the observable universe. It's also greater than a googol squared. Guess we'll be here a while!
I used the following to calculate this figure:
where n equals the string amount. This function sums the permutations formula with replacement. Poems with the line amounts from 1 to 72 are possible. The permutations of strings for each possible line amount comprises the total number of possibilities.
If you ever took a typing class, you might remember some of the exercises. Much of them were gibberish or random words; some were intelligible but unnatural. This latter text from Uncanny Valley attempts to create a realistic typing scenario while testing the skills learned in a particular lesson.
I noticed this off-putting text and thought it would render endearing poetry. The tradition of found poetry and AI's recent foray into poetic authorship inspired this project.
I wrote a program that randomly generates poetry containing strings gathered from:
Any set of strings could be input into this program, however, providing opportunities to create infinitely diverse poetry.
The results are humorous but also thought-provoking. Typing exercises are not intended for use outside of touch typing practice. De-contextualizing them highlights how technology can change what we type and, ultimately, create, including this project.
The source material also comes out of the home computer boom. The layperson's interest in computing swelled during the eighties and nineties. Quick Fox, Lazy Dog honors that trailblazing era.
If one were to make poetry out of any word in a typing book, it wouldn't be a restriction. I sourced strings from the exercise sentences in monospace font (setting most exercises in monospace font became a de facto standard in typing books). The algorithm shapes the poems governed by the following parameters:
These guidelines avoid mixing individual words to preserve the original tone.
Because I'm a big ol' nerd, I recently purchased an Apple Extended Keyboard II. I started doing typing exercises to become acquainted with it (it's beautiful) which reminded me of this hidden poetry.