Sort by Controversial: training machine learning to sow irreparable divisions

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Reminds me of “Nothing but Gingerbread Left” by Henry Kuttner, in which linguists during World War II create a German marching song that’s so catchy the German soldiers and ultimately Hitler can’t even get through a sentence or two before starting to chant it.

(Which will undoubtedly remind someone else of Monty Python’s deadly joke.)


Which, if you put the German version into Google Translate, returns a fatal error


That restores my faith in humanity.

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That accompanying visual insults dear Vincent, and I am taking it personally.

Sounds like this story was written by a Russian troll.

A brilliant story! It reminds me very much of a short story by Chuck Palahniuk, the title of which I can’t recall. It was about a self-propagating song that caused listeners to simply… stop living.

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Edit: The Basilisk stories by David Langford also come to mind. I believe this one was the first. This one is presented in the style of an old-school Usenet FAQ from the future. The author saw the connection between his own “deadly ideation” concept and the Monty Python “Funniest Joke” skit and called it out himself:

The comp.basilisk community does not want ever again to see another posting about the hoary coincidence that Macroscope appeared in the same year and month as the first episode of the British TV program Monty Python’s Flying Circus, with its famous sketch about the World’s Funniest Joke that causes all hearers to laugh themselves to death.

I thought “Sort By Controversial” was great. And spooky.

It’s obvious there can be no such scissor statements, and I’ll dismember anyone who disagree with me.

Hopefully no computer chess player will rediscover Von Goom’s Gambit.

In 1966 Contoski wrote a story called “Von Goom’s Gambit”. Warped chess genius Von Goom devises an opening whose mere pattern on the board brings convulsions, insanity or death to his opponents. Spectators are turned to stone. It takes the combined efforts of the world’s finest chess masters to defeat Von Goom’s Gambit. Their counter-strategy, though brilliant, is unorthodox and may bend the rules a little. They shoot him.


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