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Quiz! Computer-generated recipe title, or misogynistic slur for women?

Robots love cooking!

Yesterday I ran across an amusing blog post from research scientist Janelle Shane who, just for the hell of it, has been “training this neural network to generate cookbook recipes by letting it look at tens of thousands of existing recipes.”

The recipes are pretty odd, as are the names the software picks for them, especially when Shane cranks up the “creativity” variable.

Here are a few that grabbed my attention:

  • Cream Of Sour Cream Cheese Soup
  • Artichoke Gelatin Dogs
  • Crockpot Cold Water
  • Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Cake

Also yesterday, I ran across a horrifying post in the Incels subreddit in which the regulars attempted to come up with new pejorative terms for women. Oddly, many of the suggestions that weren’t completely obscene (“sperm garage”) or creepy (“future sex cadavers”) or just plain awkward (“the annoying, dumb, inferior pieces of flesh around the vagina that don’t invent or discover things”) ended up sounding, well, a bit like Shane’s computer-generated recipe titles.

So here’s a little quiz of sorts. I’ve mingled recipe titles from Shane’s neural-network experiment with anti-woman slurs from the Incels subreddit post. See if you can tell which are which!

  • Cheese Hog
  • Whole Chicken Cookies
  • Sausage Jockey
  • Meat Pockets
  • Salmon Beef Style Chicken Bottom
  • Completely Meat Circle
  • Squeal Pig
  • Roasties
  • Bunny Boiler
  • Cabbage Pot Cookies

Answers below!

In case you’re wondering, the neural-network-generated recipes will not actually produce anything resembling real food. The recipe for Greased Casserole with Slices of Lemon Juice, for example, requires a weird assortment of ingredients, including “1 cup cold boiled frosting,” “2 sprigs of bread,” and “1 sour and large fish.”

The instructions can be similarly baffling. One early recipe demanded that human chefs “bake until juice” and “sprinkle over skin greased with a boiling bowl.”

Things got even weirder when Shane plugged recipes into a neural network trained on H.P. Lovecraft, resulting in instructions like this:

Whip ½ pint of heavy cream. Add 4 Tbsp. brandy or rum to possibly open things that will never be wholly reported.

In a later experiment, she flipped the script, entering “phrases from Lovecraftian horror [into] an innocent neural network trained on 30MB of cookbook recipes,” which resulted in this almost perfect sentence:

Everything seemed to me tainted with a loathsome contagion, and inspired by a noxious alliance with the steamed chicken.

In conclusion, neural networks are fun. Certainly a lot more fun than incels.

ANSWERS: The computer-generated recipe titles are Whole Chicken Cookies, Salmon Beef Style Chicken Bottom, Completely Meat Circle, and Cabbage Pot Cookies. The rest are slurs for women.

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varalys the dark
5 years ago

@Monzach: Is the collection in publication date? One of the things that bugs me about my copies are the higgledy-piggledy way they are thrown together. I ended up having to go online to figure out what order to read stuff like the Dream Cycle in when I did my last reread. The Pan editions I have do have awesomely cheesy covers. “At The Mountains Of Madness” (and other stories) has just a top down photo of a dummy head that has one eye bulging out against a black background. It’s literally the worst cover I have ever seen on a book.

Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
5 years ago

@Alan

a great legal bookshop

They probably don’t have Lovecraft though.

One would assume they do.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
5 years ago

As an aside, the best campaign for the Call of Cthulu RPG is Beyond the Mountain of Darkness, who is an expedition trying to find out what happened to the one described in “the mountain of darkness”.

It do a very good job at expanding the story, including taking into account the link with Poe’s story, but also with people clearly inspired by H.P. Lovecraft.

Given the length of the campaign, I would not fault anyone to read it instead of seeking a GM. It’s long and difficult for the GM, since there is a lot of events that happen at the same time and a lot of particulary difficult to render locales. Not so much for the PCs, insofar that there is a ton of NPCs to become PC when someone die ; there is only two “difficult” part, one where they can release an ancient evil that can destroy the world, and another one where normally there is like three survivor from the whole expedition and they have to find a way to get to their boat and get the fuck away.

Viscaria, product of 20,000 evolution
Viscaria, product of 20,000 evolution
5 years ago

Cheese Hog is a fair cop. I do hog the cheese. In my defense, cheese is delicious.

CleverForAGirl
CleverForAGirl
5 years ago

I could never really get into lovecraft. I love the world he created, but the writing always fell completely flat for me.

Every Lovecraft story in 30 seconds:

Dying guy: Come closer while I tell you about a scary thing.

(5 hours of rambling)

Young guy: So. . .this scary thing?

Dying guy: I’m getting to it!

(another hour or so rambling)

Young guy: So. . .I’ve got a meeting to go to. . .?

Dying Guy: No wait! The scary bit!

TENTACLES! MADNESS! NON-EUCLIDEAN SHAPES!

varalys the dark
5 years ago

There’s a Lovecraft drinking game I found at http://www.cthulhucoffee.com/features/lovecraftdrink.html

Now I am strict teetotal like he was so I shall do what I always do with drinking games and substitute Haribo instead.

Nequam
Nequam
5 years ago

Of course neural networks are more fun than incels. I’m certain that seeing how far I can insert a toothpick under my big toenail is more fun than incels.

Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
5 years ago

Hell, even freaking migtoes are more fun than incels…

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Anyone want an off topic feel good story?

We so often hear stories of celebrities being assholes, so it’s nice to see one being really awesome.

Here’s Emma Thompson talking about standing up for a fellow actress (likely Haley Atwell) when she was asked to lose weight on the set of Brideshead Revisted.
http://dlisted.com/2017/03/29/emma-thompson-once-threatened-to-quit-a-movie-after-producers-asked-another-actress-to-lose-weight/#more-251764

Emma said that while filming 2008’s Brideshead Revisited, a few producers asked an actress on set if she wouldn’t mind dropping a few pounds. Emma was horrified that they would ask an “absolutely exquisite” actress to lose weight, and she let them know she wasn’t into that kind of talk.

“I said to them, ‘If you speak to her about this again on any level, I will leave this picture.’ You are never to do that. It’s evil what’s happening and what’s going on out there, and it’s getting worse…Sometimes there are some subjects you just have to make noises about, because it’s gone on and on.”

I’ve been a fan of her acting since seeing her in Much Ado About Nothing way back in the day. It’s good to see she’s awesome as a person too!

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Anyway, back on topic. If anyone likes the idea of Lovecraft but not so much the writing style, I’d recommend Algernon Blackwood. Especially the Willows. It’s a similar type of story but the writing is not at all over the top. The major caveat about him – as old timey writers always seem to have to have something problematic about them – is that some of his stories have a witchcraft is evil theme. That’s not an issue with The Willows though. You can find it free online as it’s in the public domain.

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

Poor incels. They’ve never had sex. They never will. They’ve never even tried. Too challenging.

Luckily, they’ve got this game where they call women names. Yeah!

That’ll pass the time.

PaganReader - Misandrist Spinster

I particularly like ‘The Cats of Ulthar’ by Lovecraft. It’s only ~3 pages, so it will be in a collection. You can also get a complete collection of Lovecraft’s works on Google Books for free.
The neural network also came up with such yummy recipes as ‘chocolate chocolate chocolate chocolate cake’, ‘chocolate chips with chocolate chips’ and ‘completely meat chocolate pie.’

Moggie
Moggie
5 years ago

Oh good, an excuse to link to Texts From H.P. Lovecraft at The Toast. Excerpt:

DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE MOST TERRIFYING THING IN THE DARK AND SWOLLEN HISTORY OF THIS SHUDDERING EARTH IS, LAD
no
what is it
ARCHITECTURE
what?
ARCHITECTURE
I’M GOING TO WRITE THE WORLD’S GREATEST HORROR STORY ABOUT ARCHITECTURE
that certainly sounds novel
BECAUSE WHAT IF SOMEONE BUILT A CITY THAT HAD
YOU KNOW
SOME WEIRD ANGLES
THAT WOULD JUST BE THE WORST
DON’T YOU THINK

JoeB
JoeB
5 years ago

2nd Cats of Ulthar as a quick good read that highlights his strengths and doesn’t show much of his weaknesses.

IgnoreSandra
5 years ago

“Cheese hog”.

I do admit, this describes me. This is strictly a positive trait, though. Hands off my cheese.

Especially the cat. Puffball constantly tries to eat my food. It’s mine. Shove off. Yours is downstairs.

Hambeast (fan of diversity)
Hambeast (fan of diversity)
5 years ago

Cheese Hog is a good one; I do love me some cheese but I’ve already been Hambeast for so long and I’m loath to let to let that name go. Besides, ham is also delicious.

numerobis
numerobis
5 years ago

Moggie: Weird angles are actually a thing HP Lovecraft grew up with. Look at those crazy streets!

(I hadn’t realized I’d lived so close to him. I went to Miskatonic for undergrad, and lived for a year less than half a mile from him. With close to a century separate in time.)

Viscaria the Cheese Hog
Viscaria the Cheese Hog
5 years ago

I STATE MY CLAIM!!! Unless anyone else wants it, or is currently in moderation having claimed it before me, or, you know, I get bored.

AsAboveSoBelow, Male Gaze Harvester
AsAboveSoBelow, Male Gaze Harvester
5 years ago

I adore Lovecraft’s work, especially “The Dream-quest of Unknown Kadath,” with the cat army and the priest in the yellow silk mask. Weird and thrilling. The racism…is gross, and yet talking about Lovecraft’s work is WAY more fun and interesting than dwelling on incels.

Cheese hog

I married a man who doesn’t care for cheese except on pizza, so that’s more for me!
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BritterSweet
5 years ago

Sorry, got nothing to add to the discussion about Lovecraft, since I haven’t read any of his works.

But the Mass Effect fan in me thought some of these recipes sound like an alien’s attempt to invent something in the human culinary arts. Particularly the Artichoke Gelatin Dogs one.

The Cream of Sour Cream Cheese Soup one confuses me. Is it cheese soup made with sour cream or cream cheese gone sour?

Banananana dakry: Fat, Short-Haired, and Deranged
Banananana dakry: Fat, Short-Haired, and Deranged
5 years ago

*looks at list*
*shakes head*

Of course most of their insults have to do with vaginas or what they think women do or are with them. It must be a sad life, despising people attached to the very orifice you’re so desperate to get into for whatever reason.

Lady_Zombie
Lady_Zombie
5 years ago

There’s something about weird fiction that seems to encourage purple prose. For modern examples of this, see Thomas Ligotti (my favorite) and Laird Barron’s ‘The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All.’

I mean, I loves me some weird fiction but damn, I don’t need to read four paragraphs about how the air smelled like rotten leaves, etc.

But speaking of Lovecraft, I once wrote a humorous short story in which a friend of Lovecraft’s became progressively more annoyed with his quirks.

“Jesus, Howard, it’s just fish!”

“It’s never just fish!” Lovecraft replies.

That story has been lost. I need to rewrite it.

JS
JS
5 years ago

That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die.

JS
JS
5 years ago

Oh, I realized this after the edit timeout went down, but…

Charles Stross writes some wonderful Lovecraft, Demonology, and London bureaucracy inspired stories. I refer of course, to the Laundry Files. He wrote several novellas too, Equoid and “A Colder War” being both surreal and fun. A Colder War was slightly odder than Equoid.

Then there’s the Merchant Princes setting. Female protagonists in most, would probably not be considered a good novel by Roosh or any other similar. Fun, but I really like the Laundry Files better.

GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina
GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina
5 years ago

@Moggie: I have gotten directionally confused in that part of Providence a number of times. I had thought it was just a matter of my not being careful enough, but maybe there IS some kind of weird Force there leading the unwary astray. It would be a good excuse, anyway.

Handsome :Punkle Stan: Jack

Hey, I got a question for my Star Trek peeps, why would someone consider Janeway the most morally bankrupt of all the Starfleet captains compared to the other captains? I just wanna make sure my feelings that maybe someone is being much harder on Janeway because reasons (coughwomancough) than Kirk or Picard.

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