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Poetry may be the universe's preference. Help us find out. Spin the ball!


Spin another word; prove our humanity!

Can the combined thoughts of humanity (the noosphere) prejudice random processes into interesting combinatorial patterns, words, and, perhaps, even poetry? This question is the foundation of the experiment. Spin the slot-machine like wheels, and, perhaps, something suggestive of humanity's theorized collective beauty will result. (Or not.)

Spins can result in words; but this is relatively infrequent. Of the 17,576 (26 cubed) possible three letter combinations, the current database recognizes a mere 630 words, less than 4%. This percentage is so small that some early experimenters felt more discouraged than rewarded. Geometery came to the rescue. The experiment now selects several geometric arrangements as noteworthy, including pairs, palindromes, triples, and letterform shapes that are all orthogonal, all straight lines, or all space enclosing (based on geometric, sans-serif, uppercase letterforms). Experimenters must still spin a word to add to the poem, but are apt to feel rewarded regardless.

For the technically curious: all spins are recorded via a node.js-driven API into a MongoDB NoSQL database using Bluebird.js promises, Mongoose.js for object data modeling (ODM), Express.js routing, and custom scripts. This is a marked improvement over the original LAMP stack version. In particular node.js and MongoDB are faster, and potentially able to handle the query volumes necessary for validation of the noosphere hypothesis.

The client side is a single-page application using React.js to render JSON data from the API, moment.js to format elapsed times, and GreenSock for animations (since native HTML5 animations proved too slow). Client-side build technologies include Gulp.js and Stylus CSS preprocessing.

The hypothesis that randomness does not really occur in nature is a cornerstone of this project. It doesn't really occur in computers either. Most random functions will give the same answer every time unless "seeded." This implementation uses JavaScript to simulate randomness based on the milliseconds at the moment the user clicks, on how long the click lasts, and on where within the ball the click occurred. It makes no claim to be truly random; on the contrary, since it is responsive to user actions, it may therefore also be responsive to the sum total of humanity's theorized noosphere. Click on!

The Poem:
Recent Spins:
Try The Dictionary: