Friday, 30 March 2012

Introducing : Evening Post Bingo!

We are excited to announce -in collaboration with our partners the Bristol Evening Post, a new form of entertainment: Evening Post Bingo!

The basic concept is simple, here is the outline
  1. Every few days the Evening Post will print a fictional letter or article pretending to be an ill-informed rant against bicycles. They are clearly spoofs, but some people, motorists and tax-dodgers alike, fall for them and try to argue the details with each other in the comments.
  2. This week, for example, we have made one up called "they should pay road tax!"
  3. Evening Post Bingo! players look in the article for the key phrases on their bingo sheets, then the comments
  4. If all of them are found -either in the article or comments, enter your own comment, "Bingo!", and the list of phrases you were looking for.
  5. Do not attempt to engage in any form of debate in the comments itself, as this is like trying to explain Quantitive Easing to a chimpanzee -or what a Pasty is to a member of the cabinet.
  6. In our weekly round-up of the evening post articles, we will credit the first Bingo winner of every article.
Bingo card generation will be fully automated; the code will be open sourced on Github shortly.Participants will be able to generate their own bingo cards at home, and other regions will be able to provide their own keyword lists that don't refer to Gloucester, Stapleton, or Coronation Roads

For now, here are some example cards, each of which can be used by anyone. These have all been machine generated, and are free from any human bias.

mandatory insurance

against the law
council conspiracy
pavement cyclist
injure pedestrians

cause congestion
persecuted motorists
spoiled by the council

government money wasted
mandatory insurance

gloucester road
these cyclists
cause congestion

stay in the cycle lane
danger to others
persecuted motorists
time someone stood up to them
some of my best friends are cyclists

We'll be publishing the source and keyword list later -the keyword list is where we'd like some extra contributions.

We are also considering fully automating our Evening Post article writing process. This would be based on that work by our strategic partner, Google, as discussed in The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Data [Norvig 2009]. The idea is that with enough of a collection of evening post, daily mail and other articles on cycling, it will be possible to generate valid sentences based purely on statistical knowledge of past sentences. The bingo cards are merely a first step in this process.


Alistair Burns said...

I am guilty of subscribing to the RSS feed of the E'en Pos letters column, such great entertainment. Please forgive me for joining in but Outraged of Henleaze and In My Day of Sneyd Park are such easy sport.

Downfader said...

I must admit, I've been working on my own general anti-cycling bingo:

I've even created a card design.

Rhode Long said...

This is brilliant and will make those dull mornings (the ones where we are parked in a cycle lane, engine idling, costa coffee and the evening post to hand) just fly by.
Do not stop with the BEP though. Every local rag would benefit from this as they all have the same anti cycling agenda. Power to the press!