- Mark V Shaney
Mark V Shaney is a fake Usenet user whose postings were generated by using Markov chain techniques. The name is a play on the words "Markov chain". Many readers were fooled into thinking that the quirky, sometimes uncannily topical posts were written by a real person.
Bruce Ellis did the code and Rob Pike did the design. Don P. Mitchell wrote the Markov chain code, demonstrating it to Rob and Bruce on the Tao Te Ching at first. They immediately decided to apply it to the net.singles netnews group. The program was discussed in the "Computer Recreations" column of Scientific American. A classic example, from 1984, originally sent as a mail message, later posted to net.singles is reproduced here (see also Google's archive):
“ >From mvs Fri Nov 16 17:11 EST 1984 remote from alice
It looks like Reagan is going to say? Ummm... Oh yes, I was looking for. I'm so glad I remembered it. Yeah, what I have wondered if I had committed a crime. Don't eat with your assessment of Reagon and Mondale. Up your nose with a guy from a firm that specifically researches the teen-age market. As a friend of mine would say, "It really doesn't matter"... It looks like Reagan is holding back the arms of the American eating public have changed dramatically, and it got pretty boring after about 300 games.
People, having a much larger number of varieties, and are very different from what one can find in Chinatowns across the country (things like pork buns, steamed dumplings, etc.) They can be cheap, being sold for around 30 to 75 cents apiece (depending on size), are generally not greasy, can be adequately explained by stupidity. Singles have felt insecure since we came down from the Conservative world at large. But Chuqui is the way it happened and the prices are VERY reasonable.
Can anyone think of myself as a third sex. Yes, I am expected to have. People often get used to me knowing these things and then a cover is placed over all of them. Along the side of the $$ are spent by (or at least for ) the girls. You can't settle the issue. It seems I've forgotten what it is, but I don't. I know about violence against women, and I really doubt they will ever join together into a large number of jokes. It showed Adam, just after being created. He has a modem and an autodial routine. He calls my number 1440 times a day. So I will conclude by saying that I can well understand that she might soon have the time, it makes sense, again, to get the gist of my argument, I was in that (though it's a Republican administration).
Other quotations from Mark's Usenet posts are:
- "I spent an interesting evening recently with a grain of salt." (Alternately reported as "While at a conference a few weeks back, I spent an interesting evening with a grain of salt.")
- "I hope that there are sour apples in every bushel." 
Because of the nature of the algorithm, the output will never exceed the bounds of the original subject matter (although it will tend to talk about that subject matter very strangely).
- ^ Dewdney, A.K. (June 1989). "Computer Recreations". Scientific American 260 (6): p122–125. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0689-122.
- ^ Jillette, Penn (July 1991). "I Spent an Interesting Evening Recently with a Grain of Salt". PC-Computing 4 (7): p282. http://glenda.cat-v.org/friends/mark-v-shaney/grain-of-salt.
- ^ http://www.softpanorama.org/Bulletin/Humor/Archive/humor065.txt
- ^ http://groups.google.com/group/net.singles/msg/1c0397df200a160a
- ^ http://groups.google.com/group/net.singles/msg/2fc0e619f616d2f5
- Mark V. Shaney also compiled an FAQ for the Plan 9 operating system
- Unofficial biography
- An online Version of Mark V Shaney.
- Another incarnation of Mark, in Lisp
- All of Mark V. Shaney's Posts
- Sable Debutante, a Mark V Shaney LiveJournal clone.
- markovtxt.c, original source code
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