Talk:Thinking Machine

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Turing Test[edit]

This song is about the Turing Test. "The Turing test is a test of a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human. In the original illustrative example, a human judge engages in natural language conversations with a human and a machine designed to generate performance indistinguishable from that of a human being. The conversation is limited to a text-only channel such as a computer keyboard and screen so that the result is not dependent on the machine's ability to render words into audio.[2] All participants are separated from one another. If the judge cannot reliably tell the machine from the human, the machine is said to have passed the test. The test does not check the ability to give the correct answer to questions; it checks how closely each answer resembles the answer a human would give." -wikipedia. I'm hoping this one shows up on the kids album. Weirdojace (talk) 14:06, 15 April 2015 (EDT)


Always more literal than the the Residents (who isn't!) this is essentially a They Might be Giants song where one can really see their influence, sans silly voices. Of course the Residents were never really very good (the Velvet Underground are also a very influential band that sold appallingly but at least people listen to the songs now - no one listens to the Residents, uber Giants fans try and then give up!) which is a problem and Thinking Machine is a weak studio skit that limps past two minutes. The Giants always used to get called quirky back in the day because of the humour and wit of their lyrics. However, whenever they try to be deliberately funny, well the results can be mixed. This could be a filler song from the new kids album, but it shows the danger of creating songs in the studio. If they'd tried this one live first time, one suspects it would be placed in the clunker file as the audience indifference would envelop them. Instead it's got a lazy muso/jazz vibe and lyrics that border on the autistic. Likewise, as I've opined before, the band seem to lack a critical voice these days. In the early years I've always thought Bill Krauss was the third wheel that's never been replaced and in the Flood Elektra era this kind of stuff would not have been offered even for B sides. Even now, I don't think it makes Glean. Some posters find my reviews depressing, and I'm getting to the point where I'm agreeing with them as I am a fan of the Giants, but not of much of Glean. There is a common theme to my criticisms, so from now on, I'm going to limit myself to reviewing just the songs I like. I may do one over-arching review of Glean first as I'd like to explain succinctly why the band have produced their worst album ever and how they might get their mojo back! (Mr Tuck)

Having said I'm going to limit my reviews of the Dial-A-Song. Mainly because I'm starting to repeat myself I realised how much I'll miss doing it. So I'm going to start doing a weekly one. But going right back to the start. So I've just done one for Don't Let's Start. It'd be nice to see some of you comment too. Someone's going to have to be critical though as I'm pretty much gushing in my love of the first two albums. (Mr Tuck)

Alright, I'll comment on this one (can't comment too much on Don't Let's Start, it's a great song, obviously). This here song I actually enjoy a lot (I gave it a full 10 rating - maybe my euphoria was a bit hasty and I'll give it a lower rating upon further listens, but right now I stand by my 10). While I agreed with you on most of the Glean material, which I consider some of their weakest ever (sorry John & John) apart from a few tracks (such as Erase or Music Jail), I believe this to be on a par with classic TMBG nonsense like Spider or King Weed (that's the one Thinking Machine really reminds me of). I know some fans dislike those songs, too, and of course they are by no means as brilliant as Birdhouse, Palindrome, etc., but then again, that's an unfair comparison for a song not trying to be good music, but just good... um... nonsense. And that's what it is, to me. A wonderful kind of nonsense that reveals a spark of the Johns' mad genius I so dearly missed in most of the Glean songs. Hopefully the next Dial-A-Song submissions will be more in this vein. If they will sound like the I Can Help the Next in Line video would sound if it were a song, I shall be very happy. --Freakiosis (talk) 14:45, 15 April 2015 (EDT)

Silly fun[edit]

I'm counting this as the first Dial-A-Song-exclusive track we've gotten, since the other ones that aren't Glean-bound are a show intro and a cover and so are special cases. And as far as I'm concerned it bodes very well for the ones to come. When they announced the revival of Dial-A-Song I was hoping that there would be a lot of random/weird/silly things like in the original incarnation, and as far as such things go, I think this one is top-notch. Obviously it's just them goofing around, but it's lots of fun. I was giggling quite a lot reading the lyrics (after not being able to make out all the Flans parts on the first listen over the phone) and then smiling quite a bit more repeating it some after. I love the darkness in so many of the new songs so much, but it's great for them to just be silly sometimes too. --Self Called Nowhere (talk) 05:51, 14 April 2015 (EDT)

It's like...[edit]

...what would happen if Words Are Like and Stuff Is Way had a baby. And it is gloriously, delightfully wacky. They didn't call it "Aaa", though. :-) --MisterMe (talk) 08:11, 14 April 2015 (EDT)

William S. Burroughs[edit]

I did a Google search, and it looks like the phrase "The word for word is word" is a line from a My Education: A Book of Dreams by William S. Burroughs. BojoPigeon (talk) 22:33, 15 April 2015 (EDT)

I don't know that that's necessarily a reference though. If it were one of the ones that is pure nonsense I'd believe it, but this seems like something simple enough that a couple of people could've come up with it independently. --Self Called Nowhere (talk) 23:35, 15 April 2015 (EDT)

Put it into a real AI[edit]

I put Flansy's part into Cleverbot, and got the following:

User: Tape has brightening arm connect.
Cleverbot: The right answer it's the answer that explain the world.
User: Self-paint lever itching does.
Cleverbot: Ok?? I think that was random.
User: Shaving copter anymore.
Cleverbot: What are you?
User: Weld crat tonsil speep enact.
Cleverbot: I wonder if you are real or not.
User: Uncle fourteen marching flame.
Cleverbot: Things will get better, I assure you. Be patient.
User: Sleep expensive cloud enjoy.
Cleverbot: Sleep on you!?
User: Gurb long trom flom dim fim lim.
Cleverbot: Not so long - Eiichiro Oda.
User: Dog dog dog dog dog dog dog.
Cleverbot: Cat cat cat cat.
User: Cash fog Ansel Adams mouth.
Cleverbot: No thanks, but I'd like some peanuts!
User: Green grape gravy grateful grab.
Cleverbot: Purple flowers are my favorite, to be honest.
User: Skele­tele­tele­ton.
Cleverbot: Skello? Where's that?
User: The word for word is word.
Cleverbot: But what is the meaning of it?
User: What does it mean?
Cleverbot: To argue is to disagree to someone else's claimed statement.
User: What does it mean?
Cleverbot: What does what mean?
User: I'll put it in my thinking machine.
Cleverbot: I'm not talking to that machine. I'm asking you.

So there's that.--Pittsburghmuggle (talk) 13:16, 18 April 2015 (EDT)

This is hilarious! --MisterMe (talk) 14:09, 18 April 2015 (EDT)
Amazing. --Self Called Nowhere (talk) 01:08, 19 April 2015 (EDT)
Thank you for that. --HenriekeG (talk) 03:28, 19 April 2015 (EDT)

The Word for Word is Word[edit]

I think it's very telling that the only line that makes any sense at all in this song is the very last verse: "The word for word is 'word'". After an entire song of nonsense and gibberish, this unexpectedly acute and even poignant statement hits you like a ton of proverbial bricks. The first time I heard it I was cracking up, mainly because it's as if Flansburgh breaks the fourth wall, looks at the listener, arches his eyebrow, and utters the line. Meanwhile, Linnell is so busy freaking out over "Skeleteleteleton" ("Whaaaaaaaaat?!?!") that he misses the one line that might explain the whole ridiculous exchange. --MisterMe (talk) 09:07, 1 May 2015 (EDT)