Some ideas are born to be expressed — while other infantile
thoughts should be considered but never uttered or placed into action.

We
are confused by the meaning and intention of this “digital writing”
course where computers are given the odd requirement of inventing new
stories:

This course
introduces the Python programming language as a tool for writing
digital text. This course is specifically geared to serve as a
general-purpose introduction to programming in Python, but will be of
special interest to students interested in poetics, language, creative
writing and text analysis. Weekly programming exercises work toward a
midterm project and culminate in a final project. Python topics covered
include: functions; object-oriented programming; functional programming
(list comprehensions, recursion); getting data from the web; displaying
data on the web; parsing data formats (e.g., markup languages);
visualization and interactivity with Python. Poetics topics covered
include: character encodings (and other technical issues); cut-up and
re-mixed texts; the algorithmic nature of poetic form (proposing poetic
forms, generating text that conforms to poetic forms);
transcoding/transcription (from/to text); generative algorithms: n-gram
analysis, context-free grammars; performing digital writing.
Prerequisites: Introduction to Computational Media or equivalent
programming experience.

Where is the creative
compassion in a digital publishing project that trains — requires,
really — writers to give up their inspiration in favor of sterile bits
and bytes and the randomness of a programming language?

We
understand this could be an oddity of an experiment for the purpose of
silliness and entertainment and not real scholarship — but if the true
end result is to ultimately replace the author in the precious dyad
between book and reader — then we firmly come down on the side of the
parchment Luddite locked in a room with pencil and paper sweating out
syntax and a seamless semiotic to impress human ideas upon the future unborn.

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