Lorem Ipsum: Of Good & Evil, Google & China


Senior Member.
Hi everybody,

It's a rare day when i'm shown something from the conspiratorial world that makes absolutely no sense to me. Usually i can start reading a conspiratorial piece and i'm 3 steps ahead, knowing where they're going and where they're coming from.

Can anybody shed some light on this piece sent to me today?


Is it even a conspiracy?

Thanks. I look forward to the opinions coming from this group.


Mick West

Staff member
I think the answer is in the article:

And in the comments:

Nothing at all to suggest a conspiracy. Just buggy translation statistical mappings emerging from a semi-automated system. Later corrected by hand.

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
Pareidolia? Kind of funny the narrative he's invented around it. Like seeing messages in the nonsense cut and paste spam emails.


Senior Member.
This is actually a kind of cool "under the hood" look at this kind of system. Google has a few of these automated "learning" systems, and they work in the same basic way that IBM's Watson (the computer that competed on Jeopardy) does: By reading the internet and making connections between terms. They're making different kind of connections, but from a computer standpoint, it's all the same.

Any computer system is only as good as the information fed into it (garbage in, garbage out), and the internet is not exactly the pinnacle of accurate and consistent information.

The same way Google Translate has collected some weird glitches, Watson also built up some hilarious misconceptions in its time "learning" for Jeopardy. For example, according to its database, Klingons were a proud nation of people from central Asia, while Jedi were a mystical branch of Catholocism primarily based in the UK.

Worked great for a structured general knowledge quiz, but if you were to start feeding it random questions from whatever topic you're discussing over lunch, the results would probably range from bizarre to surreal. Google Translate has the same weirdness in it, and we usually aren't feeding it structured inputs, we're basically throwing our lunchtime conversation at it and occasionally getting back glimpses of the surreal landscape you get when you have a mind (computer or otherwise) process a huge amount of data with no understanding.
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Staff member
I've noticed that Google tries to translate things to local equivalents sometimes: like the above "Sarkozy" in French being translated to "Obama" in US English, I've also seen things like "euros" being changed to "pounds" (along with numerical amounts being randomly changed, not according to any real exchange rate).


Senior Member.
So it basically amounts to a bunch of paranoia over nothing. Thank you everybody for the feedback. I can now put that folder in its appropriate subfolder :)


Senior Member.
Ah reminds me of the old days when I worked in prepress. Typeface sample books full of paragraphs of lorem ipsum. Greek copy or dummy text to show the faces.


Active Member
Desktop publish programs have lorem ipsum, too.

translate.yandex.com is a good alternative, especially for Cryillic languages. Often interesting differences between that and Google for the same item. For some languages, especially highly inflected or gendered ones, it's useful to do both and read in parallel.