This recipe is called the “Bad Hemingway Generator”.
“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” is a supposed flash fiction or free verse poetry often misattributed to Hemingway. This particular poem has been passed around thanks to its association with a famous name and the novelty of its brevity, but it lacks much substance. The intent behind the poem seems to be to convey as much subtext and emotional connotation with as few words as possible.
I created a recipe to mimic this poem, so that every time a new post is created on the results page for “never used”, a new tweet is created in the template “For sale: {{PostTitle}}, never used.” In this way, I am able to create a series of free verse poetry with no effort and convey an implied narrative that underlies each Craigslist post.

“For sale: Dresser and night stand better homes and garden (Allison park) $400, never used.”
“For sale: blue point plasma cutter, never used.”

IFTTT epitomizes the interaction between different programs that Jer Thorp discusses in his blog. The trigger acts as the input and IFTTT acts as the API which transforms the information into an output. This sort of series of interactions is also the subject of Jim Campbell’s “Formula for Computer Art”. There exist innumerable arbitrary combinations of different inputs and outputs, and Campbell wanted to show that meaningful art does not automatically arise from every combination, just as every combination of IFTTT interactions does not necessarily result in useful or interesting recipes.

One comment