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19.13. An Absurd Amusement

If you have time to waste (and I mean really waste), Emacs has things to keep you occupied. There are lots of interesting special effects, such as "disassociated text." My favorite is a command called "psychoanalyze-pinhead." It's based on "doctor," which is a variation of the classic artificial-intelligence demonstration called "Eliza": the computer plays psychotherapist and asks you questions; you reply, and your answers are the basis for new questions. Nothing new, really; I remember it from my high school days, in the early 1970s. If you think you might be in need of a psychotherapist, save your money and try ESC-x doctor RETURN.

If you want to see something really interesting, try ESC-x psychoanalyze-pinhead. This takes the built-in "doctor" program and feeds it with quotations from the cult comic strip Zippy the Pinhead. The result is indeed bizarre. Here's some typical output:

I am the psychotherapist.  Please, describe your problems.  Each time
you are finished talking, type RET twice.


Why do you say I picked karl malden's nose?


Is it because of your plans that you say are you shoplifting?

Are you selling NYLON OIL WELLS??  If so, we can use TWO DOZEN!!

Press CTRL-c when you've had enough.

-- ML

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