From Russia with Fondness
January 8, 2017
As we wander through day sixty-one of Trump altered reality, I wonder could a post-retirement career as a Russian translator be right for an old-school programmer like me. I don’t speak or read any Russian, but that’s not a deal breaker – not with the internet. If I limited my market to written correspondence… Yeah, could program a system to bulk-translate Russian documents. And I’ve a feeling the bulk of Russian documents requiring translation is about to go way up.
Yup, since the Donald is committed to “Working with the Russians” there’s going to be a shitload of Russian in our future. Why not cash in?
With enough time (and monetary motivation) I could make the system tunable. You know, provide an option to create Russia positive translations only – could call it the Trump filter. Or maybe, an implied blame switch to reorder phrases to shift intent. Russian phrases like “We know she did not do it” could be reasonably output in English as “Do we not know, she did it?” – for a price. Just spit-balling here, but see the potential? Natural language as a soft target – subtle, indirect, kind of Russian.
Wow! Just realized, while block-charting this new project, I’ve fallen victim to, perhaps, the most common software design flaw: Not thinking big enough!
Why limit program function to Russian–English translation with output tuning? Why not English to (tuned) English?
After all, there’s real value in filtering for an intended audience. A program like this could take boring email logs, riddled with silly facts, and turn them into stories of international intrigue with blame focused exactly where ever desired. Conversely, the Trump filter could take volumes of intelligence reports about any topic and produce a concise one-pager explaining why the Russians had nothing to do with it and, if they did, it was for the purest of purposes.
My only remaining design decision is selecting a good name. In the software game, names are important. I’m thinking maybe iFoxNew or eRepublican, but putinCloud seems the bolder choice.
While the republic stands on raw truth, all the cash is in processed information. Hence, fair and balanced has lost meaning in favor of market priced.
In Peace with Justice