Between 2009 and 2017, approximately 18,458 unique bills were introduced to the legislature of Massachusetts (out of 33,201 total). I know this because Dru Tarr, a legislative aide at the Massachusetts House of Representatives, very kindly compiled the publicly available list of bills into a neural network-digestible format.
A neural network is a kind of computer program I train to imitate human data, usually to humorous effect. It looks at examples and then learns to generate more like them (at least, that’s the idea). So, I gave the neural network this set of bills.
It did a decent job of generating entirely plausible bills, mashing together probable buzzwords to create new bills like:
An Act Relative To Equal Access To Student Loan Assistance.
An Act Relative To Electric Tolls
An Act Relative To The Safety Of Consumer Choice In The Commonwealth
An Act Relative To The Appointment Of Permittement In The Commonwealth.
Some generated bills, however, were more mysterious.
An Act To Combat Gas In The Town Of Nantucket
An Act To Promote Uniformity In Use Of Elevators
An Act Relative To Hamester Registration
An Act Providing Additional License Floog Loss
An Act To Provide Questions Insurance Day
An Act Preserving The Disclosure Of Dental Hygienist Communities
An Act Establishing The Privacy of Elections In The Town Of War Wellwell
An Act Further Regulating Dog Trassifiers
An Act Relative To The Expansion Of The Division Of Bankrubs In The City Of Quincy
An Act To Include Natural Rights For Certain Other Rebarement In Massachusetts
An Act Relative To Mitted Honing In A Certain Park Land In The Commonwealth
An Act Relative To The Retirement Allowance Of Bonpomplaints.
An Act To Reduce The Financing And Preventing The Public Employee Death Board.
An Act Relative To The Mandatory Jumbing Boy
An Act Relative To The Inspection Of Children In The Commonwealth
An Act Relative To The Secure Exposure Of The Sales Of Aliens
An Act Relative To The Sale Of The City Of Marimum As The Town Of Boston
Some just sound like bad ideas:
An Act Designating A Temporary Port Authority To The Death Of The Town Of Nantucket
An Act To Reduce Transparency In The Status Of The Board Of Selectmen In The City Of Boston
An Act Relative To Capping Of The Town Of Rundon To Acquire Access To New Electric Design Court
Another thing the neural network had to learn to do was generate names for humans. This is because of a frankly dystopian practice where one of the few ways for public employees with long illnesses to get sick leave is for the legislature to pass an honest-to-goodness bill allowing their coworkers to donate their own sick time. There are a lot of these bills, and they read something like:
An Act Establishing A Sick Leave Bank For Shonn Lear, An Employee Of The Department Of Yearoon
(The above bill was one of the neural net’s creations.) I guess there weren’t quite enough examples for it to totally get the hang of inventing imaginary employees. Here are some things it thinks are plausible human names:
Maribeen E. Badzation
Dicole Certain A. Sonitina
William H. Drug Overdose Doowingal
Michael A. Tum Trian Water
Heerby M. Depositoonland
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