EROFT: Meditation 2

Invent your own “oracle deck.” Your deck doesn’t have to be a physical object (though it can be). Keeping in mind the formal characteristics of cleromancy discussed in class, consider how digital media can complicate/diminish/augment the parts and processes of a reading. (Some questions to get you started: Who gets to participate? Can a computer program be a “reader”? A “querent”? What can a “card” be? What can a “deck” be?)

I’ve always been fascinated with the Missed Connections section of Craigslist. The idea that we can use an internet as a tool to rectify a situation, to get in touch with that girl on the subway or the guy you met at 2am in the bodega. Actually, a close friend of mine and her fiancé are together because of Craigslist.

My thought was to use BeautifulSoup to scrape the titles from the Craigslist Missed Connections, parse them for noun phrases using TextBlob and let each of these phrases be a “card” in my oracle deck. I was going off the common knowledge that people tend to craft their craigslist postings meticulously and thus each word holds significant meaning – particularly nouns. The program then selects three noun phrases for a reading.

In this case, the querent and the reader are the same person (whoever is using the program), though it would be interesting to take some of these noun phrases and possibly use synonyms to establish meanings (or even just randomly assign them) and have the computer give the reading.

One things that’s interesting is that this “oracle deck” is date and time dependent – depending on when I choose to scrape the website, the deck can shift depending on the noun phrases present.

Here’s the code on GitHub: https://github.com/zoebachman/oracle_deck

EXTENSIONS:
– have each noun phrase send a call to google images
– have the program produce a meaning using sourced synonyms
– use ASCII art ( I <3 ASCII art) - Flask app

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29. March 2017 by zoe.bachman.itp
Categories: EROFT | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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