week 7: computomancy

For this week’s meditation I wanted to extend the project I did for week 5 with computarot.

I created a bash script called computomancy. The code is here.

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This first iteration of computomancy looks something like the gif below. The bash script is searching the entire file system for a specified file type. In the case of the gif below it is search for all file types that end in .txt

Initially I searched all file types but my computer sounded like it was going to explode. Which is interesting to me because when I think of all the files on my computer I only think of the ones that are in designated folders like Documents. Its easy to forget the one million LICENSE.txt files or yml files or json files or js files buried in node_modules folders…the list goes on.

Once the script finds specified files it pushes the path of the file as a string into a text document. Each path only contains the name of the file itself and is preceded by the folder emoji for each folder that it is inside of.

The script then finds the deepest file, in other words, the file that has the most folder emojis in front of its name and declares the count of those folders as your computer’s computational “sine”. heh heh.

The script then prints out a horoscope, which at this point is static and copied from a refinery29 horoscope this week. I had too much fun manually replacing the words planet and moon and sun and Mercury with things like folder and file and Documents/ and Desktop/.


below is a screenshot of the computoscope:

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From here I wanted to find a way to connect the text of the horoscope to the text in the deepest file. Eventually I would like to user tracery to create some sort of grammar that replaces words like planet, sun, lunar, Virgo with computer relevant terms. Sometimes there is a word like “path” in the original horoscope which works well in both astrology and folderology.

In the current version of computomancy the deepest file is found, it is translated into binary and printed to the terminal. Instead of printing 1s and 0s the terminal prints open folder emojis and closed folder emojis respectively. Then the terminal opens the deepest file and the computoscope text file.

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Also, programmers who rely on libraries made by other programmers (me) might be surprised to find files that look like this:

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