Database Divination: Classifying The Machinic Gaze Part 2
Having done the requisite research on tea leaf practice I decided to engage once again in the act itself. I again recorded the process using the same apparatus as last night.
To prep myself for the frame of mind one should be in when doing an act such as this I did some basic four fold breath breathing exercises and also listened to some binaural brainwaves music. It’s important to engage in these actions to enter the mental/psychological space, even if one would consider that space a simple suspension of disbelief, necessary for scrying practices.
I decided to steer clear of the interpretations of what the various symbols I saw meant, but realised that the person who looked into the tea leaves would need some sort of guidance as to what to detect. Usually this guidance would be provided by the tea leaf reader (in a classic instance of mediated agency between bodies) but in the eventual realisation of this concept this guidance will be provided by software who will provide it in order to gather information into it’s database tables.
Once I had completed the gazing and took time to look at the patterns I realised that there was a possibility of using the users input to the database as a trojan horse for the computer to garner information. For instance I could ask the user to count the number of leaves they see and add this to the database. This data would go into the computers view of the patterns, as knowing the amount of tea leaves might be additional data which will let it filter the imagery more appropriately.
Something that I found noteworthy was that upon later inspection of the glass that the patterns within suggested different shapes and combinations to me. This really made me think about the state of mind one has and how much this determines your propensity amenable to perceiving patterns. I wondered if there would be a way to bring out how distilling ones experience into a database could alter your pattern discerning capabilities.
Following this more intuitive engagement with tasseomancy I was on much firmer conceptual ground. I was much clearer about how the interaction between computer and tea gazer would have to be a co-relational relationship, with the computer adopting a pseudo – seer like position as well as acting as a data munging agent. I was also able to devise a provisional database structure into which the data of the divination practice would be entered. This is a rough sketch of how the structure will work
this is a rough plan, awaiting proper ER diagramming
I then set about using Perl to create a DBD interface whereby data could be entered via the command line. I wanted to code this from scratch as much as possible, as I deemed it within my existing knowledge and that it would take just as long to start coding it as to search efficiently across google for a script that approximated to the function which I desired to have. In so doing I was take a cue from Tim Kindbergs decision making process.