Divination Bot

There’s always some weird stuff around other worldliness and computers. Especially in sci-fi. The omnipresent being, the all knowing system, the computer that will predict the future. That somehow a thing we built will surpass its worldly bounds, and be associated with the cosmos in some way. Something bigger than us. Something alien.

But divination is mostly just a system. Its a system that works if you believe it works. Its something we made, and then imprinted on to an object. In a way it could be a form of idol worship, but it could also be a way to just up and blame the universe sometimes for a flat tire. Which honestly, in the age of Late Capitalism, if this is something that makes you feel alright, then I don’t see the issue.

My talented friend Alanna, and I started playing around w/ an absurd divination system last week, and we thought it might be an interesting fit for the deconstructed, Alexa. In a lot of ways, Amazon wants Alexa to be a general device. Something you use for a bunch of things, which is funny, because its a very specific kind of interface. In this case we’re taking that and making a very specific device that does a very specific thing for a very specific person.

I think we’ll spend some time actually making it into an object in and of itself as well. It might be encased in resin or acrylic, and be a weird wall hanging. It might have totems associated with it, or be wrapped w/ a fur, or have a strange paint job. We’ll see. The challenge right now is how to take it from a one off command program into something more conversational.

Also, I mean you’re going to be conversing with a printer, which I will admit I ripped off from the Heart of Gold’s ticker tape math read out about normality. But I still find it funny.

System Diagrams

I’ve been thinking about what kind of systems I could set up to work with things. OCADU on-site is proving to be difficult because the main WiFi is enterprise, which is incompatible with most IoT devices. And even in the case of the shadow WiFi, there’s some limitations. The Hue lights are lovely to work with, but their lack of remote API is a bit annoying, as I have to filter everything through IFTTT.

Home could be run on a raspberry pi. Ideally, I’d like to host my webhook there, and take advantage of Hue’s zigbee / local protocol.

My dev setup for just working, involves exposing a local port, and using ngrok to make a secure tunnel.

IFTTT is usually alright, except I do notice some delays. I need to restructure some code to hopefully make it a bit smoother.