One idea that gets bandied about at ITP is the idea of having a cohesive body of work that you produce at ITP. Interested in LGBT rights? Convinced VR is the future? Focus your works on those concepts. I entered ITP with nothing of this sort in mind; I just wanted to learn new things and be surrounded by people excited by the future of technology (I felt like the tech industry was more cynical and more interested in the monetization of technology.) However, one does have a tendency to gravitate towards certain subjects. And one of my pet subjects is sexism.
This may seem like a bit of a tangent from the actual subject of this blog post, which is my final for Electronic Rituals: a modified app that tells you your future breakup with the person that you’re swiping on in Tinder. It’s pulling on actual Tinder users, but the fortunes are prewritten: your future is determined by a hash of the subject’s name and birthday, and this pulls an entry from an array of fortunes. Sexism doesn’t seem related: you can swipe on both genders that Tinder lets you choose from (there are no other options or ability to opt out) and the fortunes change pronouns appropriately.
The sexism I refer to is more conceptual than anything else. I did not write the app that logs you into Tinder and lets you swipe on people; that’s pre-existing code from other engineers who reverse engineered Tinder’s API. For the large part, this was done by male engineers who wanted to make dating easier for them. They wanted to automate swiping for them, and some of them even went as far as using machine learning to determine what types of faces they liked to only swipe on “pretty” women. This is the sexism I refer to and comment on. Tinder and this tool were created by men to algorithmically date women. I created a tool to algorithmically find reasons not to date men.
Besides this, the fortunes are also a comment on my personal dating habits– that is, I don’t really date. I am always finding excuses not to put myself out there; I don’t have time, or maybe I just don’t like the way they dress. This tool automatically does this for me, so it’s a bit of a parody of myself. I’m making fun of myself as well as male engineers.
You can find the source code for this tool here: https://github.com/metermaid/fortune-tinder
You’ll have to run the electron app, and sign into Tinder with a Facebook account.
(Apologies for the tardiness of this blog post!)
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