On feminist bot and a Waze for the quality of time

The other day I joined a remote workshop organised by Take Back The Tech, where we learned on how to build a Twitter bot. It is very easy — all you need is a Twitter account logged in to Cheap Bots Done Quick, familiarise yourselves with the lines of JSON code as shown in the example (once you are logged in), alter and write your own syntax, test the bot, and in no time your bot should be able to function on its own. So over the weekend I got to give a try and built my own bot: Feminist Brooklyn 99. Everyone who knows me how much I am obsessed with the tv series Brooklyn Nine Nine, which despite being a comedy series, addresses a lot of important issues regarding race, gender, and sexuality. I figured, why not create a bot revolving around the series and include the terms from feminist and women’s studies? I decided to include links from trusted websites too so people can learn more about the terms when/if they come across the tweets from the bot. Because I am such an Amy Santiago, I started by thinking of a sentence, assign variants, and then created a sheet to list them down.

Currently I have the bot set to tweet once a day. I have a feeling I might change the syntax every few weeks/months (no big deal, I already have the sheet ready anyway) but for now I will let the bot run its course for a few weeks/months and see how it goes. It’s definitely so fun to build something on your own and to get distracted on something new other than your thesis. I think I might build more bots too…

I have been thinking definitely about my last post on time and the whole thing about rushing. It’s a common understanding that whenever people talk about ‘saving’ time, we often talk about the amount of time itself. Why would we opt for a longer route when we can always check on Waze / Google Maps / Apple Maps and follow their suggested routes, usually the fastest, or shortest, or most efficient? I think about the time I was to drive home from the university, usually through the Penang Bridge because well, it’s fast and I can manage my own time, even though I always prefer the ferry. But I received a good feedback on my work that day, and I thought I deserve the time — oh how I always thought and perhaps internalised I had to earn good things instead of its everyone’s rights to enjoy good things — I decided to take the longer route by driving to Georgetown, take the ferry home, and bask in the warm sea breeze during the ride. Time is no longer a mere set of numbers — it’s the experience, the quality of experience, the amount (again with this quantifying language) of attention you give to yourself and others, and how energising all of these could make you feel. I thought if you want to win at this next startup idea, maybe you can build a driving or calendar app that accounts for the quality of time, instead of squeezing everything inside every block of time possible. But then again startups tend ruin a lot of things, so maybe not.

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  1. Pingback: How to teach a computer to ride a bicycle – Two Kinds of Intelligence

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