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Title: Asymmetrical Emoticon
Author: Biyi Wen
Language: No language, concept only
In context of a data structure class, there is a method to tell if there are balancing brackets in a string. Similarly, the method can be applied to tell if a word is a palindrome.
I use the metaphor of a stack of plates to understand this structure. I have a handful of plates, each to represent a character. I count the plates and see if they are even or odd. In the example I've drawn, the emoji (0_0) is odd numbered, consisted of five chars. Like stacking plates, I stack the plates one by one upon each other, until the one in the very middle. I remove the one on the middle and start my comparing process. I check: the chars are matching! I remove the plate on the top; I continue to check, the chars are matching again, I remove the plate on the top. If the (0_0) is symmetrical, the plate stack will be empty.
A handful of questions arise when critically examining this concept. As a method, it is intended to yield binary results: a string of characters can either pass the test, or not pass the test. The following are the emojis I gathered that are more nuanced than the one appeared in the example, and I see them challenging the either/or narrative. Faces (let's make this scope of mammals, because there are emojis of animal faces) are not symmetrical. The "eyebrows" of (=•́ܫ•̀=) tilts, expressing a nuanced expression. How do we see the possibility to queer? Do we see qualities that are specific to the culture of emoticons? Another question also arose when I started to think of how visually faces are perceived and processed by humans. Having undergone learning experiences, humans are able to register if a face is roughly symmetrical. The difference between how humans think, and how the computer program makes decisions, provides a space of queering.
I've been too lazy to implement the program. It has some possibilities - I was thinking that machine learning can be used as a queering method for the concept. Here to initiate the discussion.
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