Have you ever encountered a man who seems to hit on women via autopilot, no matter what the women say or if they are playing dead? Well, a comedic genius named Sam Kriss recently put these dudes’ persistence to the test by creating a fake female account on Ok Cupid, then responding to men’s messages exclusively in text pulled from the infamously nonsensical Twitter account horse_ebooks. Fun!
For those not in the know, horse_ebooks is the most beloved spam bot on the internet. (No, really!) Its ostensible purpose is to promote low quality, horse themed e-books, but to avoid spam detection, it also spits out random, decontextualized snatches of text scraped from various internet sources several times a day. It is funny. Some people have even made t-shirts of it!
Surprisingly (or perhaps unsurprisingly) enough, some of the men of Ok Cupid persisted in hitting on horse_ebooks for quite some time, even when it was clear they would only get gibberish in return. Here’s one example:
This just confirms what I already knew about “pick-up artists”: anyone who is dim enough to buy into “the seduction community”‘s harebrained “evolutionary psychology” driven ideas, whereby one can use “facts” about “the female brain” to get women to do what they want, is also too dim to immediately realize when they’ve encountered a troll. Either that, or these guys all have a fetish for robot horses. But are there any deeper messages to be taken from this?
One of the major criticisms of PUA is the fact that it turns human interaction into this weird grotesque number game. But that’s exactly what online communication does a lot of the time: it follows the logic of the computer, input and output. And given that the horse robot is made out of the ephemera of online language—sales patter, ad copy, technical specifications, whatever—she fits right in on OkCupid, where everyone’s kinda advertising themselves.
Takeaway: WE ARE ALL HORSE_EBOOKS. Be afraid.