An excerpt from The Glitch Witch's Digital Grimoire

With access only to a computer of moderate power, you too can compile a simple hex.

Chapter 4, Hex Assembly

Warning: the instructions herein are not recommended to be performed on any person, living or dead, and the authors take no responsibility for damage to any beings, hard drives, or data. Stay safe and have fun! Blessed be.

Traditionally, hexes are performed on an effigy made of a candle or a piece of fruit; something malleable and easy to let decompose. Decomposition, distortion, and degradation are all expressions of entropy, one of the strongest forces in the universe. In this endeavor, entropy will be your ally, but be advised: entropy yields to no one.

Nothing is as easy to degrade and distort now as data. Plus, databending can be done quickly and cleanly: no unsightly stains or strange sounds for the neighbors to hear!

Why run around naked in a field and risk catching a cold, when you can comfortably sit naked at your laptop at home?

With access only to a computer of moderate power, you too can compile a simple hex.

Step 1: Creating your effigy

A hex begins by imbuing the chosen object with some essence of the intended target. An inscription of their name or birthday, or in more extreme cases, a splash of any of their bodily fluids (commonly blood or urine), would suffice.

Please reference the above warning before proceeding. The application of bodily fluids to any computer component is not recommended.

Today no one seriously believes that cameras take out some of your soul, but a ubiquity of personal images all over the internet, accessible to anyone, can still be a liability to your spirit (particularly if someone wants to hex you).

So today it's very easy to acquire an effigy with a one-to-one correlation, made of digital data: a profile picture, or a short video taken at a distance of no less than 20 feet. Easy!

Step 2: Data manipulation

The next ingredient you will need for your hex in the archaic style would be something with a sharp point. Pins, nails, a small ceremonial dagger, or peppercorns would be pressed into the effigy in a ritualized sequence. How obvious and gauche!

Data manipulation is performed in a very similar way, but you don't have to worry about handling rusty old nails or remembering to dunk that dagger in a glass of milk at midnight under the full moon to consecrate it.

The first thing you will want to do is expose the data somehow in raw form, and start poking holes in it by rearranging or removing parts of the hexadecimal code.

For a complete list of software tools that are compatible with raw photo and video formats, please consult your local IT wizard.

Destroying data this way is like making a snowflake as a Christmas craft. Cutting holes in a seemingly random fashion, when unfolded, produces a beautiful pattern borne of both order and chaos.

After the corruption, most software will attempt to compensate for the gaps, producing super-saturated displaced pixels, a light fizzle of chaos throughout the image, or a subtle distortion.

Make too many holes, and your snowflake will fall apart: this is no good! You want your effigy to stay mostly intact for at least as long as you want the hex to be active. Too few holes and you will probably not notice an impact.

You may want to practice a few times on archival footage or creative commons licensed photos first. Pictures of inanimate objects are recommended. Even using archival footage containing persons who you believe to be deceased is not guaranteed to have no effect.

Step 3: Safe disposal and energy clearing

The last step of the hex is usually to dispose of the effigy. Commonly this was done by harnessing the elements of fire, water, or earth (to your preference). If you were using a candle, you would let it burn completely, or burn your effigy to ashes and scatter them to the wind. Using water, you would throw your effigy in a river or ocean if possible. Using earth, you would bury it in the ground or place it in the hollow of a tree.

This step allows the energy you've put into the hex to flow freely out of the object and prevent it from returning to you. Imagine putting all that work into creating a hex for someone, only to have the hex come back to you by mistake!

Emailing the hexed file to your intended target is not recommended; it's just creepy and will not increase the efficacy of your hex.

For this reason, do not store hexed files on your personal hard drive. The elements we can use now for destroying your effigy are the cloud, or methods of physical disruption that are almost like doing it the old fashioned way.

For uploading your hexed file to the cloud, simply open an anonymous account with your preferred cloud storage provider. Dedicated servers for hexed files tend to self destruct, so be sure that the infrastructure of your service provider is robust enough to handle corrupted files. Once they have been sent to the cloud, erase all traces of the file from your hard drive, including the source image or video.

If you prefer the security of destroying your hard drive physically, you must remove the platter inside of the hard drive and smash it. Sledgehammers are the tool of choice, but if you want to get creative with it, you will find that most platters are made of aluminum or glass with a ceramic substrate.

Repeated application of a marble pestle will produce glittering, nullified shards which can be scattered from your mortar harmlessly into the trash, or striking your hard drive with an amethyst geode will produce a quite stylish shatter.

Do not apply a drill or magnet to your hard drive. You will probably not fully destroy the cursed file, and instead add an unintended layer of distortion to the data. If you want to risk amplifying the hex's effect, do so with caution. Also, be very careful with platter shards, wear gloves and eye protection when destroying. If your blood is mixed in by accident, please consult a shaman.

Results will be delivered based on the power of your hex, anywhere within two to three days to millennia. Happy hexing!

For further instruction on cursing first born, see: Duplicating corrupted files
For hex protection, see: Data scrubbing