Sunday, May 3, 2009

Bionics, human vulnerability and the media

Take a look at how radical new technologies are being presented to us: digestible, friendly. Like some vegan cooking how-to videos.

Robot penguins.

Robot snakes.

Robot us.

"Oh yeah don't mind us, just re-crafting nature to suit our needs. Please invest!"

My new media-immunities are down: I'm actually worried about the swine flu but I'm cool with simulated animals.

The media has a vicegrip on my emotions with this one. The fear is the real contagion. If it meant not having to worry about getting sick, I'd let the biotechnicians do whatever they please, make robot viruses that keep away the ones we didn't create. On one end they have us too scared to ask questions, on the other, too complacent.

We are overpopulated, and the crash is just going to get worse the further we push it away with technology. Five people were diagnosed on campus with swine flu today. They're being given some magical treatment. People are on edge.

And in response to this fear you get people saying, "yeah well, no one cares about AIDS," or "no one talks about Cholera!" Well, no one cares about technology either. I... can't even say for sure what it is about these links that moves me. There's something. Something we're after. Perfection. Self-simulation. Invulnerability. Scary I-Robot kinds of questions should be asked, but when you dress it up like a penguin... who cares?

I'd buy an air-penguin and let it float around my yard. The snake, maybe not. It's all about how things are presented, and that makes me susceptible to infection.

But now that we've built it, now that society is there to be sustained and the technology is so easy to mess around with, we're going to sprint to the end. Till viruses don't matter. Till mortality, pain, hunger... till every fear has been mastered and streamlined with shiny chrome labels and gadget-laden life preservers. Until that point, the media had better keep our hands and feet inside the tram.

"But why? it's more fun with your hands in the air, it's more scary!"
"Hey kid look its the swine flu!"

you got me.
scared and stupid.


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