Culture · Ranting · Technology

house-robots, hovercars, and other broken promises…

I remember seeing a copy of the Halifax Herald from the day they landed on the moon at my grandmother’s house.  I told her that it was the only thing I wanted from her house when she moved and was getting rid of such clutter.  The story wasn’t special or anything… your standard first man on the moon kind of journalism.  It was the advertisements what made it special.  Serious car dealership ads about the future of Moon cars… and Moon real estate… “Be sure to get yours reserved soon…”   So that was 1969… hmmm… guess it didn’t go so much like we planned… did it? 

We didn’t get a lot of things they told us we’d have by now.  Hover cars… anti-gravity boots… and what the hell happened to the dream of the house robot?  I want my house robot damn it… You know like Rosie from The Jetsons.  That show was supposed to take place late in the 21st century… we’re no where close to that kind of technology. The other evening… the ethical question of humanizing robots was a topic of discussion.  My friend, Steve, was quite unsettled by a robot that was made to look human.  “I want my robots to look like robots,” he said.  To which Drunk Dave replied… “Eh… it would make people feel more like slave owners…”  We all laughed uncomfortably at the little bit of truth in this notion.   

There is a growing movement in the area of socio-psycho-humanities research dedicated to the ideas associated with transhumanance… the joining together of man and machine.  Most of the current “scientific” research in this area is dedicated to current mechanical medical technologies that are being implemented in surgeries across the developed world. Each new development allows us to “improve” our humanness; by extending our lives… or keeping us safe from harm… they put us one step closer to perfection.    There exists a vicious criticism of transhumanizing practices amongst cautious traditionalists, and technology skeptics.  But those old post-modernists just can’t get the message out… they don’t use the Internet you see.  Don’t get me wrong…you can be critical of the theory of transhumanance and still embrace technology.  Personally, I’m not sure what I think about the whole moral dilemmas involved in implanting microchips and clockworks into people.  I prefer to suspend judgment on this matter until more evidence becomes available.  It seems that with new technology… comes new culture… comes new language… comes new ethical dilemmas… comes new laws and regulations… comes new social norms.  But first, before all of that, comes division and a struggle to be in the camp that gets to mould the technology to suit their own agenda.  But I digress…  At the rate we’re going… moral questions regarding robots and microchip implants may be a long time coming yet.  We’re still using carbon based fuel for Christ’s sake… It seems as though we should be on the verge of that one huge technological breakthrough… like the hydrogen cell… or advanced robotics… but alas, we are too in love with our dirty habits… and would rather advance technology in ways that can allow us to be abundantly more lazy; physically and cognitively.



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