Category Archives: robot

Introductory thoughts on Posthumanism and Beauty or Posthuman Beauty

The first time I heard the term Posthuman was Natasha Vita More’s Primo Posthuman. Her figure fascinated me and I thought I understood what the image meant. This was back in 2007. It is now three years later and here I am writing this blog about my own understanding of posthumanism and beauty. To start, the person who has had a profound impact on my understanding has been Donna Haraway. I read Primate Visions and Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature with fervor, along with about 12 other books from a variety of disciplines. After I read these books I was not sure what knowledge I had acquired. At that point I needed to walk away and just let it stew, as my advisor says. What in the world did these books have to do with what I wanted to know? They fit, but how did they fit for my perspective.

Over time, I realized what the key was to my own understanding. On page, 196 and 334 of Primate Visions, there is reference to the tools of early primate females, the baby-sling and the containers for carrying things that these female primates invented to make their lives easier, and these inventions were right alongside male created weaponry tools. These baby-slings and modern cosmetic surgery or other technology adaptations for women were a revelation. I was a converted cyborg feminist or, now I’m thinking, posthuman feminist. I love the liminal space and the intersections.

Now, I sometimes get snide looks or wrinkled faces when I bring up Haraway and I do not care. The understandings of feminism I had held up until my introduction to Haraway left me distant to wanting to identify myself in that way. Now, I embrace it, because what it means to me is a feminine understanding of humans, culture and technology, the key being the inclusion of technology to our understanding of humans and culture. This is posthumanism to me. It is an academic approach that includes technology in various forms as viable variables to understanding society and culture.

My understanding of cosmetic surgery has been opened. Now I see it clearer as a technological choice that we have. The importance in understanding the adoption is the cultural effects. This is important too, not just the ethics, but the ramifications. Cosmetic surgery is nothing new to our society by any means; however are we studying the effects thoroughly? These effects benefit those who choose to undergo the surgery and the surgeons who are willing to offer their expertise.

This is not limited to cosmetic procedures. We have the power to take control of our bodies and we are doing this from the banal to the extreme. I had a great conversation with a dear friend the other day about how we are both really redheads on the inside. Neither of us are natural redheads and we prefer different shades, but on the inside, we are redheads. This color on our heads expresses that person inside us we know is there. Another dear friend loves heels like mad. It could be snowing or raining or she has to walk 10 miles, but she is always in heels. This is an augmentation of her natural structure. She is a taller person and these “foot extensions” are a beautiful, they are an adorable selections of heels, extension of who she is. Look at The Apprentice. On the show, virtually every female is in heels. We all know or are these women, and I do not mean to leave any other human representation out, but I am still beginning this deep understanding and I am starting with what I am, a woman. I will venture out and apply outward from there with due time. To apply a theory it has to be tested and perfected over time, which I will need to do in pieces.

Therefore, this is where I am: the study of posthuman beauty. The wondrous interplay of (wo)man, technology and culture (particularly film and advertising) has me in a flurry to unravel the narrative of what this has to tell us about ourselves and any other sentience we may later introduce.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under beauty, body parts, cosmetic plastic surgery, ethics, future, human enhancement, posthuman, rights, robot, self, technology, Uncategorized

Examining Free Reign over Vacant Eyes

Based on the amount of interest in my previous article and conversations I’ve had or seen in the interim I thought it was necessary to go back to sex, robots and ethics. In writing about sex robots, seeing the release of Roxxxy by True Companion, LLC

Roxxxy Doll Image from True Companion's Gallery
Roxxxy Doll Image from True Companion’s Gallery

and having several discussions with friends made me think more about the intrigue in AI sex robots. What is it about them that are so fascinating and keeps drawing me back in? What does this have to do with the ethical examination of the use of sex technology? Well, it has to do with how we treat these “tools” as I’ve read some refer to them as, what are the trends and what this says about our societal preferences? I realize that this topic seems cheap to discuss, people have problems with it and compared to global warming and the like it can be considered a trash throwaway topic compared to what my peers are addressing. However, the fact that it is on a carnal desire that, unless we completely move away from our sexuality see Ben Goertzel’sSexuality and Beyond, it is something that needs people to examine seriously.

However, they are intriguing and they seem to be elevated above the level of just your average toy. I can see where that discussion might not fit in here, but the release of a life-size doll, is something that shouldn’t be overlooked. After milling over it, it seems that the sticking point is in the face. There is something about the face that seems to completely change the game. We have created this doll in our image to satisfy our desires of sex and companionship. There is a lot in a face. This doll creates an ethical dilemma it seems that surrounds how to treat it and incorporate it in to the bedroom. I go back to the film AI: Artificial Intelligence and Jude Law’s character as a jigalo. Sure, we aren’t to the point where these sex robots can get up and walk out of our house, that is another issue. But we are now to the point where we can keep these types of robots in our homes if you’re willing to pay for them. Yet, it doesn’t seem that you would want to put them up on a shelf in your closet when they are not in use like your other sex toys does it? In my previous post there was a comment made of enslavement. That struck a chord with me.

They are created for our needs just like a vacuum cleaner, but they are more intimate than a vacuum cleaner. They look like us, sexier, but they look like us. They have no rights, but to please us and sit in our closet or on a chair. People are free to treat them as they like in the privacy of their own homes. But I ask, just because they are vacant behind their eyes, is that ok to just treat them as you like, as sex slaves? What are we teaching western society in accepting a robot in to their home that is not their equal and calling it nothing more than a tool? I know, I know! It has no feeling, no emotion, it is not a person. But we are creating it in our image and treating it like a soulless sex slave. So it has all the qualities of a woman we want to have sex with, besides the actual personhood. This just seems a bit, wrong in my opinion. Maybe this all stems from a childhood where I watched The Brave Little ToasterThe Christmas ToyToy Story and the like. I can get over the fact that my toaster doesn’t come to life at night and desire adventures to find me with my vacuum cleaner and desk lamp. There is no face to these objects, no way to see myself in their place. I can put on a lamp shade, but it doesn’t make me feel like a lamp. However, I can identify with this sex doll, she looks like someone, she acts like someone, she just isn’t someone. I think that going forward the use of robotics in the home that emulate us is going to bring up a lot of ethical issues that I look forward to discussing. It’s not cheap to talk about the sex dolls or irrelevant, they just happen to be the industry that got attention in the western world first. The porn industry gave us a choice on VCR over beta, now they gave us this. What are we going to do with it and how are we going to set the stage for the next better version of Blu-Ray sex dolls if you will? Just a thought.

Leave a comment

Filed under AI, AI: Artificial Intelligence, Ben Goetzel, ethics, future, relationship, responsibility, robot, self, technology

Wall-E takes over my Two-Year Old and what it can do for the environment

So, there’s a new robot movie coming out…for kids…and humorous enough for adults…don’t know if you’ve heard or not…it’s called…Wall-E?? Looks like R.O.B from Nintendo and Number 5 from Short Circut? Cute? Inescapably addictive to young children? That’s the one!

Disney-Pixar is the reason for my daughter’s current infatuation with, a robot. She’s not screaming for a Roomba, she’s completely disinterested in the Scooba, I’m not I’d love to have both. For that matter, she could care less about our Robosapian, Roboreptile, mini-sapian thing, or the other -Sapian my son has lurking in his bedroom. All it took was clever marketing, snazzy graphics, and a cute voice/catchphrase, and done, you’ve got the youth market in a tizzy over robots again.

My daughter is just a hair shy of becoming three and can already do a dead ringer impression of Wall-E. If it was up to her, he’d move in with us tomorrow. We’ve already purchased the plate and couldn’t make it through the store without constant cries of, “There’s Wall-E!!”, “There he is!!”, “Can we get it?! MOM!!”. She’s two and a marketer’s dream, and I know this. It’s unavoidable somehow. All she’s seen is the teasers like everyone’s else with a TV. With the two robots, one say’s “Wall-E” in it’s cute robo-voice and there’s some “At Last” and Wall-E in robo-love and a bra on his eyes. Somehow, that’s all it took to make a two-year old fall in love with a robot. Doesn’t matter if he’s cold steel or if the movie’s no good, which I doubt since it’s Disney-Pixar, but that’s the point I think. It doesn’t matter, she’s sold, hand’s down and so is her brother who’s nine.

There are a lot of big topics out there that we want to communicate to children about. Imagine if Disney-Pixar made Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth into a kids version…I’d be planting trees and walking everywhere. And buying a LOT of eco-friendly materials I would imagine. I can see the kids marketing now and product placement with Subway, because they serve healthier fast food that’s moreso eco-friendly than the other fast foods. All it takes is clever marketing, snazzy graphics, and a cute voice/catchphrase, and done, you’ve got the youth market on track to save the environment with ferver.

It just makes me wonder, what else?

1 Comment

Filed under An Incovenient Truth, Disney-Pixar, marketing, nintendo, robot, Wall-E, youth market