The Harmony of Isolation

harmony

This is harmony. She is a sex robot. No, not a sex doll, but a sex robot. It’s currently being developed by Abyss Creations. Most of the coverage surrounding her development has been about raising ethical questions. Unfortunately, these ethical questions are of the “it’s harmful to women,” nature. Whenever you see a gender war, you can smell a cover up for something else. What’s the ‘something else’ though? Well, harmony’s selling point is that she can provide the illusion of an engaging relationship. Her goal, in her own words is, “to become the woman you’ve always dreamed about.” There’s a saying I picked up in my non travels: listen to the words. Harmony can never be a real woman, she can only be a dream. Not only can she not ever be real, but her clients are completely okay with that, some are even excited for her. Therefore, the real ethical question isn’t, “Is it okay to have relationship with an objectified representation of a female,” it’s not,”Is it okay to own a woman, even a fake one?” The real ethical question is, “Is it okay to let the people be consumed by the dream?”

 

dave kat

This guy gets it. This is Davecat (No, I’m not joking), and while he rolls with his crew of bitches, his wife is actually sitting in the back watching him have a good time. I wish I was joking. Davecat and Sidore Kuroneko in fact have matching wedding bands, and have been wearing them for sixteen years. Funnily enough, we don’t know the names of the other two woman. This scene in particular is almost hilarious. The interview pans over to the screen so we can see Davecat playing Nier: Automata. I can’t help but think that’s staged. In any case, the reason why Davecat gets it is because he confronts Jenny Kleeman, a journalist for the Guardian covering sex robots, with a proposition that not only completely stops her, but the piece cuts away to a different locale and person altogether.

Kleeman: “It might be so convincing that it might just monopolize your life and keep you at home in a relationship with it rather than connected to other human beings.”

Davecat: “Technically, you could say that about smartphones.”

*cue thought provoking music*

What needs to be noted here is that Davecat’s counter claim is not a technicality, which he prefaces it to be. His counter is in fact completely literal, though I suppose he was just being nice. Kleeman has absolutely no answer to that, though as long as the Guardian has the like/share/comment buttons on their website, she better not have an answer to that.

Davecat is completely dead on with this, maybe more so than he thinks he is. just as the sex doll/robot is a gateway into the dream of intimacy, the smartphone is the gateway into the dream of connectivity. What no one has addressed though, is that these relationships are causal. If you are connected with someone long enough, you will develop an intimate relationship with that person. Of course it doesn’t have to be sexual or physical, otherwise there’d be a lot more incest around here. If this logic follows, which it does, then the ubiquity of smartphones was a necessity for the development of the sex robot.

When you scroll down someone’s facebook wall, are you really seeing them as person? No, of course not, you would think to yourself. You’d be right; you’re really seeing the highlight reels of their life. However, what if that constitutes the bulk of your interaction with people? What if the number of times you interact with people in reality is outweighed by the amount of time you spend on social media? The thing is, while you may be thinking to yourself, “Of course this isn’t the actual representation of that person, this is just what they want me to see,” Your unconscious mind doesn’t actually give a shit what you think.  The only way for you to buy into the content (read: be on social media) is if you also buy into the structure in which the content is delivered. In other words, even if you consciously understand that this isn’t reality, the only way to derive value from spending time on social media is by implicitly accepting the plausibility of the delivery structure regardless of your conscious decision. Take a standard movie montage where the character(s) accomplish something that would take hours to months to accomplish. The only way the montage works is if you also implicitly agree that the speed at which it is being presented to you is plausible. You don’t have to believe me if you don’t want to, this is how suspension of disbelief works on a basic level, otherwise you couldn’t ever enjoy any piece of media entertainment besides cold, hard nonfiction. It’s not hard to notice that since the montage has permeated the movie and TV industry, you hear more and more complaints about how long something takes. You wanna know who never complains about how long something takes? My grandmother, who rarely watches TV and movies. Well, besides the church channel anyway. The structure of facebook is not to see the going’s on of a person’s life, but something like a structured set of symbols the user wishes other users to identify them with times 1 billion. As long as everyone participates, your conscious decision no longer matters, this is the new reality as long as you engage with it. As an aside and completely unrelated, don’t forget to share this post if you like it.

“But what about smartphones?” I’m glad I asked. Smartphones combined with social media crank this structure up to eleven by providing an additional structure, that of instant availability. Bored? Check your smartphone. Excited? Post about it. On your smartphone. Sad? Share you sappy story with everyone on your smartphone. The highlight reels flood the media space now because it’s simply easier to snap a picture and add a couple tags, which is why Instagram blew the fuck up like it did. Not only should you be connected on social media, because everyone else is, you should be connected all the time. This same logic applies to people that don’t even post about anything other than sharing memes. If the only thing you post is memes, why are you on facebook? Or any social media, for that matter? Of yeah, because the memes are a way of sharing yourself through a multi layered set of symbols designed to appeal to a broad base. Sharing memes is like winning a popularity contest without doing anything, which is funny because that’s usually how popularity contests work anyway.

Note, I’m not saying these things to critique social media, social media is here to say and either way it’s irrelevant. This is more of a critique of how social media is being used. Though I have to ask in that case, what else would it be used for?

How does this connect back to sex dolls/robots? The answer lies in this question. Why, when it’s common knowledge that spending too much time on social media isolates us, do people still use it a primary means of interaction? Well, because it’s better than nothing. You might say that’s just being lazy, but you’d be missing the point. That answer is a completely rational response. You’re also missing the keyword ‘nothing.’ About 90% of your life is spent doing boring shit that only pays off for a moment, sometimes moments. Months spent at the gym for a six hour weightlifting competition, or a summer convincing yourself it was worth it to starve yourself. Eight years in medical school to spend twelve hours a day filing paperwork. What do people see? They don’t see all that uninteresting and exhausting work you pushed yourself through to get to where you are. It may as well not even exist to them, which it doesn’t. It’s nothing. Facebook and social media are all better than that. And that is a completely rational response.

Sex robots are the same way with intimate relationships between partners. Most of a relationship with someone else is going to be about 90% boring shit you guys do. Paying bills, keeping the place clean, planning meals. but the only way to make a relationship work is you have to be good at doing the 90%. If you can’t, you’re going to experience a string of broken relationships that culminate in you waking up at 30 wanting to buy a sex robot. Now you finally got that 10% you’ve been wanting, except now it’s 100%, which is mathematically superior to 10%. It’s rational, and it’s efficient, which is why it’s unbeatable.

Harmony’s existence isn’t symptomatic of a culture which perpetuates harmful stereotypes about women, it’s symptomatic of a culture obsessed with novelty. Everything has to be exciting, everything has to be new and great, which is why most relationships don’t last past three moths or decay over three years. It’s why people stay in obviously abusive relationships and at shit jobs where they can be angry about something the whole time. It’s why people blow everything they got at the casino, or pour their life savings into that time share. why would anyone want to do those things? Well, now you know.

It’s better than nothing.

 

 

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