The Future of Love

The Future of Love

In what some people call the “Age of Narcissism,” we have to be bigger than the universe; we as individuals have to be most important, and we have no time for other people who don’t add value to our lives. This has show itself in our romantic relationships as well. We have already moved away from traditional “meet-cute” love, i.e. we’ve digitalized love through apps like Tinder, Bumble, Grindr, etc. And with the advent of “sex robots” (soon to be without such a clumsy description – “sex robot” seems how we might have thought of android love in the 1950’s), it will only be a matter of time before the accessibility and readily-available nature of artificially-intelligent partners will supersede the time and effort it takes to impress a real one. Watch the trailer for “The Sex Robots are Coming” below for an illustrative example. Humans, for being such social creatures, have been struggling to meet and maintain romantic partners, and maintain especially in the long-term. Why, then, wouldn’t we just buy the copy? Why wouldn’t you just go to the store to get the latest model which takes no work on your part (besides spending a set dollar amount, and probably dignity amount as well) to woo? And then, consequently, having a real, warm-to-the-touch partner would become an “artisan” experience; the organic alternative to those made in a factory. The Future of Sex Let’s back up for a moment; this relationship is already moving too fast. When we talk about the future of love, we’re really talking about the future of sex. One precedes the other; the idea that...
Pics or It Didn’t Happen: Our Obsession with Permanence

Pics or It Didn’t Happen: Our Obsession with Permanence

Something happens. Something memorable, or kinda cool, or not really that interesting at all, but we take thirteen pics of it anyway. We have to take pictures; record it, show the world, share, for posterity’s sake. That we were there. That we are here, now. This is really nothing new. And this is nothing we would put on the shoulders of the Millenials (Gen Y) and Pivotals (Gen Z) who have had the luxury of social media basically since day one (and therefore the normality, and subsequent pressures, of performing online). It’s just the latest form/different version of the photo books mom/grandmom pull out every time you start dating someone new. It’s just the logical next step for a species that started in the dirt, moved on to cave paintings, invented the camera in 1888, and now has a tool to share who they are with the entire world in the blink of an eye. This is just progress. But why is it something so rooted into our DNA, or just our sense of identity? Why do we feel the need to capture everything and look at it over and over again? And for other people to do the same? Why, ultimately, do we feel like something isn’t really real, something didn’t really happen, something isn’t worth remembering, unless we have the physical photo of it to look back on and share with others? Memories There are countless studies (here’s one, for example: False memories in highly superior autobiographical memory individuals) that will tell you that many (most) of our organic memories are junk, and can be created from...
Trolling is Too Mainstream

Trolling is Too Mainstream

People seem to think they’re sparking some sort of revolution by trolling; people who adhere to Milo Yiannoupolouos’ idea that trolls are the “only people that tell the the truth these days,” or  believe that trolling is an art. But you’ve got Time Magazine complaining how trolls are ruining the internet. And there’s even a book out on the subject: This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things. It’s just another tactic to try and exhibit power on the internet. Everyone is doing it now. And very poorly, usually. And, more importantly, as a result the average person is now less willing or able to be trolled. It’s lame. You’re a lame duck if you do it. Like the kid who thinks it’s still cool to pull on girls’ pigtails. Outdated. You and every other twelve year old can try and rile people up online. Lulz. But anyone with half a brain; anyone who knows two things about where the world is headed no longer falls for childish trickery. But that’s not the whole story. And it certainly doesn’t stop there. A trolling era: What now? So where do the 4chan, 8chan, Breitbart trolls go when their caves have been raided? Where can they find darkness after being brought out into the light? To be fair, trolls are often nonpartisan. Like “Thor83” played by Patton Oswalt (amen.) trolling party invites in this Portlandia sketch.   But of course, when it’s not messing with people’s lives, it’s not really worth writing about or reporting on. So, especially on the sites just mentioned, the loudest and most obvious trolls, like Milo, have taken to...
Those Jobs Are Gone, and They’re Not Coming Back

Those Jobs Are Gone, and They’re Not Coming Back

For years we’ve heard that the U.S. is losing jobs to countries that get things done quicker and cheaper. President-elect Trump had this issue at the forefront of his campaign. As he said in an early Republican debate, “I will bring jobs back from China. I will bring jobs back from Japan. I will bring jobs back from Mexico. I’m going to bring jobs back and I’ll start bringing them back very fast.” But in trying to bring back the jobs we’ve outsourced, we miss a simpler reason as to why these jobs have disappeared: They are out of date, and obsolete for humans. Trump has promised manufacturing and other blue-collar jobs that simply do not exist anymore. Technology is coming for, or has already taken, as many jobs as have been sent abroad. The blue-collar, benefits-laden work that allowed for a down payment on a nice, two-story home in an American suburb and the means to start a family have now been handed over to R2D2. Well those damn robots are taking our jobs! Recall the 1964 Twilight Zone episode The Brain Center at Whipple’s in which robots replace all workers at a factory, including, in the end, the boss himself. This is what we are dealing with now. We have millions of Americans scrambling because Happy Days-era jobs don’t exist anymore, and too many people are unwilling or unable to retrain, stuck with a skill set better utilized by robots. As Rice University professor of computational engineering Moche Vardi told Factor earlier this year, “US factories are not disappearing; they simply aren’t employing human workers. Job losses due to automation and robotics are often overlooked...
The Definition of Aging

The Definition of Aging

We’ve talked about the societal stigmas surrounding aging in What’s the point of living if no one wants to f#ck you? and we talked about the disruptors developing tech to make it a better experience in Why eldercare is the most important tech sector. But how do people actually feel about aging? What do people actually think about growing up and growing old? To an a kid in elementary school, college is eons away. To a teen, 30 seems so old. To someone in their 60’s, 30 is just the beginning of life, and they themselves still have so much more of it to live. So… WTF does old really mean? “I don’t know, like 35?” Cara, 15, says. “When you have a good job and can’t go out anymore.” Ann, 19, thinks for a moment. “When I hit 50,” she says, “I think I’ll start to feel really old.” “72,” Sam, 31, says. “Everyone else is wrong. It’s 72.” So it’s determined only by age? “Of course.” Ahmed, 24, says, “How close you are to death, right? The more years you have lived. It’s that simple.” Apryl, 29, describes it as fluid as per the individual. “The older you get the more it changes to avoid being the old person,” she laughs. “Maybe 55? That’s when everyone around you will call you old.” “And,” she adds, “when you start to get the good deals before death.” Like at Perkins? Where 55 is the starting point for senior discounts? “Yeah I remember my grandpa getting those,” Lisa, 32, says. “It’s crazy to think that I’m over halfway there.” “55?” Jake (who goes...