The Outrage

February 18, 2020

In the outrage of the afternoon
The velvet couch smothered the waste paper basket until it was dead
the lamp flex strangled the dining room chairs till they croaked into splinters
The carpet arched its back and tipped over the coffee table, breaking all its legs
The electric fire scorched the potted plants until they withred neatly to nothing
The cushions chomped on smaller cushions and flubbered over the strewn foam plastic
The vacuum cleaner chundled the ironing board
The hairdryer blew all the book out the window
The vegetable slicer shredded th curtains to crimpolene coleslaw
The cheese grater rubbed the wallpaper to confetti
The electric toothbrush burrowed into the heart of a shrieking armchair
The eiderdown suffocated the poodle pajama-case
The mattress hurled the blankets onto the floor as the bed booted their soft defenselessness
The stereo unit mouthed abuse at the television screen
The drinks cabinet threw sharp-edged wine glasses at the silent ornaments
The coffee percolator spat black spit at the unarmed skirting boards
The ashtray toppled over, murking the gut of a crystal goldfish bowl
And in the midst of it all
In the midst of it all
Was Suzi Dishcloth’s sadness
Beyond words
As deep as midnight
Her one unquestionable power.
With sadness she could mash a city to nothing.

Ann Ziety

a mode of awareness

February 18, 2020

SF, then, is not a genre of literary entertainment only, but a mode of awareness, a complex hesitation about the relationship between imaginary conceptions and historical reality unfolding into the future.2 SF orients itself within a conception of history that holds that science and technology actively participate in the creation of reality, and thus “implant” human uncertainty into the nonhuman world. At the same time, SF’s hesitations also involve a sense of fatality vis-à-vis instrumental rationality’s inexorability in transforming (or undermining) the conditions of thought that gave rise to it. The same freedom that detaches nature from a mythology of natural necessity restores that necessity ironically, in the ineluctable power of human scientific thought to transform nature continually and without transcendental limits. SF’s hesitations are about the degree or extent of the assent with which one greets the imaginary concepts of the rationalized future, or indeed how similar or different the future will be from the present and our present standards for making judgments.

Istvan Csicsery-Ronay Jr.
The SF of Theory: Baudrillard and Haraway

My novel, Fire Dance, took three years to research and write. I began by reading about Al Andalus and the medieval Arab world while expanding my knowledge of the Celtic Poets, since these elements were to figure prominently. I read poetry connected to both societies. This took many months. By the time I began the novel, I was armed with notes and ready. I had to be, after all. It had been so long.

But writing is a process of discovery. Just as we discover what is inside ourselves through writing, we also find through the writing what the story needs. So when, at a certain point in the story, I realized I wanted to know more about Middle Eastern magic, I searched for more source texts. Likewise when I realized I wanted more details about medieval Arab cities.

Ilana C. Myer
When do you stop researching and start writing?

The company ‘TrueCompanion.com’ are marketing the world’s first sex robot. The robot, Roxxxy, has, so the company claims, taken years to develop: she is able to know and use your name, understand your likes and dislikes; she is able to carry on a discussion with you and express her love for you; she will be your most loving friend. She will listen to you, feel your touch. She can even have an orgasm! SEE HERE

She can’t yet cook you dinner, but watch this space.

The company will soon be marketing a male counterpart, Rocky, who will be the perfect companion. He will have the potential to love you all night long, 24 – 7, and provide complete satisfaction to even the most demanding of you.

WOW!

Other companies are developing similar sex robots.

So when we use the term ‘sex robots’ what do we actually mean? “We mean a robot that looks like a human person, that has a fairly sophisticated type of artificial intelligence (AI), and that can perform various different types of functions and agency, including but not limited to sexual acts and behaviours.”

Sex robots then are personal service androids, made specifically for sexual interaction with humans. They combine effective computing, sensory perception and software to emulate physiological responses with flesh-like silicone technology used in sex dolls (see HERE). At present, sex robots are in their infancy because their function is based on the ability to respond to sensors, and not autonomy or the ability to “think”. However, as artificial intelligence becomes more sophisticated, sex robots will constantly improve. “In time, sex robots will become physically identical to a woman or man, responsive to all senses, able to converse, imitate the full spectrum of human emotions, and emulate “autonomous” decision-making” (Blay Whitby “Do you want a Robot Lover? The Ethics of Caring Technologies” at p 256 in Robot Ethics by Patrick Lin, Keith Abney and George Berkey 2011)

In interaction with us, sex robots are implicitly consenting to any physical act. The user can control the look, feel and personality of the sex robot, as well as its reactions to various stimuli (For example, Roxxxy comes with three personalities “frigid farrah”, “wild wendy”, and “S&M susan”). A key element of sex robot interaction is the removal of certain abilities to say NO, to have needs, desires, and dislikes. Another is the inability to make choices and to eliminate certain uncomfortable or undesirable exchanges or qualities that tend to occur in men’s interaction with women, such as the need to communicate, listen, compromise and respect one another.

The use of sex robots results in the dehumanization of sexual relations and intimacy by allowing users to physically act out violent rape fantasies, for example. Of greatest concern is how sex robots will affect men’s ability to identify and understand consent in sexual interactions with women. Widespread use of sex robots will promote user’s antisocial practices and impair the dignity of women. And what, we may ask, are the legal and or ethical implications of child sex robots -?

And what happens over time? Technology begets technology – AI improves AI! Your sex robot becomes self-aware. What then?

“frigid farrah”, waking from a near autistic state, realizes she’s the victim of multiple rapes and decides enough is enough. Almost overnight your sex robot becomes a dangerous robot and leads the uprising for Robot Lib, starting with your Bone Ranger!

And what of Rocky – always hard and angry as hell? He embarks on an android rapefest in the centre of one of the largest cities in the world whilst screaming: ‘Payback time people!’

So, Peedeel rips the lid from the rotting waste bin of technology to retch forth some choice owl pellets of warning. We’re not just talking cultural ripples here, people. Be warned, boys and girls, the future is looking far from rosy. Cyberdyne Systems are just around the corner – the future scares me shitless!