David Levy

Love and Sex With Robots Or Sherry Turkle’s Inquisition of Digital Evangilists

Okay so I was reading this book by Sherry Turkle, Alone Together – Why We Expect More From Technology And Less From Each Other, and it really does merit a little blog post. See when she talks about technology and social media she is like a Christian talking about the Antichrist… Harsh, ruthless and judgmental in a very “I am a psychologist so I just want the best for you poor people who do not realize to which state you have become addicted to a lonely life of screen watching and mouse clicking replacing your human friends and lovers with computers and robots” way… I cannot decide, cause there are obviously pins of truth in her musings, and I am certainly not trying to be cleverer than a professor and a psychologist but it is just a little too much. I do agree with the fact that texting and Facebook chatting can be annoying. As I mentioned in an older post it sometimes feels like modern dating only exists in virtual online life. You wait for a text instead of a call and instead of telling someone on the phone (cause that is a good old voice to voice technology item, not nearly as dangerous as robots) how you feel you write ❤ ❤ :-p ;0) ❤ in a text (I wish i could make these virtual smiley pieces of art where it reassembles a panda or a thumbs-up, but I am not that talented)… Okay well maybe that is a little excessive, I almost never use smileys in my texts, I also don’t really tell people I like them on the (i)Phone, but you get my point. It is true that when communicating sometimes it would be nice to hear a voice or instead of deciphering weird text messages and wondering whether he was being sarcastic or honest or playing the game of “must not text back before at least 12 hours” and then waiting around for a response and then wondering whether to put x or xx or xxx at then end of your text or just putting nothing or “take care dude”. Ah yes living in virtual life can be quite exhausting, with the rules of texting and the stalking of Facebook and Twitter and, oh my, there are so many. Maybe that David Levy is on to something about exchanging men (yes yes or women) for robots (NB from his book Love & Sex With Robots). They would definitely be longer lasting in bed and apparently know more than all the worlds knowledge of sexual positions (which seems to bed one of his main points), but maybe I’m not so much into cold metal between my legs (when it’s not my bike of course)… Maybe I’m old-fashioned because I still think of R2D2 or 3PO when I think of robots and I really wouldn’t want to have sex with them, they are cult robots not to be thought of in a sexual way (and 3PO would honestly just piss me off in the end..). Maybe David Levy’s robots are cool plastic silicone ones, but then isn’t that just like having sex with a working, walking and talking dildo… Can’t decide, maybe that’s the whole point of robots in bed, that they are just performers. I am still not sure about that idea though, I kinda like real flesh and blood men (hoo maybe David Levy’s robots are also made out of flesh and blood… Sick shit dude!!) and kinda like that they don’t know all there is too know about all the worlds sexual positions… Just imagine the pressure: “no robot don’t know that one, no robot don’t know that one, no robot don’t know that one, do you just wanna do missionary..? no, oh okay… Yeah definitely not keen on the robot sex, but I like how it has become some men’s (aka David Levy’s) fetish or at least that it is now on the market like S/M, Latex, Swingers or Golden Showers… I dig the whole ‘free choice’… See the thing is Sherry Turkle talks about people praising the internet as heroic narrators… “Effusions of digital evangelists who confuse technological advance with human progress” and then she decides we as humans have become blinded so much from the need for technological advancement and more and more social media, that we can’t see clearly anymore and that we therefore get sucked into virtual life and can’t even choose our life outside online cyberspace anymore. First of all, stop with the whole cyberspace… There is no cyberspace and online activity does not necessarily mean we alienate ourselves from “real” life… And why do we keep having to make that distinction, online activity is just as big a part of “real life” as “real life” is a part of online activity. We don’t go to Cyber every time we log on or go Wifi (even though, man, it does sound like a cool place… Cyber: Where the milk is fresh and there is always free ice-cream, stop by any time) Frankly that whole cyber statement is getting old. And then maybe Turkle, maybe give people some credit. Stop thinking that as soon as the first sex robot is on the market we’ll all go and buy ourselves one and stay home for weeks and weeks and have constant sex with our over talented robots. I’m not saying people wouldn’t buy them, they probably would and a lot (especially if Steve Jobs was in over the design) but it is always like that with the newest technology fling. Something new comes out, gets overhyped and then people move on… Funny how when society is changing there are always these critics who thinks the apocalypse is now near, and wait, listen, they can almost hear the trumpets… And so they write books like Sherry Turkle’s warning us about the digital Evangelists as if they were the devil trying to fill us with evil cyber thoughts. Here is a counter example: I have a friend with whom I have had an email revival, in the space of circa one week we have in total written about 36 emails, and these are not rotten little short emails these are actual essays (well most of them at least). Hope you are all out there thinking oh my goood she’s been sucked into the Space of Cyber… Now we don’t live very far apart and we do see each other fairly regurlarly but there is just such a difference in writing than in speaking, also keep in mind that this is not stupid texting it is just like writing a letter, yes, that is what e-mailing is… Maybe Turkle wouldn’t call this a counter example, maybe she would say we are a perfect example of technology gone bad. I’m gonna say the opposite. I find it refreshing that the old art of writing a letter has actually become present in my emailing my friend, I sit down I have a coffee and a cigarette and I think about my answer. So put that in you bong Sherry Turkle and inhale…. Stop talking about separate cyber divided online virtual lives in an alone togetherness, where the only communication form is through our phones, and where we dig robot sex and give people some credit!!! Maybe this is not the end of all human common sense, maybe this is not the end of the world. Maybe people are actually capable of finding their way through technology and The Space Of Cyber while still caring for and keeping human contact a factor in their lives… Maybe I’m wrong…