Now available, Roxxxy, is the customizable female version of TrueCompanion.com’s, sex robot line….Owners can choose Roxxxy’s race, hair color and breast size all to their individual liking, as well as, one of five different programmed “personalities”, designed to engage the owner in conversation. Inventor Douglas Hines [who says he was inspired by September 11: “everyone needs a companion”] was quoted at the expo as saying, “She can’t cook, she can’t clean, but she can do almost anything else, if you know what I mean.”
Great. Can she RISE UP AND DESTROY HER HUMAN CREATORS?
GirlTalk Radio is a podcast made by girls who love math and science. Hosted by 11-to-16 year olds, the program features interviews with diverse cadre of science-minded women—from stem cell researchers and computer scientists, to marine biologists and computational linguists. Even a CIA intelligence officer. Worth a listen for geek girls of all ages.
David Brooks, writing in today’s Times, is right: the game has changed.
Once upon a time — in what we might think of as the “Happy Days” era — courtship was governed by a set of guardrails. Potential partners generally met within the context of larger social institutions: neighborhoods, schools, workplaces and families. There were certain accepted social scripts. The purpose of these scripts — dating, going steady, delaying sex — was to guide young people on the path from short-term desire to long-term commitment.
Over the past few decades, these social scripts became obsolete. They didn’t fit the post-feminist era. So the search was on for more enlightened courtship rules. You would expect a dynamic society to come up with appropriate scripts. But technology has made this extremely difficult. Etiquette is all about obstacles and restraint. But technology, especially cellphone and texting technology, dissolves obstacles. Suitors now contact each other in an instantaneous, frictionless sphere separated from larger social institutions and commitments.
But then he goes on, as he is wont to do:
But texting and the utilitarian mind-set are naturally corrosive toward poetry and imagination. A coat of ironic detachment is required for anyone who hopes to withstand the brutal feedback of the marketplace. In today’s world, the choice of a Prius can be a more sanctified act that the choice of an erotic partner.
This does not mean that young people today are worse or shallower than young people in the past. It does mean they get less help. People once lived within a pattern of being, which educated the emotions, guided the temporary toward the permanent and linked everyday urges to higher things. The accumulated wisdom of the community steered couples as they tried to earn each other’s commitment.
Today there are fewer norms that guide in that way. Today’s technology seems to threaten the sort of recurring and stable reciprocity that is the building block of trust.
Yoiks! The dudgeon’s as high as an elephant’s eye. Who says everyone really followed those “scripts,” or that they were the best or most effective ones in the first place? Aren’t new scripts, if imperfect ones, evolving right now? And who says we — even typing with our thumbs — aren’t creating different kinds of poetry? Speaking of poetry, where’s the copy editor on that weird sentence about a “pattern of being?” Also, what about a Prius what?
This is very interesting territory. Territory already covered — very interestingly — in the New York magazine cover story that Brooks, in this column, puts through the Brooksinator, with predictably tut-tut results that add little to the conversation. Territory that might be better re-explored by someone, dare I say, less corrosive toward poetry and imagination.
“Last week, I got dumped on the Lower East Side,” [Nate Westheimer] told The Observer. Mr. Westheimer, the 26-year-old head organizer of the NY Tech Meetup, had just ended his term as an entrepreneur in residence at Rose Tech Ventures. He fiddled with his iPhone, and said he wanted to create a mobile application designed for wallowing—one that could queue up classic New York–based breakup scenes from movies like Annie Hall and Kramer vs. Kramer. “I was like, I really want to see all the scenes about heartbreak that happen on like the Lower East Side,” he said.
And yes, they just may have an app for that.
Mr. Westheimer was explaining to The Observer why he had decided to return to the start-up game as vice president of product at AnyClip, an Israeli-based tech company that is planning to battle YouTube and other piracy sites in the free-media market by creating a competitive, legal database of movie clips for application developers. Only this one might cost ’em: AnyClip is hoping they can become a kind of iTunes for film scenes.
OK! So, just to plan ahead, what clips would you look up — and play over and over and over and over again — to tell the story of your breakup (only with people who look fabulous even when they’re miserable)?
Via Tango: 21 Twitter pickup lines, including the less than coy “Wanna go back to my house and #?” Just a punny diversion, I guess, given the less-than-intimate design flaw: @ kerfuffle notwithstanding, um, everyone can, of course, see your direct messages. Yo, geeks: is there a future for some sort of workaround app called Flirtr?