Tuesday, July 7, 2009

An Intellectual Thinks About Love and Sex With Robots

I just finished reading Love and Sex with Robots by David Levy, and I think the hypotheses it poses are very fresh. He devotes the first three chapters to the book to explaining how (and why) humans love, and then decides to apply those attributes to how (and why) we would love robots. The last four chapters are devoted to why people seek sex, and why we would seek sex with robots. One thing that is left out is the major roadblock to this (sensuous) idea becoming a reality.

CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIANS. They go as far as to deem everything sexual a sin. Premarital sex, homosexual sex, masturbation (solo sex), and even sex with multiple partners are all sin in the eyes of their God. In Texas, it is actually illegal to have a vibrator. It is interesting to note that God, in their eyes, created sex for procreation. This makes me wonder: why does sex feel so good? Was is the devil that has perverted sex from a procreational activity to a reacreational one?

Obviously the reason sex feels good is because we evolved with the need (a basic biological hunger, if you will) to pass on our genes. If sex hurt us, we wouldn’t want to do it. However sex feels good, so we want more of it. Chemicals such as endorphins are released when one has sex (or when one eats chocolate) that gives people the feeling of being in love. However I am sure the christian God will frown about this assessment of sex. On top of listening to everyones prayers, creating beings (such as humans) that destroy everything, and loving everyone, he is also given the job of disapproving of nearly everyones sex lives (including our sex lives with ourselves). But then again, christians are losing their grasp over this great country (I am relieved, I thought we were going to go through another period of time like the Dark Ages, or even worse, the Crusades).

I actually think that sex with robots is a great answer to something that is lacking in our current culture. Sexual education. David Levy goes through great lengths in explaining how robots can train people to be good lovers. I had health education which did have a sexual education segment in school. It consisted of learning about STD’s, condoms and contraception, and the female menstrual cycle. One thing it did not teach was technique. I am sure many people will have a problem with teaching sexual technique in school (I would have loved to have taken such a class for PE in college), citing that it is too vulgar, or obscene. But when you think about it, what is vulgar or obscene about great sex? Shouldn’t it be something we look forward to in our relationships? Something natural within us? What I mean to say is, isn’t it a good thing when a female tells a male “You’re an animal!”

Many people will disagree that such a thing can be regarded as “good”. These people are prudish of course, and probably enjoy sex more than they would ever admit. In this sense they are living a lie. Unless, of course, there is something biologically wrong with them that they cannot feel pleasure, in which case, employing a robot to see what turns them on will help.

Robots can be equipped with the sum of all human knowledge. They can teach the inner workings of the Karma Sutra, or the fine subtleties of cunnilingus, or even the childish nature of foreplay. And they can do this by simulating human-human relationships and interactions. Imagine being able to experiment with a robot as opposed to a human. We as humans shouldn’t feel the need to feel guilty if we did not pleasure our robot, because it is only a robot. We should not feel the need to feel ashamed of what we are doing. There is no one else in the room to see us. And we should NEVER feel the need to force a girlfriend or wife, or other friend to have sex with us, since sex will come in the form of a humanoid robot whenever we need.

I would even go as far as to say that love and sex with robots may be the answer to overpopulation. Christians may have a problem with this. They have a problem with anything that has to do with naked people, and women. Abortion and masturbation are the tip of the iceberg. I could imagine that their response to sex with robots will be that every time a male comes without a female, they are in essence aborting their sperm (never mind that fact that most sperm will never make it to the egg anyway). It is people like them that make the biggest roadblock to love and sex with robots.

If having sex with a life sized human look alike is foreign to you, I ask you to take a look at the Realdoll website (warning nudity, click link). The concept already exists with lifeless dolls, so why not with dolls that move and talk? Dolls that can teach us the finer workings of lovemaking! Dolls that have infinite patience, and that never HAVE to be pleased (although they can probably be programmed to simulate pleasure). These dolls can probably be used to cure sexual dysfunctions, like premature ejaculation, or even help raise the comfort of people who are extremely shy, or submissive during sex.

Imagine a husband turning to his wife, and her saying “Not tonight honey I’m tired”. Or imagine a female turning to her boyfriend, and him saying he’s not ready. Where are these poor souls to turn to? Robots are the answer. They can also help couples who are curious about being swingers, or to individuals who are curious about homosexuality. There is a void in society. A sort of emptiness that is filled with taboo when it comes to sex. How can something so natural come to a point in the 21st century that it is uncomfortable to talk about?

Will Levy’s dream ever come true? Will my dream ever come true?

 My only hope is that I don’t have to fight for the right to have sex with a robot, like multiracial couples had to fight for their right to marry, and like homosexual couples are fighting for their right to marry. Hopefully, after the fight for gay marriage, people will be more open minded to sex as a natural outlet for pleasure (more pleasure than six flags), and stress relief (like watching a movie).

Now that I think about it, I may just have found the reason why I am so irritable lately. More on this to come.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Jonathan Grows Baby Spiders!

When we last left the subject of spider plants, I had put small plantlets into water bottles (with their tops cut off), to root. I have no soil or pots to put them in, so rooting them in water is the ONLY solution I have to keep them alive, and to keep the mother plant nice and clean before my mother intervened, as she tends to often do.

I have been attentively watching over the small plantlets (almost on a daily basis)- adding water to the bottles so they have all the water they need, rotating the bottles so that each plant has enough light (and grows straight, as opposed to towards the window). I have also placed a fan in my room to circulate the dusty, tenement building air. But on this particular occasion I decided to give them each a thorough evaluation. I wanted to see which plantlets had produced roots and which ones were lagging behind in development. I grabbed the small plantlets, and brought them out of their watery environment.
Even from the photo above anyone can see that these plants have grown many roots (however they have not grown as much as the Plectranthus "Mona Lavendar"). But how would I compare all the plants (I have more than 20!)? I decided to lay them all out on the table to do my work. So I emptied out one water bottle and placed all the plantlets on the table.
I think the best part of growing these plants is the rewarding feeling I feel when I see that some of them have actually grown roots (as opposed to just drowning). But now what will I do with these plants? I decided to separate them into two categories, ones that had a lot of root growth (compared to others), and ones that didn't have much (or any). To do this, I had to empty out both water bottles, and I did.

I didn't notice any dust or herbivores on the plants, but I decided to wipe them down anyway, just to give them a fresh look. Afterwords I made two piles of plants, ones with roots that will soon need to be acclimated to life in soil, and ones which needed to remain in water.
I didn't take any formal measurements, but I did observe that the plants that had more roots tended to be bigger. This is what I expected, bigger plants can capture more light, and thus have more energy to root. So separating them was the first step in finding a suitable place to plant them.

I do not currently have a job so if you want a (bare root) spider plant, please let me know. The spider plants I have are fully green (no white streaks), and they have been grown from asexual (stolon) reproduction, not from seed. I am willing to sell them for very cheap! I am only selling to people in NYC, since it is easy to deliver them in the area (thanks to public transportation). Potted spider plants may become available soon if I get a job, or if I find someone to donate small pots and potting soil (if you wish to donate to the Jonathan's World ghetto windowsill garden please contact me).

So where are my spider plants now? Well I placed them on either side of my Nightmare Before Christmas teapot set next to the window. They all seem to be alive and doing well, but I cannot grow them like this forever.