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Friday, December 14, 2012

Daily Dumb Dvorsky: Jumping the Shark to Boobtopia Edition

Futurologists are never really interested in technoscientific changes on their own terms. They are not interested in theoretical ideas or research results for their actual place in today's scientific consensus, nor are they interested in technical developments in their actual stakes to the diversity of their present stakeholders, peer-to-peer. Futurologists, and this is true of the superlative futurologists I deride as Robot Cultists most of all, are always most interested instead in the way an idea or a result or a development can be slotted into the narrative of their futurological faith: They are most interested in ideas and results or developments re-conceived as "stepping stones" along the road of Destiny, Burning Bushes through which the Voice of the Robot God reassures the Faithful that "The Future" for which they have forsaken the present is really Real and Imminent.

Last night, I warned that in making more and more of a space for the pseudo-science and reactionary politics of Robot Cultists io9 was publishing the equivalent of champions of homeopathy and defenders of Scientology, and risked becoming the a futurological variation World Net Daily. "[A]ny tent big enough for Robot Cultists in it," I wrote, "tends soon enough to be a tent with nothing but Robot Cultists in it, usually a bunch of dumb white guys jerking off and waiting to be fed and calling it 'The Future.'" The first sentence of George Dvorsky's latest contribution declares, with a robotic predictability of form, "Fully immersive brain-jacked virtual reality sex may still be a few decades away, but we're inching closer with each passing year."

Here is the vision of "The Future" that greets the reader of Dvorsky's stupifyingly pathetic adolescent, er, I mean, stunningly prophetic insights:

The Burning Bush -- if you will forgive me -- announcing the Way to Dvorsky's dead-eyed big-boobied sex-doll Techno-Heaven today is the self-promotional press release of an Irvine-based startup and a hardware company (so you know it's reliable) that are "developing an advanced virtual reality headset. Combined, the companies are hoping to create the next generation 'erotic adventure' video game." The VR headset doesn't exist or anything -- and digging down via the links provided we discover that "Next Generation Exclamation Point" here really means a slightly wider range of vision than the crap VR nobody wants now, available slightly more cheaply than the crap VR nobody buys now -- but we are assured that "it's being funded by a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign." An accompanying image is indistinguishable from VR goggles that have accompanied every single article like this since the VR ecstasies of the irrational exuberance of the 1980s dot.bomb, but since the copy is indistinguishable from every single lame teledildonic bid for attention written by heteronormative pop-tech hacks over the last thirty years that is perfectly appropriate. Oh, George!

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