You might have seen this video in the last month or so:
In case you don’t make it through the video, the guy also talks about making recordings of celebrities’, um, kissing patterns on the devices, and the likelihood that people would pay for those recordings so they could, um, make out with their favorite celebrities.
My first inclination when I saw this was to attempt to articulate what is so wrong with it, and to post that on this blog. Then I thought, what’s the use? Not because kissing over the Internet has already won or somesuch, but because I suspect people divide pretty definitely into two instant reactions to this video — reactions that aren’t likely to be altered by argument (at least not about this particular thing).
Those two reactions are basically the same two that people have to transhumanism in general: whuuut? and sweeeet.
For example, my reaction upon seeing this video is a bit of fascination and horror at the nonstop train of weirdness chugging out of Japanese culture, following by laughter, followed by sadness and pity. (My guess is that most of the nearly-two-million viewership of the video derives from some similar morbid curiosity.)
On the other side, for those who eagerly await having sex with robots or with a million people at once in virtual space, I imagine this video must be greeted with admiration and excitement. For that crowd, the apparent crudity must seem excusable as something akin to witnessing the ape in 2001 pick up that bone that becomes the first tool and hurl it triumphantly up into the air, and (from our cinematic/future vantage) watching it transform in just a few technological generations into a satellite.
Although both of those two immediate reactions are manifestations of larger modes of reasoning that are subject to argumentation and so to change, they seem to be the usual starting points. Question: Are there transhumanists who greet developments like the ones we see in this video with anything other than praise? If so, then on what grounds can they reject stuff like this as bizarre? What resources do transhumanists have, consistent to their avowed beliefs, for criticizing it — without calling upon standards of common sense and weirdness that they are supposed to heroically scoff at?