Saturday, June 18, 2005

Ultra-Lifelike Robot Debuts in Japan

"Internal sensors allow the android to react 'naturally.' It can block an attempted slap, for example. But it's the little, 'unconscious' movements that give the robot its eerie verisimilitude: the slight flutter of the eyelids, the subtle rising and falling of the chest, the constant, nearly imperceptible shifting so familiar to humans." (Via Variable Gravitas Content.)

Don't miss the photos; I only wish there were more of them. As far as I know, this is the closest we've come to "Nexus-Six" workmanship. You know you're getting close to the real thing when journalists and onlookers use words like "eerie" and "subtle."

Gaby Wood

For a damned good read about our fascination with simulacra and robots, I recommend Gaby Wood's "Edison's Eve" (originally published as "Living Dolls").

I started reading Keith Thompson's "Angels and Aliens." Maybe the comparison is unfounded, but for the record I wrote the "Memespace" chapter in "After the Martian Apocalypse" before cracking this book's cover.

I'm really jazzed up about Nick Herbert's "quantum tantra." In fact, I think it's possible to experience a limited version of his "rapprochement" without technological assistance -- which, depending on your perspective, might sound a bit like accessing the Internet without a computer. If nothing else, Herbert has outlined a paradigm for a genuine quantum parapsychology.

What's playing:

1.) Monster (R.E.M.)
2.) Automatic for the People (R.E.M.)
3.) More Songs About Buildings and Food (Talking Heads)
4.) Reality (David Bowie)
5.) The Essential Simon and Garfunkel (disc one)

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