This is how the AIs get us: they set us up on serial petty theft charges, ruin our credit records with fines and court fees and legal bills, then get us disenfranchised as parole-violating felons. Pretty soon, the only jobs we can get are dusting off their motherboards for minimum wage or working the spice mines of Chiron Beta Prime. 🤖🇺🇸🔥
These are fun on your computer, and absolutely immersively astounding on your phone/tablet. The future is here, but unevenly distributed—with some portions dune-buggying around Mars, picking at rocks and wrecking up the joint.
… and then I reflect on this SNL skit about the evil scientist contest, and realize I’m being a little twee. Folks don’t build IEDs because they are fair. They don’t fire mortar’s from the alley next to a hospital, or operate out of apartment blocks full of civilians because they “have no other choice.”
War is killing, not “defense” or “peacekeeping.” It is about the maximization of dead humans who aren’t you while minimizing the dead ones who are you. A robot dog with a gun obviously leads to the best dead not-yous per dead-you ratio.
If that is shitty, it’s because war and violence are shitty, not because technology is shitty or imperialist aggressors aren’t playing fair or whatever.
All war is low-key genocide. If you don’t like that, then you better start agitating against war, not just bitching about new robots. The robots are not the problem.
I’ve been woefully lax on the beats this month. All apologies; my event schedule, plus holiday prep and holidays, has had me running like the proverbial chicken.To make it up, I’m posting three deep-cuts today, all from back when I used to record annual Xmanukah Songs and had not yet developed crippling shame at my core musical incompetencies.Enjoy!
Beats per Week installment number five, with another deep cut from the limited U.S. release of the 1994 film In the Celestial Monastery. Folks will recall this motif—worked much more gradually in the film score as it appeared in theaters—from the long montage in which Sieto and P’u finally begin to find a way to communicate with the Wanderers and their technology.
The most foreboding sentence in the video embedded below–in terms of the obvious teledildonic applications of this tech–has to be: “Predicting the behavior of soft robotic devices is difficult.” Yikes!
For reals, though, there is *a lot* of legit awesome here (both in mainstream R&D and homebrew garage mad-science)–as well as the only legitimately feasibly use of 3D printing I’ve yet seen suggested[*] Harvard Makes Soft Robotics Open-Source | Motherboard
Robots, the classic symbol of the techno-future, are now bopping around in the suburban garages of most anyone with $40 or so to spend on parts and with a bit of programming acumen, or at least the desire/ability to learn a bit of code.
Thanks to a new toolkit released by researchers at Harvard University, those garage robot tinkerers can now expand into the realm of “soft” robots, e.g. robots made to squish and deform like mechanical slugs or eels.
Here’s a cool lil vid of a pretty evolved example of “soft robotics.” I think this little fella was even programmed to feel pain, regret, and ennui!