Sex with Machines

This picture appears in the Netflix series HUMANS (with the A upside down) to advertise a whorehouse that has no whores in it. All the erotic services are provided by robots who, in this series are called “Synths.” It’s a very good choice for a designation because it is built on the adjective “synthetic.” That means you don’t have to answer the question, “Synthetic what?”

Synthetic what? is the question that drives the series.

Think, however, what you would do if you had the job of designing an emblem that would indicate just what kind of place this is. It is a place where very convincingly human robots offer very convincing performances of erotic encounters. I think whoever designed this symbol should get an award.

No man–they show only men as customers and only women-appearing robots as providers of services–is going to think of himself as that blue cogwheel. He is going there to obtain the services of an entity he is happy to think of as a pink cogwheel, but he, himself, is, of course, a person. And, during his time there, the person in charge.

Just being human, I guess

Right. Except that is not what the sign says. The sign says that if you come in here and pay your money up front, you get to be a blue cogwheel. You can feel any way you want to at the time, but we are telling you what we think of you and what you really ought to think of yourself.

About hessd

Here is all you need to know to follow this blog. I am an old man and I love to think about why we say the things we do. I've taught at the elementary, secondary, collegiate, and doctoral levels. I don't think one is easier than another. They are hard in different ways. I have taught political science for a long time and have practiced politics in and around the Oregon Legislature. I don't think one is easier than another. They are hard in different ways. You'll be seeing a lot about my favorite topics here. There will be religious reflections (I'm a Christian) and political reflections (I'm a Democrat) and a good deal of whimsy. I'm a dilettante.
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