Tag Archives: Cyberhug

What’s up with Japan? (Classic Allen Keyes is MIA Repost)

1 Oct

October 1, 2012

Where is Allen Keyes? Is this any way to start October, with Mr. Keyes MIA? Well, he’s not really MIA, I know exactly where he is. He’s too heavily invested in his fantasy sports league to do a little thing like write a blog. And I can’t blame him, since the season is winding down and the playoffs are about to begin. This is a serious time in the World Cricket Championships.

So I asked Mr. Keyes what I should run and he said to pick something at random. So I did. Luckily it fits his worldview as well as mine.

February 14, 2011

I have always maintained that culturally, Japan is as far away from us as, well, North America is from Japan. To a certain extent I can understand. There is something paradoxical about a culture which so quickly adopted Western garb and certain Western habits while also keeping alive traditional Japanese values. It is not uncommon to see men and women in business attire mixing with people in kimonos and robes at the local marketplace. However, it is hard to give them any kind of a pass when I read things like this:

I see Japanese people in masks around New York too but I simply chalked it up to fear of the bird flu. Turns out I was wrong. To say I don’t get it is to grossly understate it. I shouldn’t be surprised though. Compared to America, huge number of teenagers (and not-so-teenagers) spend entire days and weeks online in cyber-worlds that are more important to them than life itself. It isn’t uncommon to see young Japanese kids styling their hair to emulate their favorite manga or anime characters. OK, so maybe people over here wear Superman t-shirts and get Batman tattoos, but have you ever seen whole age groups dyeing their skin green like the Hulk?

But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m making broad, unsubstantiated generalizations.

No I’m not.

Of course, this comes straight out of Japan.

Yeah, strapping yourself into a harness which electrically pulsates will really add “a human-like level” to online conversations. I wonder what the electric chair would add? More to the point, how long before this gets adapted for porn?

What is happening to human to human interaction when people think that a shirt which squeezes you while looking at your mother on a computer screen is the equivalent of a good night hug from your mom before you go to bed?

“For a while technology has been driving people apart, locking them in front of computer screens. Now we hope to use it to bring them together.”

No. All this new technology does is make it easier to be apart! Nothing can compare to another person’s touch, a parent’s embrace. Perhaps what we need is a device that kicks people off their computers so they can spend time with their families and get some genuine human interaction.

Taking this to the logical extreme, once this is perfected, you can take the human out of the equation completely. Once a computer screen and a hug shirt can mimic the human experience, how long until they can be programmed to do it with no person at the other end? Parents can program their computers to play goodnight messages, hug their kids, even tuck them in without all the hassle of actually doing it or even thinking about it. Kids are such a bother.

So why have them? The next step is not to replace the parent, but to replace the child. Why have a real child that poops and cries when you can have your computer mimic one? It can hug you, it can give you “a deep immersive experience.” All you would need is one child and millions of users can “interact” with it via these machines hooked up to computers. And it doesn’t even need to be a real child, just a computer program. Remember, this is the country that gave us the Tomagotchi.

Virtual parents and virtual children. The only upside is that with virtual sex, these losers will die out without ever procreating and maybe this whole stupid idea will become extinct.

Imponderable: Tokyo Japan

4 May

May 4, 2012

In keeping with this week’s Japan theme here is a Classic Imponderable from Tokyo.

July 7, 2011

Japan strikes again

I’ve covered the cyberhug before. And while not everyone agrees with me, I still say Japan is nuts. If there is a wacky computer product or bizarre sex video the odds are it comes from Japan. Whether it is a game based on urinating, an elderly porn star, or an electronic French kiss, it is clear that the Japanese have some issues to work through.

I don’t see the attraction of tongue kissing my computer. Of course I also get out of my house and interact with real people from time to time so I may not be in the target audience for this thing.

I also worry about the possibility of electrocution.

The researchers are working to replicate an individual’s taste, breathing, and tongue moisture, but since they want to create “celebrity” kissing apps, will they have to replicate each star’s specific bad breath and body odor? Could we one day have the ability to experience Robert De Niro’s tobacco breath in our mouth? Lindsey Lohan’s stink after a drunken binge? And popular and funny she may be, but would you want to tongue-kiss Betty White? Through a computer or not, there’s a limit.

And this being Japan, the potential for fetish is endless. I won’t get into it but in Japan you can buy used panties from a vending machine. ‘Nuff said.

I can only wonder about who comes up with this, but I wonder more about the volunteer who tests this.

Who is the person who is waiting for the day they can stick a straw in his mouth, kiss his computer, and pretend it is Ed Asner?

The question is Imponderable.

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