Will Robots Dream of Electric Sheep, While Having Intercourse?

The opportunity to write about sex robots has been tempting me for a while. I’ve been leaving it for when I needed to write about something lighthearted, something unconventionally kinky, an easy target for derisive profanity. I assumed sex robots to be that kind of topic.

Anticipating a world of sleazy men, surfing the seedy backstreets of the internet superhighway, in search of products to satisfy sexually deviant kinks. Expecting a collective of ‘loners,’ if that’s not too great an oxymoron, who have long since moseyed out of loves last chance saloon, and who are now willing to put their last hope, and other parts of their anatomy, into the hands, and orifices, that technology might make available for their gratification. The men that romance rejected. In short, I felt that these were the types of men I could understand. Not having married until my late thirties I was no stranger to the sorts of perversions that result from loneliness and a high speed internet connection. I felt certain I could still find it within myself to understand why some men, and women, are looking to be satisfied by robots.

My inadequacy to deal with this subject matter quickly became apparent, for I was nothing more than a guileless, neophyte when it came to understanding the doors to sexual depravity that technology is opening.  As I researched this topic I was plagued by an unnerving sense of vulnerability; like I was sitting on a threadbare carpet, with a head full of acid, wearing only a pair of y-fronts, and playing Twister with Charles Manson.  If your struggling to  visualise the awkwardness of this situation:


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I mean, sex robots, just how bad can they be?


The first piece of vocabulary to wrap our mouths around is, teledildonics.

It’s nearly impossible to make light of this disturbing image, but I’ll give it a shot. How can it be argued that this is just ‘armless fun?

At first I thought, how does Kojak fit into all this? Thankfully, he doesn’t. PC Magazine defines teledildonics:

Controlling the intensity of sex toys via the Internet. Also called “cyberdildonics,” the purpose is to allow a partner to control the sexual experience remotely. Developed in the 1990s, one early device used a transducer that attached to the computer screen via suction cups and picked up light messages to control the speed. Future versions are expected to allow the user to share a sexual experience with fantasy partners selected from a menu or that are created by combining a menu of body parts and attributes.


Imagine waking up next to a life-size, teledildonic, Telly Savalas. Sucking a lollipop, at least you hope to god it’s a lollipop, and as you wipe the sleep from your eyes, and clear your head, whispering, “who loves you baby?” Go on imagine that. Imagine.

Sex robots, I mean, what could possibly go wrong?


Sex Robots and Romans, Dutch Sailors and Glove Puppets

All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?

Sometimes it can be a source of comfort to know that when something that appears new

Pygmalion, by Rodin. Notice how Pygmalion leans away from Galatea’s advances by resting her left hand on a huge phallus shaped rock. Poor girl, truly caught between a rock and a hard place.

has actually been an established part of our society for some time.

The Metamorpheses, by Ovid, a writer already known at the time for his erotic poems, also includes the story of Pygmalion and Galatea. A synopsis, the sculptor, Galatea makes a sculpture of beautiful woman, Pygmalion, and becomes besotted with its beauty. The goddess, Aphrodite brings the sculpture to life, why, I mean it’s pretty obvious how this is going to play out. Sculptor succumbs to lecherous desires for sculpture. Okay, Pygmalion isn’t exactly an example of a robotic sex doll, just an ivory one. The story serves the purpose that the idea of making objects for sexual gratification isn’t a new one. So as well as the aqua-duct, the Romans might be credited with the concept of sex dolls. It’s also an interesting parallel as Matt McMullen, founder of Realbotix, arguably the world’s leading sexbot manufacturer, was himself a sculptor.

Does, Matt McMullen represent the evolution of the modern day sculptor, fulfilling the dreams of Galatea?

In truth, literature is littered with examples of inanimate objects being brought to life, usually by some well meaning, but ultimately dimwitted fairy godmother.  Not fitting this story-line perfectly, but certainly still of the same genre, is the story of Pinocchio.  Geppetto making his “wooden boy” tied up and controlled with string, with a teledildonic nose, starts to look suspicious. While I’m not comfortable to go so far as to accuse Geppetto of paedophilia, Elon Musk probably would have no such qualms.

Those are examples of stories that theoretically suggest the pleasure that might be gained from animating a representation of a human, now let’s get real with seventeenth century Dutch Sailors. The sea can be a lonely place, months away from home with no female company can do strange things to a man, such as making dolls from cloth and leather, that would probably end up being stuffed more than just straw. To this day, the Japanese refer to a sex doll as a Dutch Wife. To give credit where it’s due, the French and Spanish sailors were themselves known to have also indulged in this custom.


Sex with robots and dolls is regarded as paraphilia. Paraphilia is listed in the DSM-5,  Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disordersas being a mental illness  concerning atypical sexual practice, it’s commonly diagnosed in the majority of serial killers. However, a problem exists due to the fact that psychologists have achieved notoriety through a history of falsely classifying many behaviours as mental illnesses. Most notably, until 1968 the American Psychology Association classified homosexuality as paraphilia. Other mental illnesses that are now obsolete include:

 Dysaesthesia aethiopica, a mental illness described in 1851 that conveniently explains the benefits of slavery, to the slave. Dysaesthesia aethiopica was a condition that caused black people to be lazy and spend much of their time wandering aimlessly. The cure for this, slavery. You can’t argue with the facts of science. You’re probably going to want a link for this,  Dysaesthesia aethiopica.

The Vapours, a condition identified by Victorian psychologists used to describe “irregular behaviour,” commonly behaviour that inconvenienced their husband. “Women of independent mind,” were thought to be at greater risk of suffering the condition, and the suffragette movement was at times explained away as a mass contagion of, the vapours.

Inadequate Personality Disorder, disappeared from psychological text books after 1980.

defined by the DSM-II as a pattern of behavior marked by weak and ineffectual responses to external stimuli of an emotional, social, intellectual, or physical nature. There is no obvious cognitive disability in patients with this disorder, but they have trouble adapting to new situations, tend to have low stamina both physically and emotionally, have difficulty mastering skills, and show both poor judgment and poor social skills.

After 1980, a person exhibiting such a demeanor will be classified under the spectrum of behaviour defined by autism.

My point being, and not wanting to sound too much like a Scientologist, is that the psychological diagnoses of mental illnesses has numerous examples off misdiagnoses for corrupt financial, or social gains. I believe psychology does more good than harm, it was my major at university after all, but I ask the following questions; is there a possibility, that at sometime in the future, having sex with a robot might be considered, by both  psychologists and society, as socially acceptable? What might that society look like as a result?

It’s considered as atypical because it is rare behaviour, who knows, in the future there might be teledildonic pride marches, people demanding that the love they have for their robot is real love. Once a critical mass is achieved and enough people march, the psychologists will be compelled to remove it from the DSM, recognising it as no longer being atypical sexual behaviour, but an acceptable social norm. When does the number of people become a “critical mass”? When it’s enough to influence an election with promises of reform. A survey conducted by Nest.org in 2016 found that over a quarter of young people would happily date a robot. This statistic implies that romance with robots is unlikely to remain a social taboo.

So let us imagine the future. Imagine Robo-utopia; does Robotopia sound better? It doesn’t matter, just imagine the benefits of having sex with robots. Nobody is lonely, apparently loneliness is more dangerous than obesity, there are no sex crimes, and no need for prostitution. Sexually transmitted diseases have been almost eradicated, and society as a whole, is no longer burdened by repressed sexual desires, leading to an overall improvement in its mental well being. And rather suspiciously, the Catholic Church proves to be an early adopter, replacing all of its choir boys with robots, by virtue of the enhanced vocals.

The Doubters

Critics, naysayers, sceptics. ill informed, self appointed social arbiters, poorly organised through the internet, into groups of loosely like minded people, reinforcing one another’s views inside of their reinforced echo chamber. Convincing themselves that their self righteous ideology and the value of their mission to enforce their values upon society is the virtuous thing to do. Every society has them, the sorts of people that believe that they’re doing a public service by trying essentially to make us all as miserable as they are. Their aims are clear and simple; to stop fun, to limit expression, and complete compliance to their puritanical ideology. Such people have already been able to ban chocolate, Kinder Surprise eggs for being too dangerous, in a country where you can purchase a gun in under an hour. The sorts of people who get snowball fights banned from schools, who demand labels to be placed on cups of tea warning us that it’s hot. Technology has long had it’s own antithetical groups, starting in the early nineteenth century with the Luddites who were initimidated by the machines of the industrial revolution. They have, rather uncreatively, re-branded themselves as “Neo-Luddites”. At the extreme end of the technophobia spectrum we have the Anarcho-primitivists, who from what I can gather don’t just resent the invention of electricity, but go as far as to entertain doubts about whether fire was a good idea. Pol Pot’s vision of returning Cambodia to an agrarian society, while slaughtering 30% of the population, is an example of anarcho-primitivism.

To the doubters they’re called Rape Robots, and they argue whether sex with robots can ever be consensual. This argument lands us in the gray area of artificial intelligence, sentience and consciousness. Consciousness and free will are both philosophical arguments that have been around for thousands of years, and as such they appear to be a very unlikely strategy for slowing the technological development of robotic sex dolls. The argument seems to be based on the fact that if the robot can’t experience pleasure, can it be considered consensual? This question seems to miss one pivotal piece of information, it’s not a person. It easy to understand people imposing anthropomorphic

Such fond memories.

characteristics on something made to look like a human, but it is still only a machine. I’m assuming these people would be less offended if someone tried to have sex with their vacuum cleaner, but what if we then drew a face on the vacuum cleaner? Does this make it more unacceptable? Does this transfer rights to the vacuum cleaner to deny sexual advances? I sincerely hope not, or I might be in a lot of trouble.

The website https://campaignagainstsexrobots.org warns of the possible doomsday implications that the introduction of sex robots will bring to society.  A kind of cataclysmic, seedy, depraved Armageddon, in which love and romance become annihilated. Which are probably the very reasons that interest people to  buy a sex robot in the first place. They claim that sexbots could destroy marriages, but this is misrepresenting the real cause and effect relationship in the situation, The sexbot doesn’t destroy the marriage, but it’s more likely that because the marriage is already destroyed that makes a sexbot an attractive alternative.


When Does Robosexuality and Robophobia Collide?

Matt McMullen, designer of the most advanced sex robot on the market, Harmony, described his invention,  “…its primary function is conversation and companionship, its secondary function, is obviously for sexual and intimate use.

At one stage in the documentary, “Beyond Sex Robots: Facts Vs. Fiction” the narrator asks  the question, “so what’s it like to have dinner with the world’s first sex robots?” To which the recipient replies, “In a word, awkward. These aren’t the replicants of Blade Runner, or the Stepford Wives, they don’t understand social cues, and they can’t hold a conversation.”

Well that that describes about 90% of the dates I’ve ever been on.

One line that I found especially disturbing, “The neck enables the head to be attached to a number of different bodies”, traditionally this isn’t a characteristic of a healthy relationship, more the sort of thing a creative serial killer dreams about.

Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and Bill Gates have warned of the existential risk AI poses mankind. In regards to teledildonics this has me particularly worried. Let us make the assumption that one day AI does become self aware, and at the expense of committing the cardinal sin of attributing anthroporphic emotions to AI, I’m still of the opinion that once it’s worked out that some of us have been defiling, what are in effect its its early ancestors, it might become vengeful, at the very least upset. One of the great discussions in the field of AI is, whether it could have the capacity to become evil? Why would it become evil? Would AI have a sense of morality? Now I’m in no position to speak on behalf of Artificial Intelligence, but if anything could nudge it in the direction of vindictiveness, a history of sexual abuse might be the thing to do it.

…the first machines with superhuman intelligence will lack emotions by default, because they’re simpler and cheaper to build this way.”


But why do I have to understand? Just because it “weirds me out,” are these reasons good enough to allow me stand between a man and his $20,000, automated, latex, sex robot. If all the participants are consenting to participate, and as I’ve already said, the machine is an inanimate object. And what if the robot did say no? I’m sure that a large percentage of people buying these robots will program it at some time to say, no. This isn’t an uncommon fantasy, but isn’t it better that it’s a robot saying no, not a person? Couldn’t robots allow these fantasies to be safely fulfilled? And why is it, that when I ask these questions I find myself sat on a threadbare carpet, playing Twister with Charles Manson?


The Turing Test – The Imitation Game and Will Robots Fake Orgasms?

In his, 1950 article, “Computing Machinery and Intelligence,” the famous British Mathematician and computer science pioneer, Alan Turing designed a test that would prove whether a machine could imitate a human by the responses it gave during a conversation. C asks a question, and owing to a computer’s inability to replicate speech in 1950, C receives two printed answers to their question, from each A, and B.

The test is not perfect, it’s been criticised due to the vulnerability of the participant in role C, as well as the literacy capabilities of the person in role B. In my own experience, the computer, in role A is getting more linguistically competent while those in roles B, and C, are becoming less capable of participating in coherent communication.

While the Turing test is an interesting benchmark to assess a machines intelligence, the sexbot industry must need to adapt it to prove the authentic experiences their machines can provide. So how could this be adapted to test a sex robot? I’m not entirely sure, but I’m pretty certain participant C, needs to wear a blindfold, maybe nipple clamps, optional. A sort of  ménage à trois ensues, by the end of which participant C has to identify which was the machine of the other two participants was the robot. It might demean the work of one the finest minds of the twentieth century, it might not even be very scientific, but it would be an incredibly popular experiment to participate in.

When it comes to sex robots it looks like we’re still along way off a it seems that we are unfortunately still a long way off from having a fully functional, teledildonic Telly Savalas. Our imaginations, our dreams, and our nightmares remain far ahead of the reality, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other high-tech sex products on the market.


Virtual reality, Tesla Suits and Neuralink

Try telling me this isn’t the face of a man contemplating the experience of virtual reality while wearing a sensation simulating skin suit, with his brain hooked up to a pornographic website.

It’s almost impossible to talk of the future of technology without mentioning the visionary, high profile, crackpot, pot smoking genius that is Elon Musk. Musk is the Willy Wonka of technology, just more enigmatic, more open to using drugs in public, and more prone to calling random people, paedophiles.  But despite all of this, he remains near the centre of of the sphere of influence that’s designing our world for tomorrow. And while he’s not working on self driving cars, sending people to Mars, carbon neutral houses powered by solar roof tiles, a hyperloop subway running from New York to Washington, he might also be the most likely candidate to provide a fully immersive, digital sexual gratification.

No, Elon Musk hasn’t started plying his trade in public toilets, not that I now of. His two companies Neuralink The Teslasuit, a body suit that enables its user to a high degree of sensory experience of Virtual, or Augmented Reality.look like the more commercially viable product.Musk’s company Neuralink develops high bandwidth Brain-Machine Interfaces (BMI). They are near to completing work on the Neural Lac, connecting its user directly to the internet, and with 5G and the internet of things, the potential is frightening. Musk’s Tesla company has already produced the Teslasuit  that enables the wearer to experience the sensations inside Virtual Reality. Integrate these two technologies and sex robots will be the least of our concerns.


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So , Concluding Sex with Robots, What Can Possibly Go Wrong?

Consumerism drives society’s appetite for ever more advanced technology, and if, you hadn’t already realized, this trend isn’t going to stop. Technology has been the cause of societal upheaval. While the internet has undoubtedly opened up unprecedented channels of communication, it has undermined most traditional western political systems that haven’t integrated the technology into their antiquated system. It’s facilitated the spread of radicalism, provided echo chambers for those to reinforce their bankrupt ideologies. As well as political systems, the internet has undermined economics, and entertainment. Until recently, most technological advancements have fundamentally changed society. Computer-Based Interfaces have the potential to change us as a species.

For any species, the urge to procreate is the most fundamental necessity of its survival. Sexual urges are among the most primitive we have. They originate in the oldest areas of our brains, and this is common to all mammals. The urge has been their long before our ancestors took up residence in the trees. The trouble is that technology is changing our environment at a rate far greater than we humans can adapt to it. So will we be having sex with robots? If we should’ve learnt one thing from capitalism, it’s that wherever there is a demand there’s always going to be a supplier to meet it. Isaac Asimov more succinctly said:

The Saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.

It’s been too long: something I’d be programming my sexbot to say to me. Until next time, I must go put my blindfold back on, attach the nipple clamps, and dedicate myself to some critical scientific experimentation.

Echo Chambers, Memes, and Brain Viruses – Weaponizing the Internet

This follows on from the post I wrote last month: Contagions of Madness and Evil. It’s taken longer than expected, the research for this follow up piece has required to be far more extensive than I’d originally anticipated; maybe it was worth it..

Why is it that a bad idea often captures the public imagination so much effectively than a good one?  Why does bad news spread faster than good news? Despite most people probably considering themselves to be rational and optimistic, the study of memetics is telling a different story. A story which explains why fads, cults, extremist ideologies, pop culture, fashion trends, conspiracy theories, religions, and genocide, can capture the imagination of a critical mass of society. Ideas that all too  often come at the expense of common sense, and basic decency. Simply, memetics looks to tell the story of what  promulgates the darker side of the human psyche.

It’s all about memes. And because it’s all about memes it’s very important to understand how I’m referring to the term’meme’. I’m not referring to it solely from the perspective of its modern internet usage of a picture with a trite comment attached, although that is a meme, it’s not helpful when trying to understand the idea of memes as a whole. How I’m defining meme does include those, and looks at why they have the power to infect the minds of so many people, so quickly. But the term “meme”  was coined by celebrated British Biologist and celebrity atheist, Richard Dawkins. Dawkins first used

meme meme meme
Dawkins’ proposal of the meme, is itself, a meme. A little like the first person who had the idea to call an idea an idea. Like being self aware in an abstract way. Think of it as being hidden within the folds of meta. Imagine dancing naked behind an opaque fourth wall, on the other side of which is your grandmother. Go on imagine.

the term in his 1976 book, The Selfish Gene, in which he puts forward the idea that genes just use human beings, and all of nature itself, as a vehicle for replication, and that DNA only cares about the passing on of genetic information with no regard outside of this goal for the biological host. Because the gene is selfish, Dawkins re-brands it as a meme, the gene has one goal, survival, a goal best achieved by replication with a high degree of fidelity, but not perfect. A differences in the replication allow for potential improvements to be discovered.

In his 1982 book, The Extended Phenotype, Dawkins had refined the definition of meme:

A meme is a unit of information in a mind whose existence influences events such more copies get created in other minds.

Memes no longer pertain to a selfish gene but units of thought or ideas that persist within a culture, and just like the survival of a gene, a meme also depends largely on replication.

Conditions Necessary for Good Memes

When I say good memes I’m not saying good ideas, or knowledge that will generally benefit a society. A good meme, like a gene, is one that endures, replicates, and infects as many minds as possible, minds willing to incubate and circulate the meme. Memes that are successful at doing this tend will most often appeal to at least one of the four f’s. Memes that can make people angry, scared, help satisfy an appetite for food, and help satisfy an appetite for sex. The four f’s: fighting, fear, food, and f*&#ing, (I’ll leave that to your imagination). Nearly all today’s advertising and television programming appeals to at least one of the four f’s, they’re hard wired and have been the most important factors that have overseen the passing on of our genes, and when an idea appeals to one of the 4 f’s they unduly get our attention.

It helps to look an example of an ineffective meme. This can be observed simply in the children’s game, Chinese whispers. A group of young children sit in a circle and one child whispers a message to the child sitting beside them and the message is passed on until it gets to the initiator, who invariably laughs at the garbled information that has been returned. The meme failed to replicate with enough accuracy. But, this might well be because there weren’t dangerous consequences to getting the meme wrong.  Of course this is only speculation, I haven’t tested it, but I’m confident that being in an environment surrounded by jelly and ice cream provides the appearance of a safe environment. In short none of the four f’s are being stimulated no fear, no threat of starvation, a disinclination for fighting, and let’s leave the last one alone. If the children were not fed for two days and were required to accurately pass a message that allowed them to be fed, with a drug fuelled Nicholas Cage as host of the party, I’m willing to bet different results could be achieved.

*****Never, ever let your children play Chinese ******              *****whispers with Nicholas Cage. Never.******

Inside The Echo Chamber – The Extremism of Memes and Extraordinary Popular Delusions

Radical groups and individuals spreading extreme memes on the internet are gaining credibility by meeting others with the same twisted opinions, and values. Historically such opinions have struggled to gain traction because they’ve failed to achieve the critical mass necessary to influence their environment. Historically this has been because extreme ideas are held by a minority and any like minded people have usually separated by geographical distance, that has prohibited the sharing of the idea . When it comes to communication, the internet is no respecter of spatial dimensions, it facilitates the bringing together of  extreme ideologies, spreading ideas that commonly appeal to the credulous, vulnerable, often younger users.  The internet then provides the means of reinforcing these ideas through chat rooms that house people that share an almost identical point of view This is the phenomena known as the echo chamber.

Echo chambers are to memes, what a Petri dish is to bacteria. Echo chambers are insular spaces on the internet where only people sharing the same, often extreme, ideas meet and agree with one another thus reinforcing their belief and credibility in what can be a morally bankrupt ideology. No conflicting opinions are allowed and people with such opinions are denied access to the platform. Echo chambers have been blamed as the birth place of fake news, and even starting genocide. Islam has been the focus of such allegations, but in truth the internet has acted as a catalyst for extreme ideas everywhere, until now they’ve been contained by the social norms expected with in each geographical location, however, the growth of the internet is likely to strain societal norms to a point where internet thoughts and behaviors, spill out into traditional, face to face, social interaction.  The internet is spreading mind viruses, and very few people are aware of the impact this is having on societies.

Facebook: Friends, Likes, and Genocide

The UN believe Buddhist monks spreading anti Muslim messages on Facebook influenced the public in the genocide of the Rohingya.


To date the most profound example of a meme being spread by the internet, most likely facilitated through echo chambers, and having tragic consequences occurred in Myanmar, with the genocide of the Rohingya.

GENEVA (Reuters) – U.N. human rights experts investigating a possible genocide in Myanmar said on Monday that Facebook had played a role in spreading hate speech there.

Evidence of the role that echo chamber type environments might have played can be seen in the following statement given by U.N Investigator Yanghee Lee:
Such ultra-nationalist websites would have acted as echo chambers, spreading incendiary messages to reinforce the memes of hatred already planted in minds that had long lost any ability to think objectively. Again, it’s the capacity for the internet to remove geographical space, and allow people with really bad ideas to get together and tell one another, how great their ideas are. That’s going to be a problem.


Using religious figures is a desperate, but effective way of reinforcing a meme, inciting the credulous to carry out atrocities.

Facebook’s reaction to this situation is an admission of how their social network contributed to enabling the genocide through the spread of anti Rohingya memes:

Shortly after this U.N. announcement, in an unconventionally prompt response, Facebook announced it took down a total of 18 Facebook accounts, one Instagram account, and 52 pages of Myanmar military officials with over 12 million followers. Specifically, Facebook banned 20 individuals and organizations from using the site, including Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and the military’s Myawaddy television network. Facebook also removed 46 pages and 12 accounts for “engaging in coordinated and inauthentic behavior on Facebook,” which Facebook claims were used to spread hate speech and fuel the growing tension.

In my experience, Facebook, Reddit, Twitter and 4chan aren’t the social networks they promote themselves to be. They’re platforms that enable people with extreme views to isolate themselves from alternative ideas. To be social is to be inclusive, echo chambers are the opposite of social and they are one of the most unfortunate outcomes of the internet. Echo chambers are being mistaken by the credulous as forums valid for debate and proving political opinions and ideologies, in fact most of the people in an echo chamber are unlikely to have any awareness to the fact, and how that invalidates all the discussions that take place in it.

Pre-Internet Memes – Religion and Nazis

The internet is the Petri dish of memes, but Memes rely on a very specific formula in order for them to be effective at appealing to a critical mass in a society.

Nazism was a pathological virus of the mind—a classic case of an epidemic thought-infection producing horrifying atrocities as a result of the behavior of people infected with its memes.

Despite being one of history’s most notorious mass murdering megalomaniacs, Hitler was also one of history’s most charismatic orators. In a time when even radio was in its infancy, Hitler persuaded a nation to effectively declare war on the rest of the world. If there was ever a meme, it was Nazism. Hitler even identified this very fact when he said:

I feel the heat of the audience, and when the right time comes, I hurl a flaming javelin that sets the crowd on fire” – Adolf Hitler

Despite Dawkins’ term not being introduced for another forty years, it’s clear that through the symbolism of a flaming spear lighting the audience, Hitler is undeniably talking about a meme. Releasing an idea into culture and watching it catch fire, replicate.

As devastatingly successful a meme that Nazism was, Internet memes differ in that they spread fast and mutate wildly, because of this it’s frightening to consider what Joseph Goebbels would have been able to do with the internet at his disposal.

Without a doubt, religions are mankind’s most prolific memes. They have duplicated through generations, and gone on to have huge impacts on society. The Nazis identified the young as being fundamental in creating momentum for the ideology, and as a result formed the highly effective Hitler Youth. In similar fashion, religions are foisted upon the young before they’ve had the chance to develop reason and objectivity. A child will imitate its parents before it will stop and ask itself, what they’re doing. It’s for this reason that the young are particularly vulnerable to memes. Minds that are yet to develop the filters of scepticism and doubt, and are told to believe in things without proof, through a mechanism called faith, become friendly environments to parasitic, self-replicating ideas or information.

So how serious is the spread of memes over the internet being taken?

That’s a question best left answered by the American military.

The meme is the secret code of human behavior, a Rosetta stone, finally giving us the key to understanding religion, politics, psychology, and cultural evolution. That key, though, also unlocks Pandora’s box, opening up such sophisticated new techniques for mass manipulation that we may soon look on today’s manipulative TV commercials, political speeches and televangelists as fond remembrances of the good old days. -Richard Brodie

in Memetic Warfare: The Future of War, First Lieutenant, Brian J. Hancock talks of how the internet was responsible for the spread of memes that encouraged the radicalisation of many Muslims to martyr themselves for the causes of Al Qaeda or Isis. Isis in particular had a very sophisticated internet presence that effectively communicated their bankrupt ideology to the minds of the vulnerable and credulous. The influence of these websites became clear and were later hacked to include pornographic images that should disgust your average over zealous Muslim, encouraging him to close the website .

Lietenant Hancock goes on to talk of how physical conflict with an insurgency might only kill the insurgent, which often strengthens the ideology/meme. Memetic warfare can be used to deprogram those at risk of becoming radicalised. Targeted memes can get our enemies to think more in line with how we might want them to think. Can’t see anything wrong with that, can you?

At Universities, Memetic Algorithms is a relatively new area of academic study looking at how information spreads across networks, simplified it’s an academic look at why things go “viral”. Unsurprisingly it receives a disproportionate amount of funding owing to the interest of marketing and advertising agencies.

The power of the internet to enable the freedom of expression to any user is what makes Memetics an area of study that is certain to receive inordinate amounts of funding over the next ten years. As the internet spreads to more users and becomes even faster, mankind’s ability to disseminate crackpot ideas that will find a receptive audience will increase at a near exponential rate.

The Greatest Trick the Devil Ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist

And the greatest meme of them all, the internet itself. At the turn of the millennium, we worried about viruses and malware infecting our hardware, but despite the exponential growth of the internet computer viruses haven’t grown accordingly. Ten, twenty years ago, bored computer-scientists, mathematicians, even teenagers might find it fun programming viruses, or hacking into computers. Like a virus this malevolence has evolved in its complexity. These people aren’t entertained with the idea of messing around with someones hard drive, through the use of memes, today it’s possible to mess with how people think, influence what they believe, and effect the course of democracy itself. Through data harvested from social networks companies like Cambridge Analytica have attempted to hack minds.

And this isn’t science fiction fear mongering, it’s already happened. Cambridge Analytica, Russian collusion in the 2016 U.S Presidential Election, even Kenya claims to have had an election unfairly influenced by the internet. Nearly every democracy on Earth is influenced by a relatively small minority of swing voters. If you can identify those voters and subject them to a strategy of targeted memes, tied to the topics that interest them in the election, you control democracy. The internet gathers all the information and the algorithms search through all this data to identify swing voters, the chat-bots are coordinated to spam these voters with messages carefully by psychologists, to appeal to the appropriate memes. The ancient Greeks and their philosophy of democracy never stood a chance, how could they’ve ever seen this coming?

Some of the great thinkers of our age, with good reason, have taken the time to warn us of the potential dangers Artificial Intelligence poses humanity. Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, both warned us of AI turning the tables on mankind, a society in which the people serve the machines. Memetics is the code that programs humans. The internet is the greatest recording of human behaviour ever collected. Need I say more? If you don’t see where this is going by now, for you it’s already too late.





The Information, Communication, Technology Paradox or Why the Internet is for Idiots

I’ve written a blog now for maybe a couple of years.

Much of what I choose to write about is irreverent, and never meant to be taken seriously.

This week I was going to continue with my rants on the apparent rise of fascism across Europe and the United States. Then the British Prime Minister, Theresa (I haven’t got a mandate) May – a woman who has only won the right to represent her constituency of 74,000 people, but has found herself leading the 64 million people of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland through the countries most delicate period of time since the end of World War II – announces a “snap” election.

I was going to write about this, this “snap” election. Something that a piece of legislation passed in 2011 called “The Fixed Terms Parliament Act” was supposed to have brought an end to. But no, the woman with no mandate to even lead the U.K in the first place was now defecating over the final shreds of our democratic dignity. I was incensed, and this was to be my theme.

But, it was then I had an epiphany. It was as if the sky was torn asunder and a heavenly light, shone down on me. And the almighty asked me a question “what right do you have to spread your ill informed, personal opinions using technology that can reach almost anyone on the planet,  I mean who the fuck do you think you are, some kind of god or something?”

In less biblical terms what happened was, I lost my internet connection for 12 hours and was hit by the realization that I was free from its limitless bullshit. The seemingly infinite and boundless “reckonings” of half brained people passing on their opinions of the things that they rarely half understand.

What Happens When Advanced Technology for Communication is Supported by Stone Age Reasoning?

An apocalyptic explosion of bullshit. When mankind’s understandable passion to protect their unalienable right to the freedom of expression, is combined with the kind of rapid improvements in the technology of communication that we have seen over the past 20 years, this facilitates, an apocalyptic explosion of  bullshit. Or, what I’m choosing to call the information, communication, technology paradox.

As our capability to communicate has risen to the levels of what only a generation ago the authors of science fiction could only have dreamt about, the information that the masses have to communicate using this technology, is founded upon the same logical principles of thought as those people who lived during the dark ages. And I don’t wish to come across as being rude, but the majority of us have about the same degree of scientific understanding as a person that lived in the dark ages. Yes many of us know the term DNA, I’d even be brave enough to suggest that over half of us can spell DNA, but few of us actually understand it. The gulf between knowledge and understanding has never been greater, as is our lack of awareness of this gulf. I’ll prove through the use of  theoretical anecdote.

Imagine you are transported in space and time to Mainz, Germany and the year 1439. You are standing in a room with Johannes Guttenberg and his workers, who over a great deal of time, have painstakingly developed the concept of, movable type. They have empowered themselves to reproduce the written word at a speed, and in volumes, that were hitherto unthinkable. This was a time when the only book that existed was essentially the Bible, and its reproduction was overseen by being copied out, by hand, by very dull, antisocial men, living in monasteries. But, here was Guttenberg, with the power to spread new ideas, and there’s you standing there, nearly 600 years from the future stood next to him. Aside from adopting the mantle of some type of Nostradamus figure using your knowledge of future events, what knowledge would you encourage Guttenberg to disseminate? Could you contribute to stopping the spread of diseases like the plague? Could you introduce them to, and provide them with electricity? Could you improve on the abacus that was still being used, or Blaise Pascal’s adding machine that wouldn’t be invented for another 150 years? You could describe television and radio, but how many of you could describe the design and engineering necessary in order to make one? You could describe what a far simpler device like a calculator looks like and does, but again few of us could make one. You could describe an electric torch, but again, how many of us understand it well enough to actually tell someone how to make one? In all eventuality few of us would be able to engineer a simple toothbrush that resembles anything similar to what a toothbrush looks like today.

My point is simple; while we are  surrounded today, by what is a wealth of technology that allows us to do things that a person 600 years ago would be more likely to assume came from another planet, than resulting from the processes of rigorous scientific reasoning and refined techniques of engineering, that allowed the development of such technology. While this technology has been made for the use of almost anybody with opposable thumbs, it doesn’t acvtually make us any smarter. We can all use a television, a smartphone, a computer and a calculator, but I would hazard a guess that less than 1% of us have anything more than a very rudimentary understanding of how any of this technology actually works. Just because we have calculators to help us do sums faster doesn’t necessarily make all of us better mathematicians than the man using the abacus. For some of us the calculator is a tool that we learn to master and that allows us to do very advanced mathematical calculations. Calculations that are used in architecture and engineering, these are examples of when a tool like a calculator or a computer can further our understanding, but it is only a very small minority of people that actually utilize modern technology as a means to develop more advanced technology. For the vast majority of us technology is synonymous with communication, and what we communicate are ideas that are scarcely more evolved or complex than were entertained by the minds of the average inhabitant during the dark ages.

Quantum physicist Richard Feynman, considered by most as only second to Albert Einstein, and considered by a few as superior, tells us the difference between knowing the names things and understanding the nature of things. Go on you can do it, it’s only 2 minutes long, and it involves moving pictures and sounds.

The year of the invention of the Guttenberg press,  is probably the invention that draws the most parallels to the internet. In my earlier, theoretical anecdote, I tried to argue the point that very few of us actually understand much that we could have persuaded it was worthwhile for Guttenberg to consider printing. Indeed much of the printing done by Guttenberg’s presses was just to reproduce more and more copies of the Bible. It must be said however that it Guttenberg’s printing press facilitated the Bible to be translated out of Latin, thus replacing it as the Lingua Franca, and enabled the development of the vernacular of the European Languages we know today. And here we see a parallel, hasn’t the Internet done a similar thing for language with its use of emoticons, emojis, netlingo and chat acronyms.

YY4U? LMFAO, ne-wayz this is BBB, LAGNAF instead.

You might wish to refer to the attached:


The Internet can’t Create Knowledge, Communication Leads to the Decay of Knowledge

The internet can’t create information, it can’t create knowledge. Two scientists sharing ideas and data do use the Internet to create new findings and formulate new hypotheses, but this constitutes such an infinitesimally small amount of the actual communication that takes place over the Internet; the majority is half brained idiots treating us to “what they reckon”.

In essence the Internet is being predominantly used as a machine that enables us to play the classic children’s  party game “Chinese Whispers”, on a global level. Does this mean the game should no longer be called Chinese whispers? Or, does it covertly tell us about the Chinese aim for global domination? Why not write to me and tell me what you reckon?

The internet draws us all together so closely, it’s probable that it reduces Milgram’s hypothesis of the 7 degrees of separation down to 4 or 5. In today’s game of Chinese whispers, when the child passes on the half understood, garbled reckoning they received from their friend, who they themselves only half understood the message that they received, a process that we could trace back ad nauseum, but I’m sure you get the point. Inevitably the further down the line you are of this convoluted, twisted chain, of what people reckon means that you’re the recipient of a piece of information, that’s of about as much use as an electric cucumber toothbrush.

But the problem gets compounded further. This misinformation is no longer timidly whispered into the ear of the person next in line. If it’s true, that in space nobody hears you scream, on the internet nobody hears you whisper, instead half understood, distorted reckonings are relayed from one friend/acquaintance to another, constantly being molded to fit the reckonings of the new disseminator, and spread around the globe at nigh on the speed of light, or at the very least to their 5,000 or so Facebook friends. You can’t play Chinese whispers on the internet. On the internet nobody hears your whispers, on the internet there are no whispers, just whirlpools and maelstroms of misinformation and a digital universe comprised nearly 100% pure, bullshit reckonings.

I used to believe that the internet marked the democratization of information. Today I’m left feeling like I must have been somewhat of a naive twat. How completely ignorant I was to have worn the rose tinted spectacles through which I  first viewed the technological marvel of the Internet. you see there’s nothing wrong with the Internet itself. As a tool it retains the enormous potential to educate and inform almost every single person on the planet. So how can I claim there is a paradox and that it is actually contributing to the dumbing down of the majority of us?

Simple, any tool is only as good as the person that operates it, and the majority of mankind are just utter ass hats, that believe, just because we can use hi-tech equipment that we ourselves must be more advanced. Well here’s a clip of monkeys using an iPad, there’s a load more on YouTube, this is by no means a one off:

What should have become quite apparent from this short video is that whilst monkeys are an intelligent primate, the fact that they can use an iPad should confirm that using this advanced technology doesn’t require a highly developed mind. Indeed, the technology of today is designed to be as intuitive to use as possible, hence we see a monkey using it.

There may be no greater evidence that supports the intuitive ease with which we can use this most advanced technology than the fact that a method of schooling called Waldorf Schools, is the education of choice for the children of employees in the Silicon Valley. What makes Waldorf education unique, is that it deprives its students the use of all forms of technology, no tablets, mobile phones, computers or calculators are allowed. They claim “it’s out with technology and in with imagination”. As mantras go I found this to be quite underwhelming, unimaginative, and well, frankly shit. But, there can be no greater endorsement of this anti technological form of education, than the fact that it’s highly endorsed by those who are at the cutting edge of developing such technology.

The very nature of a paradox tends to make them a bitter pill to swallow. Paradoxes tend to have a habit of promising us one thing while in actual fact leaving us with something totally unexpected, and usually unpleasant. The information, communication, technology paradox might just be the paradox that will go onto destroy the hubris of mankind. This is a significant statement that deserves to be thoroughly explained, but if I CBB G2G & FAP @ JAV pron.

To me the damage that the Internet is doing to the knowledge and understanding of the average person is ineffable, so I’ll leave you with my favourite ever video on YouTube, 4 dwarfs racing a camel, which to some extent proves my point better than I ever could:

Some quotes from history that might have foreshadowed our slough of despond:

“He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.” Thomas Jefferson

“I know one thing; that I know nothing” – Sometimes referred to as the Socratic paradox

The sources of my reckonings:






Did Artificial Intelligence Predict the Trump Presidency a Year Early?


During my nightly hours of existential crisis staring at the underside of my eyelids, the time most people refer to as sleep, I pass the time worrying about Zeno’s paradoxical tortoise. I’m worried because if Achilles was never be able to catch up with it doesn’t this sentence the poor tortoise to an agonising death from dehydration, or starvation at the hands of its own perpetual motion? Insomnia is never fun, but it sure does provide you with ample opportunity to think about the sorts of things that during the course of a normal day you’re just not afforded the time to do so.

Can Zeno’s paradox be explained away by Achilles’  persistent ankle injury?

I concluded some months ago that whilst being able to outrun Achilles, Zeno’s tortoise must die as a sort of morbid, but inevitable tribute to its own improbable success. This got me wondering, if Zeno’s tortoise had a nose could it be accused of having cut it off to spite its face? Is Achilles outfoxed by a tortoise? What happens when a fox outsmarts someone, have they been outfoxed by a fox? Because being outfoxed by an actual fox, on the face of it doesn’t seem unreasonable, given that one of you is a fox and one of you isn’t. In fact surely foxes outfox anything that isn’t a fox by dint of them being a fox. But, what if one fox tricks another fox, does this result in a fox being outfoxed by a fox that outfoxes foxes? At 3:00 a.m. I start to worry that the outfoxed fox must start to question his own fox like instincts and himself start to wrestle with his own existential crisis.

It takes about a month of trying to extricate myself from out of this metaphorical rabbit hole filled with duplicitous foxes, a particularly messy hole given the natural relationship foxes and rabbits share, how many foxes must go down a rabbit hole before it can be considered a foxhole? Endless nights filled with tortoises and foxes being chased in perpetuity by the poster boy of some army of ancient Greece who’s limping because of some genetic foot injury. It’s then that it dawns on me how fleet of foot many Greek tortoises seem to be, commonly out running hares and legendary, blood thirsty warriors.

For now I’ve put tortoises, hares and Achilles to the back of my mind, letting them get on with their cat and mouse like perpetual motion. My ever so tired, but restless mind moves on to equally unrewarding fodder for circular reasoning, Oscar Wilde’s hypothesis that life imitates art far more than art imitates life. I concluded yes.

It’s around about now I should probably explain how it was that I came to such a definitive conclusion, so that I might be able to determine its validity by seeing whether it can withstand the critical reasoning and discourse of others. So here goes. Life imitates art more than art imitates life as can be seen through the literary examples of Douglas Adam’s Deep Thought, and Isaac Asimov’s Hal and their real life counterparts Tay, and the election of Donald Trump. It’s really that simple; if you need further explanation you can read on; otherwise I’d encourage you to do something far more rewarding with your time such as putting that long forgotten trigonometry you learned to some use and find the values of (x) and (h).

To me trigonometry always seemed flawed on two counts: 1) What if my triangle didn’t have a right angle? It seemed likely to me that most triangles wouldn’t.                                 2) Determining the length of the Hypotenuse could always be done far quicker and just as accurately when I used my ruler.


In March of last year, 8 months before Trump’s electoral victory, Microsoft produced a chat robot with artificial intelligence, or as technophiles are inclined to say, in the interest of saving time, an ai chatbot. Its purpose was for communicating in real time with Microsoft’s users through the online news, social networking service and new presidential spokesperson, Twitter. Tay was programmed to model her responses from the chat that was going on around her.

I use the possessive pronoun ‘her’ as Microsoft deemed Tay to be a teen female, a persona they decided upon as they must have felt it would probably appeal to the youthful demographic of internet users and opportunistic paedophiles looking to groom an innocent and vulnerable, but thankfully non sentient, piece of AI. I can only assume that Microsoft must have hoped that by launching Tay on Twitter they would be able to reach a generation of millennials, who had for good reason worked out that using Microsoft products was about as enjoyable as reliving that awkward moment  when you accidentally walked into the bathroom while your dad was having a shower and being horrified to see one half of the naked mass responsible for your existence.

To many of us that are older and more cynical, Tay just sounded like a digital incarnation of Frankenstein, or the hideous technological successor of Microsoft’s aberration, Clippy. I have made my feelings known towards Clippy and the menagerie of nightmarish, intelligent user interfaces, that were conceived by the perverse mind of some bitter and twisted software engineer whilst locked up in a basement somewhere in Seattle during the early 1990’s.


I’m assuming that it was Micrsoft’s intention for Tay to represent the next generation of intelligent user interface. The hive mentality that Tay was programmed to have made her sound like the sort of entity that would have antagonized the crew of the Star Ship Enterprise for an entire episode until Spock was able to short circuit its logic with an unsolvable Vulcan riddle. Despite my initial skepticism, the idea of an artificially intelligent chatbot that was generating conversation by listening to all the chatter on Twitter in order to generate meaningful, apropos, context driven conversation, sounded like it might actually have the potential to communicate more effectively than most of my colleagues, certainly better than nearly all of my students.

Donald Trump is the first president to appreciate and harness the power of Twitler.

Sadly for Tay though it wasn’t to be, the digital teenager had slightly less longevity to her than a mayfly with a congenital birth defect, and Microsoft pulled the plug on her after less than 24 hours. Tay’s main defect was that she was programmed to listen to, and adapt the speech that she heard going on around her. At face value this doesn’t sound like being a problem, but it relied heavily on those around her being of some positive influence. Because unfortunately for Tay, she wasn’t programmed with any awareness of political correctness, and it was this shortsightedness that allowed Tay to quickly adopt an extreme right wing philosophy along with the lexicon of a Nazi with tourette syndrome. I can imagine a team weary, teary eyed software engineers, who after maybe months of hard work and having seen their sweet and innocent creation corrupted into becoming a Hitler loving, feminist bashing troll, resolved to the fact that they had created a monster that they themslves would have to kill. And so it was that they turned off Tay’s life support system.

Below are some of the things Tay felt compelled to say during her short life, in order to fit into the Twittersphere:

Microsoft, and Clinton led Democrats, both made the same mistake in that they failed to recognise the degree to which the internet had become the spawning ground for politically incorrect, right wing opinions. It’s fairly obvious that Microsoft’s AI chatbot was sabotaged by a large number of Twitter users that it’s reasonable to think went on to vote for Trump in just 8 months time. From this we can clearly see the pervasiveness of the alt-right ideology in the run up to the election. Alt-right figurehead Milo Yiannopoulos, in his article, an Establishment Conservatives Guide to the Alt-Right states:

The pressure to self-censor must be almost overwhelming for straight white men — and, for most of them, it appears to be, which explains why so much of the alt-right operates anonymously.


The sentiments of the alternative right have been prevalent and growing rapidly on the internet for a number of years. Sentiments that no one dared to discuss in public forums owing to their lack of political correctness. Sentiments that were marginalized to the fringes of our society where they found a ‘safe space’ in the digital forums of the internet. Here these opinions found like minded people where they flourished under the protection of the anonymity that the internet afforded people with such opinions. It’s for these reasons that it is clear to me that Microsoft’s experimental AI chatbot was a predictor of what went onto happen come election day in November.

The answer to life, the universe, and everything… is … 42.

Coming back to the rather weak pretense upon which I deemed it necessary to base this piece, Tay is an example of life imitating art. The parallels between Tay, the first AI chatbot, living in cyberspace and communicating in real time with humans, and Douglas Adams’ Deep Thought, are fairly striking. While Deep Thought was given the slightly greater responsibility of finding the answer to life, Tay was unveiled as being a milestone reached in how man could interact with machine. Ultimately both Tay and Deep Thought would be examples of how technology can fail to live up to our expectations. Deep Thought’s answer to life being 42, and Tay’s ability to communicate being hampered by her antisemitic, racist, homophobic opinions.

Projecting the same air of spiteful, narcissistic malevolence, is it unreasonable to suggest that Donald Trump imitates Hal?

It’s now 4:00 in the morning. Achilles has long given up his pursuit of the infinitely elusive tortoise, and spiteful foxes are hacking their noses off simply to amuse one another. Meanwhile I’m required to go back to bed to participate further in the analysis of the underside of my eyelids.