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Life Arts    H4'ed 8/20/14

Self-Assembling Robots Assembling Human Selves: No Dissembly Required

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Again, it should be worrisome that the first thought out of the box is how these things can be used to kill more efficiently. It's hard not to wonder: WTF is wrong with these people?

However, it doesn't end there. Keenan goes on to describe future bordellos filled with picture-perfect robo-prozzies with the clear advantage of being indefatigable (and so, more cost effective nymphos, as WD-40 stretches farther than Vaseline) and having lovely disposable orifices (imagine ordering a mouth with a Hitler moustache for some kinky sado fun!). Keenan doesn't mention what the deal might be with male prostitutes. Perhaps they just recycle, like responsible Buddhist geeks.

In a chilling empowerment of kids with magnifying glasses out looking for creatures to fry, Keenan describes new kits that have come to market that allow kids to hack the nervous system of insects with their smartphones. Maybe it won't seem so unnatural to them when the technique eventually transfers over to hacking 'terrorists,' the definition a moveable feast of lingo. (I vote: people who insincerely employ the word 'empathy' too much. They must learn to suffer with quiet desperation like the rest of us.).

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Most people probably know by now that the planet's honeybee colonies are collapsing, an event with profound consequences not only for humans but other life forms on the planet as well, and although no one has been able to absolutely pin the blame on GMO giant Monsanto, they are certainly implicated. But never fear, say techno-cats, no problem, because robo-bees are on the way and they will take over for their live falling comrades. For a price, of course. And lots of contractors want mileage included, so we may need to hire some lay-about bees to keep the costs down.

Origami robots should be viewed as part of the larger frame of referenced things to come, or rather of the coming Internet of Things, where all is sensed and recorded, where privacy is like an endangered species enjoyed only by a small percentage of the Watchers and their cronies, and we become calculable data points stored in a disposition matric in the Cloud, watched over by loving algorithms and controlled by angels of our worser natures. You better not pout, you better not cry. No, really, mofo, you'd better not, if you know what's good for you.

Yes, one would like to think it could all end with the drop of a Gay Bomb. A magic mooshroom cloud, pink mad terrorists of terrible delight. (Though rosy lips and cheeks within his bending sickle's compass come, right?)

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I'd like to see this end with a 3D printer belonging to General Mayhem, one of the many Masters of War, where I could send to his printer a self-assembling 3D fist, with pronounced knucklature, that would rise up from his desk, like a little five-fingered revolution, and punch the smug self-appointed demi-god right in his double-chinned chops. Or better yet, maybe send him a self-assembling self-replicant, all smeared with pink pheromones, and then General Mayhem could commence to go f*ck himself.

We could make a porno.

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John Hawkins is a freelance writer from Boston. While he focuses mostly on fiction and poetry at the moment, he also writes political essays and book reviews. His work has appeared in publications in Australia, the US and the Czech Republic.

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