Skip to comments.Love by the Byte: The Future of Romance
Posted on 01/03/2014 7:52:32 AM PST by Kaslin
The New Year explodes with dire prophesies for men and women and their mating patterns. If they're correct, or even close to it, the lot of men will not be a happy one -- nor will the women who love them (and want one of their own).
That future, in fact, is almost here. In their failure to appreciate the biological differences obvious to most of us, second- and third-wave feminists have downsized men and denigrated their values, forging a radical imbalance in the way the two sexes relate to each other. Women surpass men in formal education, and the male and female elites of the upper economic brackets compete with each other in courtroom, boardroom -- and, inevitably, in the bedroom.
The traditional divisions of labor among working-class men and women have gone from bad (and bed) to worse in the recession as service jobs favor women. Jobs that once required heavy lifting are gone with Detroit's emblematic bankruptcy, and President Obama's promised shovel-ready jobs never arrived in the numbers he said we could count on. Role reversals abound where PowerPoint dominates.
Camille Paglia, a prominent feminist critic and unhappy prophet of heterosexual doom, thinks we're watching civilization commit suicide. She warns her sisters they must beware, lest they turn themselves into Komodo dragons, hammerhead sharks and pit vipers, who will have to clone themselves by parthenogenesis if they are to reproduce themselves.
"Is it any wonder," she asks, "that so many high-achieving young women, despite all the happy talk about their academic success, find themselves in the early stages of their careers in chronic uncertainty or anxiety about their prospects for an emotionally fulfilled private life?" These questions have been asked before, of course, but never with such growing urgency as women debate male abdication of responsibility to them.
The metaphor of the popular movie "Her" is the stalemate in male-female relationships posed for the near future. "Her" is about a computer geek -- the actor Joaquin Phoenix actually looks like one in the movie -- who has a love affair with a highly advanced computer operating system. He gets paid for writing letters in purple ink for others. He's tongue-tied to a machine when he's speaking for himself.
The voice in the computer is called Samantha and belongs to Scarlett Johansson, conjured in imagination by Theodore, her geek lover. Her sotto voce voice is silky, smooth and sexy, and she reads Theodore's emails and gains electronic omniscience. She straightens out his filing system, too. She confesses she has 8,316 other conversations going, and she's in love with 641 others. She loves him most, of course.
This is an almost-believable fantasy because nearly everyone in it is isolated by their computers, from which they seek friendship and love. Broad scans of the camera expose men and women walking and talking alone, speaking to the air, phone buds hidden in ear canals. That future, as all can see, is now.
When Theodore attempts a kiss with a woman of flesh and blood and their lips touch, she begins a monologue of instructions as if she's the voice of a GPS -- brake pressure on lips, move nose, turn left with tongue -- until she bursts into tears to ask if he'll be another one of those guys who only wants to take her to bed and will never call again.
If the disembodied computer voice is a fantasy of the feminized and passive man of the future, who seeks the perfect woman to respond to all his needs, the flesh-and-blood woman who tries to control the kiss is a real-life nightmare, aggressive and hysterical and terrorized by her ticking biological clock. There's real-life urgency in their failure to connect. He has been emotionally neutered and escapes into a relationship with a computer that "reads" his every need. She has grown aggressively angry about the way real men have treated her in seductive encounters.
This is the inevitable metaphor for what happens after decades of narrowing feminist ignorance of the natural and enduring differences between men and women. Glib how-to books that tell women how to take control can't teach them how to excite the masculine drive for creating and protecting a family.
In the movie "Her," a computerized woman with a husky voice goes a long way to seduce a man, but ultimately it's the feelings of a frustrated, angry human woman that leaves us questioning the direction for men and women moving into the new year and the future. The sequel is likely to be called "Him."
I want Bob Beckel’s job next New Years eve.
Eventually they will invent a way to feed computer generated stimuli directly into the brain, so it is indistinguishable from reality. This has been foretold in a number of movies, most famously in “The Matrix”. While I don’t see people living fully simulated lives, I do see a lot of men giving up real women for the simulated sexual encounters of their dreams. Why? Because real women are too much work and trouble compared to the effortless fantasy.
When that happens (and it will), the Human race will be in real danger of extinction.
Love is evil, anyway.
The sooner this destructive urge is reduced to bits and bytes, the sooner the disease of love will be eradicated.
“Because real women are too much work and trouble compared to the effortless fantasy.”
The problem is not in the fantasies or the simulated replacements. Those are just band-aids men will use to try to dress the wound. The trouble is that women are not supposed to be “too much work”. They are supposed to be a help to a man, rather a burden. Until they figure that out and get back to basics, they’re going to find themselves increasingly lonely.
“Love is evil, anyway. The sooner this destructive urge is reduced to bits and bytes, the sooner the disease of love will be eradicated. Good riddance.”
I think you mean “sexual urge” and not “love”. The two feelings can lead us in completely opposite directions.
IMO, technology may someday offer relief for people needing a sexual outlet so they can focus more on non-sexual aspects in a partner.
In other words, people may start to select partners mainly for who they are rather than how they are in bed.
No. I mean love.
Sexual urges are not evil or good. They just are. Animals and insects have sexual urges due to the instinct to reproduce. It's nature.
They are not, however, burdened with love.
He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Revelation 13:16-17
If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. Revelation 14:9,10
That was so weird, after watching Kimberly react with open dismay and almost disgust at Bob for much of the past year on The Five. Someone must have told them to play nice or lose their jobs.
You are either being sarcastic or you are one sick puppy. Jesus said to love one another as you love yourself. Are you saying Jesus is evil? Do you realize that is the only unpardonable sin?
No need to even go that far. Many men today would choose crappy 2D images of hot willing starlets over sex with an average woman. An interactive 3D experience paired with a simple stimulation machine would be enough for many men to completely give up sex. We are 90% there technologically. The systems exist now but the images are still too cartoon-like. When CGI at home becomes photo realistic, it will really take off. I'd say by 2020 the images will look indistinguishable.
Also remember that women will likely become just as bad. Think virtual encounters with smooth-talking AI men. It's also far easier for women to “plug in” to a sex toy and many are already addicted to them today without the AI element.
“I do see a lot of men giving up real women for the simulated sexual encounters of their dreams. Why? Because real women are too much work and trouble compared to the effortless fantasy.”
Yes, I think people will eventually give up real sex for limitless fantasy. But it may actually free us from our limitless sexual urges (except those poor individuals prone to sexual addiction).
Imagine all people interacting with each in a world where finding sex is no longer a factor:
-Men will no longer fight or compete with one another for the attention of one stupid girl who happens to be the most pretty.
-People will no longer get into relationships or lie purely for sex.
-Couples as we know it may cease to exist. All people will be “just friends” and no longer spend all their time with the person they have sex with. People might have “partners” they like to live with but sex won't be a factor.
-No sexual disease or unplanned pregnancy.
-People will no longer spend such an incredible amount of time/money on looks.
-Women will no longer control men with sex.
“When that happens (and it will), the Human race will be in real danger of extinction.”
Absolutely. But IMO, we are only 1-3 decades away from defacto immortality for some people. Machines are doing more and more of the work for us. Population loss may not be a concern at all if we are advanced enough to go asexual.
Jesus said to love one another as you love yourself.
True. But, that is a different love. I am talking about the romantic, blinded by butterflies crap that occurs when two gullible humans succumb to the lie of "romantic love."
Are you saying Jesus is evil?
Not at all. I didn't bring Him into the conversation.
Romantic love has caused more pain, suffering, grief, heartache, ruined lives and suicides than anything else in human history. That is evil.
Do you realize that is the only unpardonable sin?
Depends on whose theology you are listening to.
Some sects say blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is the only unpardonable sin. Others say it is suicide. And since love leads to more suicides than anything else, if they are right, then that buttresses my point,
The other thing is test tube babies. We can already conceive babies w/o love. In the future, we might be able to bring them to term without a biological womb. Men and women may be required to donate sperm and eggs as a cost of citizenship. Children could even be raised by robots, who might do a better job in many cases.
I think dealing with other people in any context is always “work”, period. If it wasn’t that way, they wouldn’t pay people to be managers.