Ralph Higgins

Ralph Higgins
color pencil sketch by Gayle Higgins

Quotes I Like

"If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools."

– Plato


Monday, June 24, 2013

Our Brave New World

     George Orwell’s book, “1984” and Aldous Huxley’s, “Brave New World,” seemed far fetched back when I read these books, but not any more.  Evidently those books have seen a resurgence of interest lately.  Let’s just scope in on one area of change.            

            With genetic engineering we can almost design our offspring to fit our preferences. Women can carry and have a baby for someone else.  I remember reading about a pregnant man.  Talk about a guy who needs a group hug…or a lobotomy.   Women can have a litter by taking a pill.  Can you imagine the feeding frenzy when eight little suckers fight for a nozzle on the “Octomom?”  Remember her?  She’s the woman who spit out an entire litter in one sneeze.  

            Japan has robotic dogs and cats for pets. Korea imported some of these robotic pets, but stopped when people choked on ball bearings and metal washers.  

            I’ll bet they’re working on a process to create a new species of computerized quasi-humans.  Some of us already have mechanical parts.  My new knee starts walking when I’m asleep.  If I had two, I’d probably find myself half-way to town before I woke up.  I’ve kicked poor old Dakota off the bed more than once.  I don’t know where Gayle went.

            We are coming up with all kinds of innovative techniques to modify who and what we are.  Mel Brooks said, “It’s good to be king.”  Some people go further and say, “It’s good to be God.”  Evidently God didn’t get it right.

            Michael Jackson changed from a black man into a white woman.   Based on his jerky body movements, he may have actually been a hyperkinetic robotic clone.  In some ways we are going beyond Huxley’s, “Brave New World” and Orwell’s predictions.  It won’t be long before we won’t know who is 100% human and who is a mechanical clone. 

            I just read a news item where robot sex is currently under development.  These creations look and feel human, according to one report. The cost of these machines may be off-set by the fact that a man won’t have to pay for dinner, wine, flowers, and all the other “preliminary” stuff and women won’t need to pretend to be in love.  Just press the right button and they’re ready to go, which is not much of a change when you think about it.

            The definition of marriage has been broadened to the point that someone might actually marry one of those “humanoid” machines.  I’m not sure why a man would want to take the chance that a divorce could give his ex-robot his house and half his retirement.  And what would a woman gain from divorce from a robot?  Maybe a mechanical arm and a leg.  It’s safer to just buy one of these things on EBay and stay uncommitted. 

            They say that you will be able to design your own robotic “partner.” You can pick height, sex, body dimensions, facial characteristics, hair color, and even whether or not you want them to talk.  That “talk” option on the order form would rarely be checked by men unless he could program the exact dialogue, like, “You’re wonderful.”  “You’re the only man I’ve ever loved”- goofy stuff like that. 

            I’ll bet that when a woman chooses her ideal robot man, his vocabulary would be limited to, “It’s my fault” and “I’m sorry.”   Human husbands learn these two phrases early.


  1. Another gem by my favorite author. You had me laughing out loud with this one. I'm already planning my new woman and she will look like the star actress in the new film I saw last night, "The Great Gatsby". If it wasn't for her and the beautiful clothes the film would have totally sucked. I will be seeing you and your lovely wife Gayle in August.
    Your forever friend,
    Jim Loar

    1. Hey Jim -
      Sounds like a good design, but don't marry it.
      We're looking forward to your visit, Buddy.

  2. Just a thought on women getting divorced from robots... nothing new! It's been happening for centuries....

    My Man-Bot will be programmed to say "Tell me all about your day in detail... and I'd especially like to hear about the differential diagnosis of Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy...." or "Can we discuss our computer software and then plan our retirement budget?" Then it will sit perfectly still looking me right in the eyes until I finish every excruciating detail.

    Just kidding. If Greg ever did that I'd be truly worried about him...

    Have you heard about the artificial arm with a working hand that operates off your own brain waves? It will be great for amputees such as soldiers.


    1. Jody -
      Your medical terminology sounds like Punjabi to me and I'm sure to Greg too. But with the stress of your job, I think a "listening Man-Bot" without the ability to talk back may be the answer for you. Of course you could program it with terminology from your medical books and teach it to nod its head...just for positive reinforcement.

      I have heard about the artificial arm. These medical advancements blow me away. There are some "positives" in this Brave New World.