Humint Events Online: Robama and the Pod People

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Robama and the Pod People

Interesting post:
... Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori's idea of the "uncanny valley" ... asserts that people can feel comfortable with robots as long as they're not too human. Mori learned that when robots become too real we experience an "unsettling sense of revulsion." The "valley" in question is a dip in a proposed graph of the positivity of human reaction as a function of a robot's human likeness.

In his latest column "Obama in the Valley," Charles Blow deploys the idea of the all-too-creepy robot in political matters.
I have often thought that there must be an uncanny valley of politics, a point at which particular politicians rouse our discomfort because there’s something about them that people connect with, but there’s something else about them — intangible, unbelievable and not relatable — that produces a sense of unease. It can be found in the “Artificial Intelligence” of Michele Bachmann and her pull-the-string-in-the-middle-of-my-back compulsion to repeat the same red-meat responses no matter the question. It’s the Buzz Lightyear-come-to-life bravado of Rick Perry, complete with delusions of grandeur and accomplishment. And it’s pretty much everything about the mechanical “I, Republican” Mitt Romney.
When we put our hope in Obama in 2008, we did so because we saw a person relating to us as people rather than votes on the tally. His genius on the stump was to express recognition of the dangerous position us "regular folk" are in, and promise to work for us, as a person in government who'd be on our side.

What's happened since his election is akin to Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The person who promised to don his comfortable shoes to walk the picket line with us, suddenly won't take our calls. The person who inveighed against the "revolving door" between lawmakers and Washington lobbyists has filled his cabinet with Washington lobbyists. And the person we thought would stop the banks from stealing our homes, our retirements and our savings has been disturbingly silent and maddeningly passive on reigning in Wall Street.

Now we see a president who is so different from the Obama of 2008 that it's almost creepy. What happened to the Obama we voted for? Charles Blow sees this too:
But one person I never thought would fall into this valley was Barack Obama, the charismatic candidate who electrified the electorate in 2008 and whom many saw as the fulfillment of the dream of the even-more-electrifying Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Yet here Obama is, down in the valley, struggling to connect with the American people and failing, increasingly coming across as dispassionate to some and outright revolting to others.
Only pod-people think you can motivate the masses with talk of free trade agreements and further weakening the social safety net with deficit reduction. Free trade and deficit reduction is the language of pod people, of career pols talking to other career pols. It's not the language of leadership, and it's definitely not what the crisis our time calls for.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your 2008 Presidential election has often reminded me of the John Carpenter film "They Live".

The pre-selected chosen one looks like the exact product that Americans were wanting to see because he's packaged and marketed with the slick glossy style and persistence of a 'new wonder product' infomercial.

(Like any 'new wonder product', this one had no past history because it was especially designed and developed to be sold to a particular market niche.)

The obvious consequence is that the American electorate had failed to learn the lessons about believing all the marketing hype of infomercials and their choice meant that they became destined to repeat the experiences of the victims of past psychopathic world leaders.

In short, Americans got exactly what they bought and paid for.

To tie this back to the robo-tone of the blog, I enjoyed Charles Blow's take on some of your politicians, but from my vantage point it looks like you're dealing with second or third generation pod people who can act well enough to feign empathy and compassion.

I see it every time they smirk when trying to look sincere and caring because, like lying children, they have trouble keeping a straight face.

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the only reason we voted for him is because his opponent was mccain/palin.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed. The Action Man and Barbie imagery of the re-packaged war veteran (with dubious birth history too) and the pretty sidekick provided a visually interesting combination but was never going to get anywhere because the pretty sidekick in the combination exhibited some intermittent, but persistent, operating faults during the marketing campaign.

That lack of robust consistency and sophistication worried a lot of prospective purchasers who still believed that the POTUS and the deputy actually make decisions for the benefit of "We the People".

It is clear to me that the POTUS is the CEO of the corporation called the US of A and, when it is the majority shareholder who decides the direction of any corpoate entity, the 4 yearly recruitment of the CEO is merely a distraction for the masses.

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeb Bush being urged to run for president by father, brother

unfortunately, he would probably win a real vote.

11:05 PM  
Anonymous sex shop said...

It can't work in actual fact, that's what I think.

3:30 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Powered by Blogger