Why you shouldn’t rush to get your auto-erotic implant

Paul Raven @ 02-01-2009

orgasmatron settings dialImagine, if you will, what it might be like to have a kind of switch wired into yourself that triggered tiny electrical shocks in your orbitofrontal cortex, giving you what would effectively be an “orgasm button”. Well, this isn’t science fiction any more. [image by bbaunach]

Transhumanist thinker George Dvorsky takes a look at the history of pleasure-centre brain-tweaking, and considers the implications of the technology becoming affordable and readily available:

So, should these devices be banned?

Yes and no.

Like the current prohibition on both soft and hard drugs, there’s a certain efficacy to a patriarchal imperative that works to protect citizens from themselves. Sex chip junkies wouldn’t be unlike other kinds of junkies. Highly addicted and dysfunctional persons would find themselves outside the social contract and completely dependent on the state.

But what about the pursuit of happiness and other freedoms? And our cognitive liberties? A strong case can be made that we all have a vested interest in the quality of our own minds and the nature of our subjective experiences. Ensuring access to these sorts of technologies may prove to be a very important part of struggle for psychological autonomy.

Is the best society the one that protects its citizens from all potential pitfalls, or the one that educates them as best it can and lets them take care of themselves?


Addiction clinic founder says computer games not addictive after all

Paul Raven @ 02-12-2008

dualshock Playstation controllerThe headline says it all, though the recanting of video game addiction specialist Keith Bakker comes with qualifiers:

“…the more we work with these kids the less I believe we can call this addiction. What many of these kids need is their parents and their school teachers – this is a social problem.”

“This gaming problem is a result of the society we live in today,” Mr Bakker told BBC News. “Eighty per cent of the young people we see have been bullied at school and feel isolated. Many of the symptoms they have can be solved by going back to good old fashioned communication.”

It’s easy (and very tempting) to fall back on sarcasm here, but let’s just be thankful he’s learned something and will now stop putting loner kids through some sort of twelve-step program.

Incidentally, Bakker’s findings concur with those of the National Institute of Media and the Family, which for the first year ever has used its annual MEDIAwise ‘video games score-card’ to praise the gaming industry rather than excoriate it. Times are a-changin’. [image by William Hook]


« Previous Page