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Robot Friend Ancient Music Fish
April 13, 2005 7:57 AM   Subscribe

With My Special Partner, I can drink my way back to the 7th Millenium BCE for ancient music, and the fish’ll tell me how to get home.
posted by dfowler (13 comments total)

 
An interesting if disparate link set dfowler.
The japanese doll phenomenon is somehow strangely sad. It's a deluded world indeed when human interaction is so lacking that a market for comforting 'critters' is created. It is coupled to the demographic problems facing many western worlds at the moment, but particularly Japan who, as usual, have a singularly idiosynchratic response.
posted by peacay at 8:12 AM on April 13, 2005


..or even idiosyncratic response..
posted by peacay at 8:16 AM on April 13, 2005


peacay writes "It's a deluded world indeed when human interaction is so lacking that a market for comforting 'critters' is created."

Americans do the safe just with live rather than electronic pets.

Ask any "cat lady" or any urban twenty-something with a too-big-for-the-apartment dog.

Great set of links; love the stuff about Neolithic booze and flutes.
posted by orthogonality at 8:21 AM on April 13, 2005


Yeah.....although no doubt in the minority ortho, I reckon lavishing affection on a domestic pet is also weird when there's lots of needy fellow human beans around. I know the arguments well. I'm just not that fond of pets. People do better with people hugs IMHO.
posted by peacay at 8:24 AM on April 13, 2005


Maybe I'm deluded, I thought the 'My Special Partner' site was a joke? No?
posted by scheptech at 8:25 AM on April 13, 2005


Fascinating that the same race of beings will bash little white seals to death while creating robot simulacra of them for ersatz companionship half a world away.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:29 AM on April 13, 2005


scheptech...doesn't seem to be a joke.. google for it, 13,000 hits... looks real to me...
posted by HuronBob at 8:32 AM on April 13, 2005


George_Spiggott writes " Fascinating that the same race of beings will bash little white seals to death while creating robot simulacra of them for ersatz companionship half a world away."

Both are the results of economics.

Poor regions (like Native peoples in Canada) can't afford sentimentality when a seal pelt means the ability to buy school clothes for their kids.

Wealthy regions (like Japan) get that way by sundering the traditional extended family in the interest of 9-to-5 (or for the Japanese, even longer hours) work at corporate jobs, and use the extra wealth to buy companionship for their elderly (and note the companions were originally designed for young women too busy to form real relationships)>
posted by orthogonality at 8:37 AM on April 13, 2005


lavishing affection on a domestic pet is also weird when there's lots of needy fellow human beans around

That is an extraordinarily strange philosophy. I don't often read something in the Blue that I haven't heard before, but are there really people who feel it's odd to have pets because you could instead be taking in a "needy" fellow human being? The two certainly aren't mutually exclusive. My immediate family consists of my wife, my son and my dog. I love them all, each in his or her own way but each (dare I say this?) equally.

While there are certainly many people around who could use someone to love, I think it would be a little presumptuous of me to think I'm that person; and most of those people wouldn't want anything to do with me anyway! I'm more than comfortable making that decision for an abandoned dog, however, and chances are he'll be happy with it as well.
posted by The Bellman at 8:58 AM on April 13, 2005


Here's how that flute sounds.

Nice batch'o'links, dfowler.
posted by Floydd at 9:15 AM on April 13, 2005


The Bellman.......I of course know that pet/person loving is not mutually exclusive. But the context came from a comparison with the robot dolls who became companions to the senior citizens. I meant that bestowing affection exclusively on robots or pets seems kind of strangely sad or depressing. I don't deny that comfort is brought to many people in isolation by their close relationship with their pet(s). But it seems to me, in the big picture, that society is somewhat failing when there are so many lonely old people who have no human outlet for their natural affections. I admit that I'm pretty well negative to the idea of domestic pets, from a personal and environmental perspective; and although they are found through human history, I'd be surprised to hear about their being used as surrogate nursemaids in traditional care/welfare of the elderly.
posted by peacay at 9:19 AM on April 13, 2005


Doh!
Must read entire article before posting....
posted by Floydd at 9:21 AM on April 13, 2005


A robotic baby harp seal? Damn, that would teach those seal clubbing Newfies!
posted by fenriq at 10:39 AM on April 13, 2005


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