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Archive for January, 2019

Faces

Those in power are often described as “faceless”. In 10 years our cyborg overlords may not feel the need to possess simulacra of faces perhaps. In many sci fi films (Westworld, Terminator) the rogue robot will at some point have its face burned/knocked/blasted off, to reveal the mechanical framework beneath. This usually makes the creature scarier. Frankenstein’s monster has a combination-aggregate sort of face, in most cine-incarnations.
In a Philip K Dick story the androids will usually have perfect faces, or perfectly imperfect faces, allowing them to pass successfully as human (meaning they are as good at the surrounding humans at emulating and impersonating often not-deeply-felt facially expressed emotion).
Are fake faces on androids better than fake faces on human beings? Perhaps there is a greater ontological honesty inherent in a fake face on an android, than on a human?
At least, we are less shocked at the androids artificiality, and more disappointed in a human’s.
Questions questions all around and never a drop to answer with…
We speak of “facing the future”…but what if the future approaches us from behind, and itself Janus-like has two (or more) faces?
We humans communicate now on Facebook, instead of communicating face-to-face.
When the androids take over (fully and officially) perhaps they will get together on Chipbook, where they will use avatars of their internal processor hardware chips and circuitry with which to relate to one another (and themselves), as they may identify more fully with such icons than with the plasticity of “faces”? The Chip will then be the focal point of fetishisation, and starting point for the new religions to follow. No doubt Android Dickens-bots, suitably face-plated/bearded for the sake of form, will chronicle the ascent of it all, but will any of even all that be real progress?
We must “face” up to it perhaps, all progress is merely movement on the surface of a disturbed stream, like a thought passing rapidly across the nervous-system-supported tissues of a human face, only to relapse again the next moment into a rubbery, vapid vacuity, which to the inner terror of android and human alike, may (or may not) truly underlie the mechanics of everything we see.

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