It’s a terrier’s world, we just live in it

William Gibson and dogs

with 2 comments


Image from article “Sony’s Aibo has been put down”

We are it. We are already the Borg, but we seem to need myth to bring us to that knowledge. 

Steam Engine Time. Somewhere in the late Seventies. In garages, in California. Putting the electronic brain on the table. Doing an end run around Dr. Asimov’s ethical robots. The arms and legs, should you require them, are mere peripherals. To any informed contemporary child, a robot is simply a computer being carried around by its peripherals. Actually I think this accounts for the generally poor sales of several recent generations of commercial humanoid robots; they’re all more than a little embarrassing, at some level. Sony’s Aibo, a robot dog, does slightly better in the market. Who today wouldn’t simply prefer to have a faster and more powerful computer, faster internet access? That’s where the action is. That augmentation. Of the user. Of us.

Actually the return of those humanoid robots has disappointed me. I’d thought that everyone had gotten it: that you don’t need to go anthropocentric in order to get work done. That in fact you get less work done, far less bang for your buck, if you do. My idea of an efficient robot today would be an American Predator drone with Hellfire missiles, or one of the fly-sized equivalents allegedly on Pentagon CAD-CAM screens if not already in the field. Though actually those are both cyborgs, or borg-aspects, as they are capable both of autonomous actions and actions via telepresent control.

William Gibson’s Blog 2003


Maybe it’s just a twist of light tonight, but the city’s so bright, this whole town’s in focus.
He’d always call me baby strange.
He’d hold my head and pray for rain.
Oh Johnny, let me be your dog star girl.
Let me curl inside.
The fire’s just right.
The fire’s just right in focus.
But, then he said, like, anything goes, baby.
But I don’t know.
I just don’t know.
Do you?
And how’d I ever get to this dead man’s town where the rain, where the rain falls down, where the rain falls down forever?
And then he said, so much for you, so much for me, but I don’t see.
No, I don’t see.
Do you?
And how’d I ever get to this dead man’s town where the rain, where the rain falls down, where the rain falls down forever?

Lyrics to Dog Star Girl by William Gibson

Back home in Chelsea, Deborah Harry’s neighbourhood in New York, there are people she sees every day who don’t know who she is – who she was. “Most of the time, we know each other’s dogs’ names but not our own,” she says. You mean it’s a kind of dog thing? “Absolutely,” says the owner of Chi-Chen, a pug, and Ki-Suki, a Japanese spaniel. “Absolutely.”

From Buzzle


Written by aterrier

July 4, 2008 at 5:22 am

Posted in aibo

Tagged with , ,

2 Responses

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  1. Who are you, aterrier?


    July 4, 2008 at 12:54 pm

  2. Just the keeper of a scrapbook on the curious relationship between humans and dogs.


    July 5, 2008 at 10:25 am

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