• neil

Day 33 (19 April): Ever Ready

This blog dwells in the land of the farcical not the political. But the two do seem to meet with some frequency.

If you had burst into the kitchen when Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Sherman and Livingston were sitting round the table discussing “unalienable rights” and insisted they use “Worship, Protest and the Buying of Guns” instead of "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" I suspect you would have met with short shrift.

But there would seem to be a sizeable populist movement sufficiently enamoured of those particular issues as to make sanitary, life protecting lockdowns into a political issue.

I pick up on this particular example of anger trumping logic. But there are many instances of anger coming to the fore and populists will not hesitate to transform stress, anxiety and fear into greater anger for their short-term advantage. Let us resist with intelligence, love and humour.

Paddling back to calmer waters - I would like to take a look at agony aunts, sex toys and robots.

Now that I list them I wonder if the founding fathers couldn’t usefully have done something with those three.

I read that most questions being put to agony aunts around the world are now coronavirus related. But apart from questions relating to workplace safety, the wearing of masks and tensions with partners during lock down, there is still a kernel of neediness relating to dating advice.

Harris O'Malley, who runs the Dr Nerdlove column, (You can google it. It’s Sunday and I’m being lazy) finds that prior to lockdown questions were from readers who felt they were unattractive or socially awkward. Thanks to social distancing, these questions have fallen off - partly, he believes, because "a lot of my audience feel more secure communicating over text or internet than in person".

He is right of course. My Tinder profile now informs you that I’m a six foot three tango dancing millionaire neurosurgeon. I hope The Rock didn’t mind me using his photo. That’s fine; I can live with that. It is only a slight exaggeration. But I am a bit worried it’s not really Margot Robbie whose been writing me.

Of course you can cut out the middleman. Figuratively speaking. I’m not suggesting there is a chap in the middle between you and your partner. A sort of sex sandwich. You can order erotic toys online from Amazon. This market has seen a rise (well it would) in sales of over 40% since the beginning of March. After all, you can only cut the grass so many times. A lot of the marketing promotes them as stress and anxiety relievers. Which I am sure they are (But that doesn’t mean you should be using one during this job interview Jane).

New York City Health Department states that self pleasure is the safest sex option during the pandemic. I hate to be pedantic (I love to be pedantic) but its also the safest sex option after the pandemic.

It is perhaps too late to get into the toy market now. Nil desperandum. Do you remember learning that it wasn’t the miners who made the most money in the California Gold Rush? It was the people who supplied them with picks, shovels and jeans. Get into the battery market. It’s just you and that Rabbit.

I just realised what that truck was unloading at my neighbour’s house.

And the robots I promised you?

We have been hearing for some time that with a progressive move from narrow AI (navigation systems, your smart speakers) to general AI (think Data from Star Trek) the age of the robots is dawning. A 2017 report by global consultants McKinsey predicted a third of workers in the US would be replaced by automation and robots by 2030.

The appeal of robots to employers is obvious - they can work 24/7 365 days a year, they don’t form unions, take sick leave or get pregnant; and they can work in areas that are deadly for humans such as politics.

But….. until now we have been reluctant to engage with robots. The virus is changing that. People are more scared of contamination than they are of interfacing with a machine. McDonald’s has been testing them as cooks and servers. They are increasingly frequently seen in hospitals as cleaners or drugs dispensers. Artificial intelligence is being developed that can replace teachers, fitness trainers and financial advisers.

It would appear that I am in the only area which is safe from the robot tsunami. There is no chance of them being used to replace the retired.

We are robot proof.

Hide behind me people and the Rock can eat his heart out.

Take care and oil a loved one



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