ACHILLES MEETS the SEXBOTS

sexbot.jpg

So I'm in the  Walmart in Monroe, New York--don't ask--listening to my favorite podcast, Stuff to Blow Your Mind.  For those still suffering in darkness, STBYM is the jewel in the crown of the How Stuff Works network.  Helmed by polymaths Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick, it delivers at least weekly an incisive, exhaustively researched hourlong discussion of topics on the frontiers of science or at the intersection of science and philosophy.  Recent offerings have included three separate episodes on the physics of black holes and a fascinating colloquium on quantum immortality.  

That day I'd already had time to listen to pieces about sexbots--just what you think, and apparently due to arrive about the same time as the driverless car, which should work out pretty well for all concerned--and the dangers lurking in artificial neuroplasticity, which it seems isn't going to be all effortlessly acquired languages and abandoned bad habits.  

The third show I heard that day was Listener Mail.  About halfway through was an email from an egyptologist discussing a 1200 BCE letter from father to son that seemed to undercut Julian Jaynes theory of the bicameral mind and the sudden emergence of consciousness in Homeric times.  When the hosts brought up my name and The Rage of Achilles I dropped my Subway coffee--Walmart has everything--and said "son of a bitch!" loudly enough to make nearby babies cry.

I was escorted out by security, but it was worth it.

Okay, so Achilles didn't actually meet the sexbots.  But I got to use this cool picture.  And you really owe it to yourself to subscribe to Stuff to Blow Your Mind.