68 Comments
Jun 8Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

pls por favor read this also amazing car essay https://thingstolucat.com/2020/05/10/reverse-averse-van/

Expand full comment

Personally, I’m fairly certain that the Apple folks have seen the light & have thought to themselves “Ok, how are we going to stop the dystopian nightmare that we’re heading towards..?” And then realized that they could pretend to be releasing a product so utterly repugnant, so dehumanizing that the Dad doesn’t even take it off to interact with his children, that it finally pushes people toward rejecting a transhumanist future and instead return to the land and grow their own produce. So, I see you, Apple. Love what you’re doing.

Expand full comment
Jun 8·edited Jun 8Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

You're so grumpy this morning, darling. Nightmares? Did the nasty robots make you feel wobbly things? Well, that's the last time I try baking with cheese.

Less disrespectfully, and tackling 3):

I'm not quite so worried about the machines. Not really. I mean, yes, there's plenty to keep an eye on there - but A.I. is still a long way short of 'the singularity', as far as I can gather. It's still a search engine, taking an enormous gulp of human output and extrapolating or interpolating or whatever-ating between all the pieces and then saying the results are original instead of, you know, a casserole of essentially stolen ingredients. (A casserole that might randomly contain inedible things, like ground glass, or gravel.)

What I'm worried about are the humans seeing a new way to cut other humans out of the picture to make more money: https://techinformed.com/bt-to-cut-55000-jobs-and-replace-10000-of-them-with-ai/

That's what I'm most worried about.

But you nailed it with your point too: that there's no point augmenting the human experience if we're not even using our *existing* human experience as fully as we could be. That seems like a spectacular, expensive existential own-goal (one that science fiction dystopias have been warning folk about for around a century - and, indirectly, writers like Florence Williams: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/02/books/review/nature-fix-florence-williams.html).

I know this comment wasn't funny like my normal ones, but yeah, the potential for "humans using robots to be crappy to other humans for money reasons" shenanigans doesn't strike me as a laugh-a-minute.

Expand full comment

This is so fucking funny. Only edit I have is when you use this thing, you no longer have “eyes”--they become “face eggs.” Find & replace.

Expand full comment

going to buy these fuckers and read every single letter of Alex Dobrenko content in them for the rest of my life and there’s nothing you or your van can do to stop me

Expand full comment

Are you steamed about these glasses or do i need to relax?

Steamed.

What was the last or best time something was pitched as ‘gonna change the world’?

I'm really loving what crypto turned out to be:

Cryptobro: "Hi, we innovated a financial instrument that does nothing really except that it can't be regulated by the SEC."

The SEC: "We're gonna regulate that."

Cryptobro: "GAWD why are you so against innovation?"

Are we gonna be okay?

Yeh.

How do you thnk (sic) about tech and advancement and all that stupid stuff?

Your point about "do something that we already do but worse" is the big thing: technology is actually really useful and important in improving quality of life and the domain of human endeavors. It's just that the tech actually needs to be developed with solving problems in mind, not trying to turn people's lives into subscription services.

Whats a great memory you have that involves no technology?

I grew up without television service so am absolutely one of those "went outside when the sun came up and didn't come home until the sun came down" nostalgics.

Expand full comment

I’ll buy a pair of Apple Vision goggles if, when they adjust to show someone your real eyes, you have the option to project evil lizard man eyes instead.

Expand full comment

I get the hate, but I think you should give these iGoggles a chance, Alex.

Expand full comment
Jun 9Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

As the saying goes....what could possibly go wrong?

And you missed my favorite part, where you call people who aren't Vision-Pro-ing in their groovy ski googles and you get to see their real faces, just like on Zoom, but all they see of you is a life-less bot face. That sounds like a gotta-have-it-now-deal-sealer.

Expand full comment

At least people will develop some proper neck muscles while their ass grows and their limbs atrophy.

Expand full comment

I’ve got a 2004 Astro van! Best van ever.

Expand full comment

That's a lot of fingering - I see with my critical indicators of connection and emotion a bright future for the field of human resources and sexual harassment law.

Expand full comment
Jun 10Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

So disappointed that they went with EyeSight rather than iSight. Jobs is turning in his marketing grave.

Expand full comment
Jun 10Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

> but in Reality, you at least won’t look like a fucking idiot.

Don't make promises you can't keep 😭

Expand full comment
Jun 9·edited Jun 9Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

I laughed out loud through this whole thing.

Expand full comment

I'm with you. I'd choose the "good" van, and real roadtrips away from these tech zombies.

Expand full comment