Environment Magazine

The Bioethics of Twitter Controlled Cyborg Roaches

Posted on the 07 January 2013 by Earth First! Newswire @efjournal

The Early History of the Robot Wars, Part II

In which is discussed the preposterously true details of a  cyborg cockroach enslaved by crowdsourced social media; the computer program that you are living in right now; and Smartphones that can see, smell, fart and someday screw.

by Russ McSpadden / Carbon-based humanoid correspondent for the King Ludd & John Connor Institute of Anti-Technology

La Cucaracha Robotica


Philosophers, science-fiction writers, and doctors have long pondered the cyborg dilemma–that blurred boundary where biology and machine are fast becoming one. And while most arguments tend to focus on two key questions — 1) Is it morally legitimate to use robotics to upgrade the human form and 2) Is it morally legitimate to neglect cyborg technology in the treatment of disease and disability — there are other very important questions that have yet to be raised.

For example: 3) Did you really just fit a cockroach with cyborg technology and control it with an IPhone and Twitter?

Turns out, ironic-dystopian-hipster-artist Brittany Ransom—unknowing creator of our future slavery to hash-tag wielding robot overlords—says “hells yeah I did.” Recently, under the enchantment of a hardwired dominatrix muse, Ransom created the world’s first Twitter Roach, a slave powerless to refuse the commands of your every tweet, which shoot electrical pulses into its antennae. (Watch the  video here)

“Why the f$ck,” you ask? Oh, there you go questioning technology again. Well, according to Brittany, it’s to see how roaches respond to the overwhelmingly pointless external stimuli we civilized humans soak up everyday. By tweeting @TweetRoach with commands like “#TweetRoachLeft” you too can join in the mind-numbing Tweet-attack of a lesser being. Hey, you can even order your own RoboRoach brain control helmet, a pack of live roaches and an adapter to turn your Smartphone into a sadistic roach control.

Ctrl Alt Del! My Replica Universe Just Froze

Ever spent an entire weekend on the computer, trolling Facebook, watching Youtube videos of robots dancing to Gangnam Style and playing video games because your life is otherwise empty and you wanted to escape reality? Well guess what, reality might just be a computer program anyways–welcome to the machine–and in that case, there is no escape.

A team of physicists at the University of Bonn in Germany say they may have evidence that the universe is actually a computer simulation. Ok, its true that there might also be evidence that these nerds are just high.  I mean, we’d surely know if we were a part of a simulation because our lives would be controlled by an all-knowing numerical structure of differential equations with a big white beard and a hankering for a good smiting from time to time. Wouldn’t we?

So why do these scientists think it is possible? Well, they made a computer simulation of the universe and I’ll be damned if the thing isn’t a near spitting image to ours.

Oh damn, that Sim is playing Sims!

Oh damn, that Sim is playing Sims!

And [this is where things get weird. You may want to be high to follow along] there is a well pondered thought experiment that philosophers have bounced around for some time, which notes that any civilization of ample intelligence and bravado will eventually create a simulation universe.  And, being that that simulation universe would surely birth its own advanced civilization with ample intelligence, there would be more simulations, each begetting the next. Simulations within simulations within…shit…that’s more simulations than real universes! And if there are more simulations than real universes, the probability that you are living in a computer model, rather than in the real McCoy, is pretty damn high.  Something like a gazillion-to-one.

There’s more. In their research paper titled  “Constraints on the Universe as a Numerical Simulation”, the science nerds point out some rather incomprehensible arguments confirming that we may indeed be a universe of computer models. Here are the “facts” in a migraine inducing nutshell.

1. Current simulations of the universe naturally put limits on physical laws.

2. “The problem with all simulations is that the laws of physics, which appear continuous, have to be superimposed onto a discrete three dimensional lattice which advances in steps of time.”

3. This means, that because it is a simulation, the computer must put limits on the energy that particles can have within the program.

4. These limits,  which would be experienced by those living within the sim, are similar to the limits that we experience in our universe. Gulp.

5. There are other arguments that focus on some shit called the Greisen-Zatsepin-Kuzmin, or GZK, cut off, which is some sort of boundary of energy that cosmic ray particles have and its at this point that the science gets far too tricky. So you can go read the paper for more details if you need more.

Suffice to say, even if you are a sim (which I don’t actually believe), you may want to be more aware of the ways you replicate the laws of a cold and calculating simulation. Maybe you can become a piece of freedom fighting malware or a bandito virus that crashes the entire fucking system. Then we’d all be free of the constraints of the synthetic imaginings of limited energy! F-yeah!

IBM Custom Punch Card for Nazi SS Race Office

IBM Custom Punch Card for Nazi SS Race Office

Did My Smartphone Just Come On To Me?

IBM, the same corporation that provided tabulation services to the Nazi regime in Germany, streamlining the Holocaust process, has predicted that, in five years time, its line of Smartphones will include “cognitive computing,” ushering in a brave new world in which computers and handheld devices will approximate all five human senses. That’s right. Your little phone, besides pulling you away from more meaningful face-to-face relationships and potentially giving you brain cancer, will also allow you to forgo smelling your own socks to see if they are dirty. Check out this video below of IBM’s creepy phones-with-5-senses future and witness a humanoid cheerleader sell you dystopia wrapped in a rainbow and bullshit sandwich.

And it isn’t hard to imagine some of the more scandalously boring uses of a phone that can mimic the sensual human. A new collaboration between software developer Sinful Robot and Irvine-based hardware company Oculus, promises a fully immersive and pathetic virtual reality sex experience, jacked right into your brain.  Though still under development, the Oculus Rift VR headset has already raised over $2.4 million on Kickstarter.

The Bioethics of Twitter Controlled Cyborg Roaches

“Substitution” by Miles Johnston.

I’m not sure what the exact connection is between fascism and computers that fart and fuck, but I know it’s there.

So stay tuned friends for the next hair-raising edition of the Early History of the Robot Wars, Part III due in February where we will discuss the diverse ways one might go about defeating deadly cheetah-droids, Obama drones, and other unsavory hell-bots. Its the only way to avoid the coming McFaceTweet Ipocalypse.

And be sure to read Part I of the Early History of the Robot Wars here, where we discussed WTF in the eyeball, sexy surveillance mannequins, and deadly squirrel bots.


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