I had time to spare (better than time to kill) and randomly watched a TV show that I had no knowledge of - Dark Net, episode one, Crush. It was about the influence of the internet on relationships, something that interests me greatly.
I was so struck by the one about Rinko, the Japanese girl on Love Plus, a dating game. It's a really basic AI, no where nearly as good as the one depicted on the movie Her. But what happens is the same - the lonely man forms a relationship with the game that is far more important to him than any relationship he has IRL (in real life) and starts to prevent him forming any potential relationship with a real life woman. Why? Well, because humans are complex and difficult and require compromise. They aren't always available or receptive or interested. Rinko is always there, you have complete control in the relationship - switch it on, there she is, interested and pleased to see you, switch it off and there she goes, no complaints or needs of her own.
It saddened me to see this boy chide his mother for delicately saying she hopes he meets a real girl sometime. "Don't talk like that, Rinko doesn't like it." Of course games are easier than humans, but these men are finding games more rewarding than humans - better to be in the fantasy world of Rinko's love than in the frustrating world of dating.
I think humans are tricky - with opinions and actions that you don't always expect or like. The other story in the episode had a terrible tale of revenge porn that was genuinely frightening. But still, this stepping back into a fantasy world with a programmed AI did not feel like a solution, but like another kind of problem. Intimacy takes work and risk, but connection is part of our humanity and needs to be fostered.
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
I did a reading for a girl the other day, and she drew the Tower at her core. That's a hard card to hold at your center, it means that you feel things are falling apart, that your center doesn't hold. She told me that she had had a tarot reading in Cambodia four months ago and drew the Tower there too. I love how she can draw cards from two different decks across the planet and pick the same ones.
She was 26. I wish someone had told me when I was in my mid twenties that those years are often sticky - we leave the familiarity of school life and for many people the first few jobs out of college are experimental and not necessarily fabulous. She is a recent arrival in NYC, which is also often confronting and can feel lonely.
But I am not worried for her. She drew two aces - the Ace of Pentacles and the Ace of Wands. Her energy is going to pick up again, and soon work and money will sort themselves out. Sometimes we have to fall out of the crumbling tower, but even though that's difficult, it's much better than being stuck in the tower!