Body Swapping: The Future of Entertainment, or Frighteningly Literal Identity Theft?

EDIT: The new Atom article is up here, and you can Digg it up here if you are the type that is so inclined to dig. Also, my new Cracked article about how the sum of all human knowledge hates your penis is up over here, and you can Digg it here if you like it, or even if you don’t like it, just as long as you do what you’re fucking told, Sport.

Have you ever wanted to be somebody else?

Then you probably have self esteem issues. That’s your deal. This is about science, fucko, don’t bring your personal baggage here. But if you really insist, there may be a little something science can do to help:

“I wish I was big…down there.”


Cognitive Neuroscientists (that’s just a fancy term for “thinky brain-thinkers,”) at a Swedish medical university have recently confirmed and recreated a “body swap.” Which begs the question, how do you get funding for something like this? Write up a proposal entitled Freaky Friday: Let’s Make That Shit Happen and submit it to the resident board of eccentric millionaires?

Well, regardless of how it came about, it was ultimately successful: The experiment entailed hooking up two cameras to the head of a mannequin that in turn broadcasted to two screens placed over a subject’s eyes. The subject and the dummy’s movements were then mirrored – you looked down, the mannequin looked down – while researchers touched both subject and the dummy at the same time, and in the same places. This illusion of physical contact while supplying separate visual stimuli, caused the subjects to feel as though they actually inhabited the bodies of these mannequins from that point onward. As a final measure, the scientists held a knife to the arm of the mannequin, and recorded increased stress levels in their subjects who, in actuality, had no such knife placed against them… because really, what experiment is complete without an impromptu display of total dickotry?

This has nothing to do with the previous paragraph, but holy shoot look at the size of her tits! Now those are science tits!

The scientists cite the potential use of this newfound discovery in everything from virtual reality to robotics, and that’s the truly interesting part – how, exactly, would this method apply to these fields? If, with a few quick sensory prompts, you could physically realign yourself to a virtual avatar – then that’s it!

Virtual reality achieved!

Have fun fucking cartoon tigers in space, internet, you’ve earned it!

“In my goggles, you look like Megan Fox!”
“In my goggles, you look like Winnie the Pooh with my dad’s face!”
“…”

Oh but then, there’s no word on how long this sensation lasts; it seems more along the line of optical illusion that sustainable feeling. I suppose you could be continually prompted with on screen cues that match up to your virtual avatar but really, what’s the point of an advanced virtual reality system if all it can simulate is getting poked with sticks every thirty seconds? I’m sure that’s probably enough to get off some very mild masochists, and maybe some exceptionally lonely people just yearning for touch, but for the rest of us it’s just spending thousands of dollars to be moderately annoyed…only now it’s in cyberspace! But what if there is a way to make this sustainable without being intrusive? That would open some pretty amazing doors. For example, I think we all remember a little movie called Strange Days where the concept of VR as a drug was first introduced:

You do not remember this. Don’t you fucking lie to me.

Essentially, Strange Days had people who would wear sensation-monitoring rigs for a period of time, and others would then buy the recordings from these rigs to virtually live out episodes of the recorder’s lives. Usually they were doing something exciting, like getting intensely high, having sex with celebrities, jumping out of planes, or maybe fending off a gang single-handedly in a bar brawl – basically, like being Christian Bale on an average night out.

“I’m so awesome it actually gets boring after a while. Let’s go teach a bear karate.”

So if you could sustain this body swap, it could take just a few cues at the beginning of a high definition tape – filmed from first person – and you’d be set for wild adventures! That would certainly change the desperate–plea-for-attention-celebrity-sex-tape, for one: Now you could physically be Tommy Lee for a night, and afterwards you wouldn’t suffer from a new and enraged hepatitis infection. Even Tommy Lee doesn’t get to do that!

But perhaps more worrying here is that “cited potential use” in robotics. Most likely they’re referring to something like better syncing users to remote control robots in order to improve operation, but that brings about its own questions: Like if you could physically feel a remote control robot’s actions, wouldn’t you then have what amounts to a totally safe, completely anonymous real world proxy? You could sexually harass women, beat the shit out of a stranger, or just generally be the world’s most raging douchebag completely without fear of consequence – basically, like being Russell Crowe on an average night out.

Seen in its native habitat, the Emperor Douchebag is truly a sight to behold.

That’s scary enough on its own, but there’s also this nagging little voice in my head that sees “body swapping” and “robotics applications,” and can only think “ROBOTS WILL STEAL YOUR FUCKING BODY!” I mean, you already know they envy your human feelings! What if it works in reverse!? What if the robots use this shit to steal your body and go on eternal, drunken, carnal-pleasure trawls, effectively turning your life into a never-ending orgy of amoral hedonism, while you end up trapped in the cold husk of an assembly line arm, feebly gesturing for help by rapidly snapping your two-pronged claw and swiveling back and forth because that’s all you can fucking do!?

I know you might not think that’s terribly likely, and indeed, it could be just another irrational Luddite panic at the hasty coupling of a few worrisome concepts, but then again…

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19 Responses to Body Swapping: The Future of Entertainment, or Frighteningly Literal Identity Theft?

  1. Muledriver says:

    “Science Tits” is a great name for your second book.

  2. Kaitlyn says:

    Don’t call me a fucko, but I’d like to swap bodies withe the science tits girl. For a while at least, until she swaps bodies with one of those automatic checkout machines at the supermarket.

  3. Chalks says:

    I really do love the tags you use. It’s as if you understand the concept of tags, but blatantly screw with it just to see if anyone cares.

  4. Ah… Comedy fix. Thank you. Is Strange Days porn or is that a very, very naive question?
    Also, you continue to rock.

  5. I have been inspired to create a depressing blog about humanity.
    I now hate myself.

    G.I. Joe is strange
    He has a scary square jaw
    He sometimes shoots things

  6. JD says:

    “Let’s go teach a bear karate.”

    my question is:

    What was he doing right before that picture was taken?

  7. Brett says:

    I want to body swap with Steve Buscemi, just to see how it feels to be so despised all the time.

  8. Alex says:

    I dont despise Steve Buscemi… I fucking hate that John Mayor fuck though, him and his stupid guitar!!

  9. Muledriver says:

    “I Despise Steve Buscemi” is a great name for your second book.

  10. Robert says:

    Mule,

    I think your first suggestion, “Big God Damn Science,” is still the frontrunner. You just can’t beat blasphemy straight in the title.

    Kaitlyn,

    You are a fucko. But your desire for tits is understandable.

    Chalks,

    I do understand the concept of tags, it’s just that one day I hope one of those crazy tags that I use will actually, coincidentally link up to two posts. I secretly hope that it is “old men fucking plastic goats for some reason.” That day will be the end of days, and blood will rain from the skies.

    Forts,

    Consider yourself linked, sir. Welcome to the internet, you will receive your decoder ring and gaping anus in the mail shortly.

    JD,

    He was teaching karate to a wolf, but that shit got lame.

    Brett,

    I don’t despise Steve Buscemi. I find I have a Gollum/Frodo relationship with him, in as much as he disgusts me, but I find I want to help him.

    Alex,

    Way to non-sequiter, buddy! I hope you do that in all conversations. I hope your daily life is full of moments like that.

    Alex: How’s it going, Tad?
    Tad: Just fine, Alex! Heading out to the lake later? I hear the fish are biting mighty fine today!
    Alex: I would, but I just fucking hate that John Mayer so much…
    Tad: …?

  11. Alex says:

    Hahaha you know to tell you the truth I do have moments like that, not all relating to John Mayor either… Although I really do loath that guy!

  12. lazybuoy says:

    Steve Buscemi is one of the great comedic actors of our generation.

  13. Robert says:

    He also looks like that thing that sits on Jabba the Hutt’s shoulder in Jedi.

  14. kookimebux says:

    Hello. And Bye. 🙂

  15. Tor says:

    I’m sorry but i have to say something. Why is it that all of these fantastic comedian bloggers (or BLOGDIANS as i call ’em) have this unhealthy obsession for Christian Bale? Yes he was the best batman by far but that’s not saying much considering the second on that list is fucking fictional (1990’s animated series Batman), and the third is batshit loco (Adam West). Consider the bizarre case of throatfuckery Bale came down with when he was trying to be inconspicuous. What’s so hard about WHISPERING?

    I’m sorry but it’s like a fucking epidemic. You, pretty much everyone at cracked, some other guy whose name fails me, the sam unhealthy obsession with Christian “kissy-face” Bale.

    Whatever. You rock. Keep it up and do with my ignorance what you will.

  16. Robert says:

    Tor,

    It’s more about canon than it is about Bale. He’s nerd-badass canon, and pretty much the only one that combines those two concepts, so if you’re writing an article for nerds and you need somebody to stand in as the ‘badass’ figure, you go with Bale because he’s established. I actually really like Bale, but that’s why I use him in posts like this. It’s like I use Megan Fox – she’s established Nerd-babe fodder. I don’t even dig her, personally, but she will often come up as an example because, by using her, the audience will know what I’m talking about.

  17. Johnathan says:

    A sort of “when in Rome, have sex with children…” perhaps I could have gone with a better example. Also Bale is God v2.0. and thus worthy of worship

  18. J Rylez says:

    I’ve not once tried to teach an animal a form of martial arts… my whole life has been a waste.

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