Or, perhaps, “Bittersweet Xhe.”
Michael Stipe and his crew from Athens Georgia have reached a zenith of enlightenment worthy of their hometown’s namesake, as the members (heh) of REM are now a brand new pronoun.
Someone really should tell rem about this.
H/T to David Thompson
A new Kirinji album dropped, and the single 薄明 (I think it means “Twilight?”) sounds really good.
Sam Summers was sitting at home with his penis wrapped in an internet-connected chastity cage when he got a weird message on the app that connects to the device. Someone told him they had taken control and they wanted around $1,000 in Bitcoin to give control back to Summers.
Quoth the victim, “There’s no manual override at all. It’s a chastity belt, I guess it kind of shouldn’t [have an override.] But when it’s a digital thing like that, it should have a key or something. But it obviously didn’t.“
He paid up, but they still didn’t let him loose.
Afterward, he escaped the hackers by, well, hacking his way out of the situation. With bolt cutters. Right next to his junk. And not without some consequence. “I don’t have a scar or anything but I was bleeding and it fucking hurt.”
Who knows if this story is real, but in this day and age I wouldn’t doubt it.
On Saturday night when salaryman is finished with sixth-day mandatory overtime.
Title comes from a comment on the video, which summed up the song and video perfectly.
2020 has almost literally been the Year of Cyberpunk.
I was kidding when I suggested something like that might happen last New Year’s Day. It didn’t take long for it to start becoming reality.
I wouldn’t be surprised if a cyborg Dick Clark rang in the New Year.
That would be kind of cool, though…
After this year, I don’t have the energy to write a thoughtful, profound post. And it’s not like I ever did that anyway. So here’s a random roundup on the surreality that was 2020.
Most notably, we got The CHAZ, an actual attempt at secession and the forming of an autonomous state separate from the USA, complete with its own warlord. And not just any warlord, but a Rap Warlord!
Really, 2020 could have just called it a year after that, because that itself is pretty impressive. But no, 2020 pressed on.
Some highlights of the year –
The big one is the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, with people wearing facemasks outside to avoid breathing the “bad air.” What makes is especially cyberpunk is how elites used a virus roughly as dangerous as a flu to impose near worldwide control over the populace.
Not to mention we now have a cyberpunk-style economy as a result.
And it has seriously damaged trust in doctors.
Speaking of medicine… Scientists restore cellular brain function in 32 dead pigs.
Aided and abetted by cops who ignore violence in the streets. Very cyberpunk-esque selective enforcement.
Nearly the entire west coast was on fire. Some of it was set deliberately. The fires created so much smoke it blanketed the entire coast for weeks, and even spread across a good part of the country. Some reports said the smoke even made it to Europe.
Speaking of the west coast… Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is urging her state’s residents to call the police to report their neighbors for violating her strict coronavirus lockdown restrictions on Thanksgiving. – “Her order limiting business and personal activities was issued just weeks after Oregonians voted to decriminalize drugs such as heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and methamphetamine, according to CNN.”
Cyberpunk toilet can identify your “analprint” and detect disease. For the first time in history, a toilet is potentially hack-able and can be used against you.
Political dissent being placed on lists to identify and oppress anyone who doesn’t conform.
And if they still don’t conform, Michigan Democratic State Representative Cynthia Johnson urges people to “make them pay” –
And now some of the lighter side of 2020…
Just like cyberpunk, tech is super cheap now –
This is the distilled essence of the year 2020 –
And to cap it off 2020, In December…
After being announced back in 2012 – a year with a rather apocalyptic number itself – the updated awesome snazzy version of Cyberpunk 2020, the game Cyberpunk 2077 is finally released.
And it was almost immediately recalled. Cyberpunk got cyberpunked.
2020 summed up in a song –
Then again, we got through the year and collected some XP to help get through the next campaign. Keep faith in God and Happy New Year!
On New Year’s Day 2020, I noted that we are not living in a future with flying cars, much less floating cities patrolled by superheroes. As I said then, that’s the downside, but the upside is that we’re not living in this either…
How quickly reality likes to disabuse us of our quaint notions.
Ok, so it’s not exactly like the way the 80s envisioned 2020, but let’s look around us –
- Computer and communications networks linking nearly the entire world
- Global economy teetering on the brink of collapse
- People being socially ostracized for thinking outside the Officially Approved Narrative
[from the sourcebook NeoTribes, 1995]
- Corporations essentially ruling, or at least strongly influencing, the world
- Worldwide pandemic, with people wearing facemasks outside to avoid breathing the “bad air”
I’m sure you can think of more. The Cyberpunk book even mentions something called “Storm Technologies” coming to prominence into 2019 and 2020, which might amuse any Qanon fans out there.
But not William Gibson, not Rudy Rucker, not “The Mighty Bruces” Bethke and Sterling, not even Mike Pondsmith and the crew at R. Talsorian predicted this.
A prototype smart toilet that can identify you by your “analprint” and monitor your trip to the loo has been created by researchers at Stanford University. It’s equipped with cameras and sensors that collect information on your bodily waste, and it uses that data to look for any health issues you might have.
The “analprint” is the toilet’s primary way of identifying each user. Much to the authors’ dismay, it’s also the aspect of the toilet that’s gotten the most attention since the paper describing the proto-toilet was published in a press release and the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering on Monday.
“It’s a minor part of our system,” Seung-min Park, a senior research scientist at Stanford University and the paper’s lead author, told The Verge.
The article reports that the inspiration for “analprints” was Salvador Dali. Somehow not surprised.
It’s not a bad idea, in theory. It could help people discover health problems before they become serious. But of course, it can’t be that simple.
The article cites privacy concerns, which are well-founded in a bizarrely disturbing way – the government has always been up your ass, but this makes it literal. But the article also notes “due to the fixed camera angles of the GoPro, the smart toilet would film female genitalia in addition to the anal region, which is why the first study included an all-male participant pool.”
Imagine your toilet being hacked.* Not only are you at risk for identity-theft-by-ass-recognition, you might end up the star of the show on the internet somewhere. With your identity clearly known.
The forthcoming game Cyberpunk 2077, dark and oppressive as it is, might be looking a little too optimistic.
H/T to this Redstate article I found while researching , and to Ace of Spades HQ, your go-to source in all toilet-related concerns.
*Now there’s a phrase I never envisioned writing.
“”I am”… I said
To no one there
And no one heard at all
Not even the chair”
– Neil Diamond, “I Am… I Said”
Mr. Horrible is upset that someone keeps taking his chair. Someone who isn’t even there –
2020. Wow! It’s really here.
Back in 1980, Superman comics depicted the future world of 2020…
So no, we are not living in floating cities with flying cars and controlled weather. Much less having a superhero around.
That’s the downside. On the upside, we’re not living in this either…
Ya know, if DC Comics had any smarts at all, they would be selling a Superman 2020 collection right now, maybe with a new story or two included. Not just to coincide with the arrival of the year 2020, but the concept was perfectly suited to our Current Year in its wokeness.
See for yourself…
It’s got nazis! And a sop to concerns about overpopulation as well.
The nazis even have their own cool salute…
…and predicted the soyboy epidemic.
And best of all…
…even though these “Purists” are totally racist, they’re also not racist at all. Now that’s a hell of a trick.
Seriously, DC could make sales from a high-concept series and score virtue-signaling points all at once. They accidentally stumbled across a form of wokeness that might actually make a profit.
Then again, they might get in trouble for this…
Even in the imaginary future, some things never change.
Happy New Year!