Every day I hear the plaintive voices of those who want to save the world from a burning hell.
We're destroying nature, they cry.
We must change our wicked habits and return to a respect for our planet and its given ways.
We're setting the world on fire with our self-indulgent, gadget-obsessed lives.
Yes, I pant, you're right. We must return to nature. We must reconnect with our better selves, the ones who first inhabited the Earth and carefully cultivated its gifts to pass on to future generations.
Then I sit down, open my laptop and discover that many people can't wait to have sex with a robot.
Not only that, but my colleague Greg Nichols even informs me that robot love will come as surely as the self-driving car and the lawless government.
I pause to wonder whether I could truly fall in love with a machine. Yes, I've quite appreciated a car or two in my time, but not to the extent of being driven to snog with one.
Yet apparently robots will, at the very least, soon replace the spontaneous lovers of spring and the blooming Orchids of Asia.
The reasons offered by experts are painful to behold. We're apparently rather liberal with our sense of connection with another. A plausible fantasy will do just fine for us.
At least that's what researchers believe, having talked to brothel frequenters.
Rub and toggle? That'll be $200.
I'm retrograde, but I can't quite imagine a robot offering a plausible fantasy. Perhaps, though, when these sexbots are up and running, we'll already be so numbed by our technological world that our nerve-endings will be blunt instruments at best.
I tried to come to terms with this grave new eixstence, when my colleague Jason Perlow unfurled another technological purler.
This is something called LoveSync. It's an app that helps you schedule sex with your loved one.
It offers a button by your bedside. When you're in the mood for a little conjugal in flagrante, you push the button.
If your partner isn't in the mood to push theirs, nothing happens. But if they are, carnal joy ensues.
Because you don't even trust yourself to identify natural human signals anymore.
May I ask what is wrong with you?
Are you so frightened of the natural world that you're happy to fall into MachineWorld and its desperate need for systematization and control? And of course, predictability.
Do you now need a machine as your communication intermediary in every aspect of your life?
Have you truly given up on anything that resembles the natural way of doing things?
Imagine buying a love robot and not falling for it. How many will you have to go through before they touch you just so and smile at you with a sufficiently natural crookedness? (Please let me tell you about my online dating experiences.)
How much is that going to cost you? Or will doing it the right way the first time just come naturally to these perfectly made-up humans?
I don't for a moment think humanity is a sophisticated species. Its ability to self-destruct is clear and always present.
But we're giving away our natural states just as swiftly and mindlessly as we give away our data. We're still prepared to believe that technology can solve all human problems and really, really make the world a better place. Even our own bedrooms.
Synthetic sex? Bring it on.
Ach, we deserve global warming, don't we?