Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Technological progress and the global sex recession (plus: what your homemade sex video actually looks like)

First, the good news: Paul Bronks (Al's Boy) is back. After getting chased off Twitter by the equivalent of patent trolls he has returned. More after the jump.

And the headline story from the Orange County Register:
We may live amidst what seems a libidinous culture, but oddly also an increasingly sexless time. Of course, the drop in early teen sex, and even more so teen pregnancies represents positive developments, but when lack of social interaction leads to celibacy in the twenties, thirties and beyond, the implications are less than wholesome.

The Atlantic recently described a “sex recession” in the United States and most western countries, with fewer people dating and even those in relationship getting intimate less often than in the past, while fewer enjoy regular bonds of any kind. Even ogling seems out of fashion, as the decline of Hooters suggests. The family may have been stressed by the “sexual revolution,” but the “sex recession” could ultimately erode the very existence of familialism in our time.

The most extreme cases of libidinous decline are in Asia. In 2005, a third of Japanese single people ages 18 to 34 were virgins; by 2015, this had expanding to 43 percent. A quarter of men over 50 never marry. This “sex recession” even impacts places like Hong Kong’s famous Wan Chai “red light” district now being reinvented as an upscale hipster area as the sex trade plummets. China’s current generation of men are so socially disconnected that the Communist Party, and some private firms, now teach them how to date; similar attempts have been made, with apparently little effect, in Singapore.

The role of technology
The tech-savvy children of modernity clearly have problems relating to the opposite sex, a phenomenon traced in part due to their immersion on social media and access to internet porn. As social media becomes increasingly pervasive, and algorithms more sophisticated, more people appear to be exchanging human contact for that of a machine. According to Amazon, half of the conversations with the company’s smart-home device Alexa are of non-utilitarian nature – groans about life, jokes, existential questions. The Institute for Creative Technologies suggests that people are less scared about self-disclosure, when they believe they’re interacting with a virtual person, rather than a real one. “By 2022, it’s possible that your personal device will know more about your emotional state than your own family,” suggests Annette Zimmermann, research vice-president at the consulting company Gartner.

Not surprisingly, a survey of American millennials found 65 percent don’t feel comfortable engaging with someone face-to-face, and 80 percent prefer conversing digitally. Similar patterns have been found in Australia where time glued to screens has raised a generation “incapable of small talk, critical thinking and problem-solving.”.
In some countries, notably Japan and Germany, there’s a growing interest in using artificial beings to perform various tasks, and even provide sexual services, as an alternative to the grisly trauma of human intimacy. Shops offering sex robots, suggests one promoter as “a safe space for men to practice healthy sexual interactions “without the complexity of a normal human relationship.”...

And from Mr. Bronks, now using the nom-de-tweet @SlenderSherbert
Special Bonus Bronks:

And responding to the adoring audience: