“Come on,” Jillette said. “Steal something from me.”
Again, Robbins begged off, but he offered to do a trick instead. He instructed Jillette to place a ring that he was wearing on a piece of paper and trace its outline with a pen. By now, a small crowd had gathered. Jillette removed his ring, put it down on the paper, unclipped a pen from his shirt, and leaned forward, preparing to draw. After a moment, he froze and looked up. His face was pale.
“Fuck. You,” he said, and slumped into a chair.
Robbins held up a thin, cylindrical object: the cartridge from Jillette’s pen.
What is true: we are recording more information than ever. Thus was coined the term infobesity, from information and obesity. The term is obviously loaded with judgement about whether we, as individuals or as a society, should really be storing and keeping so much information about what we all do, see and think. This denotes an underlying belief that there are several types of information, roughly split between throwaway information and valuable information.
Holograms of human figures are appearing increasingly often in airports as virtual assistants. And they may also be introduced in various commercial activities. But, as Joanne McNeil inquires, what kind of empathy can these humanoids expect to establish with their users?
Punk taught us to have contempt for every institution, except Fugazi, until contempt and suspicion were the first and only reactions we had to everything. Good news was embarrassing, success was shameful, and a happy childhood an unthinkable transgression.