Body Con Job
PT Barnum was right. There is a sucker born every minute. I've certainly been one more than once and you probably have too. But, it is getting harder and harder not to be a sucker. This last week I read an article that scared me in ways I haven't been scared before. You may know all about this, but for me this was both surprising and weirdly funny at the same time.
Are you familiar with Miquela Sousa? She has over a million followers on Instagram which doesn't put her in league with our president, but certainly deserves some credit. Unfortunately all her pictures are copyrighted so I can't show you one. If you Google her or click on the above article and look at her images you will see an attractive young woman in all the usual posts that her generation deems fit to share. She has new outfits to show you, pictures of food to share and an assortment of photos with her friends. She complains about the weather and appears very typical. What is less typical, is Miquela is not real. She is an avatar.
Miquela, according to the article, is a " social justice warrior of sorts." On April 18, " a pro-Trump, self-proclaimed “robot supremacist” CGI character named Bermuda wiped Miquela's account clean, posting photos of herself, instead. She proceeded to accuse Miquela of being a “fake ass person” who was duping her followers (the irony being that Bermuda isn’t real either). Then she issued an ultimatum: Miquela couldn’t have her account back until she promised to “tell people the truth.”
Are you following this? One fake ass person is being called out be another fake ass person for not telling the truth. Here you are idling away your time doing your Instagram trolling when you come across this showdown. As one person wrote, “Why is robot drama more dramatic than my life?”
Evidently some of the followers of Miquela know she is an avatar and some don't. Even if people know she's not real they are still interested in what she has to say, wear and eat. After all, we read comics, watch reality TV all with the knowledge that it is not real. When you think something is real and it turns out not to be how does that affect you. Do you care? I don't know it if matters, but it has now become very challenging to know what is real and what is not. In fact, this post was not written by me, but by my self-driving, highly-intelligent, bot named Dougie who pitches in when I am napping.
I suppose what is happening is people no longer hold that seeing is believing. Information you hear, pictures you see may or may not be real.Trust is going to be in short supply and we are going to be left having to trust the relationships with those around us and hope they are real enough.
FYI - That's Sophia's picture above who is a robot who is starting to look an awful lot like some people I know. I guess you would call her a simulacrum and she and others of her ilk are going to be making PT Barnum proud.