Yesterday I saw a film called Surrogates. I enjoyed it.
The film is set in the near future where most humans live through their robotic avatars. While you lie in bed you're hooked into a network through which you control a robot which you live through.
No risk of getting run over or contracting a sexually transmitted disease. You can control how your robotic avatar looks like, so you can be as skinny or as muscular and as attractive as you want.
All good sci-fi movies are about ideas.
Surrogates is about feeling, and how at the end of the day the main characters couldn't connect through their avatars. Surrogates is an allegory of the Whacko Jacko world that is Hollywood.
Unfortunately the movie missed the point.
A few years ago we saw shock and awe in Iraq; the first broadly remote controlled battle. If all you have to do is push a button, how much more likely will countries be willing to wage war when causalities may merely comprise of a remote control fighter pilot spilling coffee over himself in an office in Utah while he's bombing some far off country.
Jumping into bed with a robotic surrogate is less risky than jumping into bed with a flesh and blood self. Living out your Grand Theft Auto fantasies would also be risk free. Would we not seek ever more extremes if we inhabited and socialised through robotic avatars?
Do we need to feel or have some anticipation of emotional or physical pain in order to make moral choices? Would morality be watered down?
While I enjoyed Surrogates it did not push the envelope and explore the emotional disconnects which technology is bringing with it. Pity.