When Grown-Ups Have Imaginary Friends https://nyti.ms/3eTjSkL
The contemplative indie Marjorie Prime is the latest in a long line of sci-fi films and TV shows that explore how we might date and love in the future
AI is the perfect sounding board for these modern anxieties about human connection, and 20th- and 21st-century films are filled with dystopian landscapes that showcase the loneliness of a world where intimacy is something you can buy. Read more (The Guardian)
Right now, you may find many things upsetting: You might be Zoomed out, missing your friends or mourning lost loved ones. “You’re really in the moment,” says Anne Wilson, a psychology professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario. “You’re living whatever’s negative and distressing.”
Temporal distancing is a way to “step outside of the unpleasant, immersed moment,” she says. To do this, imagine yourself in a later moment in time. A year from now, for example, we probably won’t still be living through the pandemic. By then, it will be mostly behind us, though much about society will have changed, and you’ll have a different perspective about it than you do now. “Thinking about ways things can get better — and that things will change, you will grow, you will learn from something that’s even unpleasant — can often give you a sense of optimism and hope,” Wilson says. Read more (Washington Post)
Now that the cultural resistance has been broken down, ‘Zoom surgery’ is likely to remain a feature of modern medicine. But during Covid-19 lockdowns, with travel restricted, doctors have not been able to work in other countries or share expertise with colleagues face to face. As a result, some of the cultural resistance among surgeons towards telemedicine has started to melt away. In 2020, there were ninefold and fivefold increases respectively in the number of users and procedures on Proximie’s platform. Read more (Financial Times)
We will see a shift in the way people play, work, learn or simply hang out in 2021. Some of this connection will move into the Metaverse, a digital place where people seamlessly get together and interact in millions of 3D virtual experiences. Early iterations of the Metaverse emerged in the 1980s with VPL Research’s DataSuit and Linden Lab’s Second Life in 2003. However, it started to feel very real in 2020 as several platforms have been envisioning – and building – their own versions of the Metaverse. Read more (Wired)
Coming off a year of innovation during the pandemic, Panera Bread is looking to go all-in on convenience technology in the future, with ghost kitchens, mobile kitchens, virtual catering, and redesigned drive-thru lanes already in the works, Panera Bread CEO Niren Chaudhary told Nation’s Restaurant News. Read more (Restaurant News)
Rich in tradition and material wealth, Japan’s reclusive youths are often completely uninterested in sex, relationships, or work.
The country’s youth – especially men – are seeking escape from the job and romance market. Video game addiction and shut-in adults (almost all male) make up a large part of what could have been Japan’s workforce. Suicide is rampant.
This may involve some unique Japanese cultural and economic factors, but the trend won’t be uniquely Japanese. This transition from productive nation to virtually reclusive, depressed, and aged nation is one that may be the natural course of the First World.
Artificial intelligence, more immersive virtual mediums, and continuing existential loss of purpose and direction. These factors are likely to drive many other rich First World nations into a solipsistic virtual escape. Read more (Dan Faggella)