Caution: Wet Water!

It's time for another rant, thanks to an article link from my recent muse, Sylvia.This article is another glimpse into the new era of our growing dependence on electronics. Just roll out the robots and let's be done with it! We can all officially retire into stupidity and worthlessness whilst the robots out-everything us. And then we can realize the error of our ways, rage against the machines, and rediscover our ability to actually do things on our own.

An excerpt from the article reads:

As the bikini turns 60, it’s entering the electronic age with a new model featuring a built-in alarm to warn wearers to get out of the sun -- and ease concerns that the scanty swimsuits damage the health.

The American Cancer Society advises that the best way to lower the risk of skin cancer, the most common form of the disease in humans, is to avoid too much exposure to the sun and other sources of ultraviolet light.

So Canadian company Solestrom has come up with a new bikini that goes on sale next month with a UV meter built into its belt and an alarm that beeps to tell wearers when to head to the shade.

“There’s so much concern about sun exposure and skin cancer that we saw the demand and designed something to be safe for the wearer,” Solestrom spokeswoman Emily Garassa said.

Garassa said the meter on the $190 bikini displays a level of UV intensity on a scale from 0 to 20. A person’s sensitivity to UV depends mainly on skin type, but generally three to five would be considered moderate strength, 8-10 very high and anything above 11 extreme.

People, please. I don't really know whom to rage against on this one. Is it the businesses who continue to create inventions that foster our other growing deficit (i.e., attention)? Is it the consumers who will buy anything because they have too much disposal income and blossoming tech addictions? Or is it the lawyers who perpetuate the ridiculous letigious nature of our lives?

Come on. I like to believe in the axiom of "treat people greatly and they will show themselves to be great." Is this line of thinking old and busted? Why must we pander to the least common denominator? Get some sun, then take your ass to the shade. And we're done. Next!

Ford wants to build cars that alert you when someone is in your blind spot. On our campus, all the busses beep when their turn signals are activated so people will know the bus is turning. God forbid pedestrians distract themselves from their Blackberry/iPod/cell phone/electronic voodoo trance of sensationalistic brain deadness and...(gasp) BE AWARE! No, we have to be distracted from our distractions by louder/brigther special effects.

I say we get rid of all these moron alerts and stick to the one absolute fact of this world. You want a warning, here it is:

I like to think of it as a catch-all.

Life is about making choices, not relegating responsibility to an object, especially when your life is at stake. We can't become too dependent on the ghost in the machine because it leads to idleness, assumption, and undermines critical thinking. We think we are eliminating human error, but we are simply replacing it with another kind - complacency. I'm all for convenience and progress, but I draw the line when common sense is undercut. Let's have faith in people again. Our humanity got us into this mess, so our humanity is what will get us out.


Allie D. said...

Preach it, brother!! Beautifully written and aptly put. I couldn't agree more.

On a note on those cars that beep to alert you to someone in your blindspot, I think Europe definitely got the ball rolling on that via Volvo, I believe it was. There are also cars designed over there that will park for you. They say that they won't flourish over here because we tend to be a more litigous society. Fuckin A- when the machine fails to think properly for us- WE SUE!

Jesus... Awesome graphic too, by the way.

kEnny said...

I'll avoid my usual Canadian vs. United-Statesian sunshine or bikini to skin area ratio jokes in this case and tell you straight away why I wouldn't want this bikini (if I were the type to wear one). The only way I would buy such a technically advanced piece of "swimwear" would be if it had an integrated iPod controller that could mute the iPod to indicate I was in danger of overexposure to the sun. Of course, it would be much more exciting if the clothing featured integrated controls, strategically placed for more exciting reactions. The fun part would be to see how over-toasted I might get in the long process of figuring out why I couldn't hear my music anymore!

Robert said...

It's a vast right-wing conspircy to get people to denounce Evolutionary Theory. If stupid people aren't allowed to be removed from the gene-pool the human race can never evolve into super-intellegent beings. Of course this could backfire on them if the number of stupid people outweighs the number of smart people. I guess they aren't too concerned about that because they all know in their hearts that the global war on terror is armaggedon and that Jesus will come soon to take them to heaven where the sinful act of sex and procreation is unnecessary and doesn't exist.

ramblergirl said...

It's stupidity on multiple levels, not the least of which is the fact that someone would pay almost $200 for something that could only generously be described as clothing. Sunscreen and a watch are cheaper, but in the end it's dignity that's truly priceless.

The Impotent Entrepreneur said...

Is the graphic yours? It'd be a great T-shirt. Cafepress can make your design into shirts, etc. Give it a go! I've done some, only to lose modest amounts each month (speaking of stupidity).