Wayne Holland: The Irrational Universe


... future's path ... February 15, 2007


Did you happen to catch the animated production on the Sci-Fi channel a while back called Tripping the Rift? I was more impressed by the "babe" than anything else. They called her Six, obviously satirically referring to Seven of Nine (Star Trek Voyager). She bore the appearance of a sort of amalgam of Raquel Welch and Jeri Ryan, the actress who played Seven.



Which of course steers me to the subject of computer animation. I am fascinated by its ever-increasing sophistication. It is becoming more and more difficult to distinguish it from the real thing. I think I really started noticing it at my first go round with Final Fantasy. I could not help notice that I was more spellbound by the animation than the movie per se.

I have seen some animations recently that could easily fool people from the past if they could somehow come forward in time and experience them (Polar Express, for example).

Because it is happening in our own time, we are keeping up with its development, so we are of course able to make the distinction. But the time is coming, and very soon, I believe, when even we will not be able to tell the difference, at least at first glance. Maybe, when we take a real close look at it, we might be able to make the distinction, but I wouldn't bet on it.

The mind races in wonderment over the whole thing. Will actors some day be replaced by animations? And if actors, why not other people as well? Like in the sports world. Do we really have to have flesh-and-blood athletes? Have you seen the computer games lately? The animated jocks are looking more and more like real people every year. Is there a limit to all this?

Could you "get off" with an animated babe? I got a feeling you could, especially if she looks anything near as tantalizing as that Six character on Tripping the Rift.

And even she could be improved. As good as her animation is now, it is easy to see that she could be even further enhanced, to the point where you might have a hard time making out the difference between her the real thing.

You can do things with animations that you cannot do in real life, things that you know you want to do, like have sex with an unlimited assortment of animated sex toys. You can call them sex cyborgs if you want. Makes no difference to me what you call them. They are still sex toys.

If you are into sports, you can have athletes designed to your desired specs and pit them against someone else's.

If you wanted to, you could just have an animated companion, someone simply to talk to.

In a word, animation has the power to give us an irresistible form of control. That alone will compel us to keep on improving it, till we reach the point where we will not be able to tell the difference between a computer animation and a real person.

And that really makes me wonder. Is it possible that we are computer animations ourselves? If Someone made us (as in the proverbial Almighty), it is entirely possible to view ourselves as the equivalent of a computer animation, especially from the perspective of the Maker.

It is something that we would have in common with a computer animation. We would both be things that were made, as opposed to beings that simply grew or naturally evolved.

It kinda puts a whole new slant on the God/creation/evolution debate, now doesn't it?

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