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October 17th, 2017

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New World Order

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published Nov. 17, 2015

 New World Order

At a September convention on ethical issues involving computers, a researcher at Britain's De Montfort University decried the development of devices that might permit human-robot sex. Though no human would be "victimized," the researcher warned that such machines (some already in service) will exacerbate existing "power imbalances" between men and women and pave the way for more human exploitation. One critic challenged, offering that such robots would be no more demeaning to women than, say, vibrators. However, the researcher ominously warned that there may someday be robots resembling children, marketed for sex. (A September USA Today dispatch from Tokyo reported that the company SoftBank had banned sex, via its user agreement, with its new 4-foot-tall human-like robot -- even though "Pepper" features nothing resembling genitalia.) [Washington Post , 9-15-2015] [USA Today, 9-29-2015]

Thailand's "Last Resort Rehab" at the Wat Thamkrabok Temple about 100 miles north of Bangkok resembles a traditional drug-detox facility (work, relaxation, meditation) -- except for the vomiting. At the "Vomit Temple," Buddhist priests mix a concoction of 120 herbal ingredients that are nasty, according to the temple's methamphetamine addicts interviewed for a recent Australian TV documentary. Said one, of the rehab agenda: "Vomiting is at 3 p.m. every day. Foreigners must vomit for the first five days. The vomiting is intense." [International Business Times (London), 9-29-2015]

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