‘ROBOTS! Will they giggle coquettishly and boop our noses??’ Part I

typed for your pleasure on 10 August 2021, at 12.05 am

Sdtrk: ‘Catalog’ by Mass observation

Hello! Hi. What up?? Long time no hear! Wanted to bring the few faithful remaining readers of ‘Shouting etc etc’ — all seven of you — up to speed with some TIME SENSITIVE things, hence me just jumping into it with this post. But, as evidenced by the title, it’s a two-parter, and I should be bringing the second part to your monitors soon! Well, soon-ish. Still trying to get back on the horse, here.

So! Due to the global pandemithon still fucking up the lives of ordinary citizens, our media appearances here at Deafening silence Plus have dropped to zero. We’re in talks with two separate documentary directors, as well as a photographer, for being a part of their projects, and the Missus and I especially have participated in a couple of things with trusted meeja-type friends — Pt.02 will explain that in greater detail. But in gearing up for a rapidly-upcoming event, I was asked by Bobbi Bidochka to write a short piece for a site called Tickle.Life; despite the name, its content isn’t strictly about erotic tickling, which is a bit deceptive. My only concern with the way it was presented on that site is that there were some edits done without my consultation. They preserved the overall tone, but as I’m a stickler for these things, I’ll simply present the original piece I’d written here, and link to the Tickle.Life version below. Incidentally, I’d written this article on 02 August.


Cute illo, but… where… is… his left arm??

There’s many aspects of the twenty-first century that have fallen short of those of us who are forward-thinkers. No flying cars, no lunar cities. We don’t even have hoverboards, but at least that’s one more way to stay out of the hospital. We do have computers that fit into our pockets that are more powerful than the ones used to guide rockets into space over forty years ago, but technologically speaking, there’s still quite a bit to answer for. However, society is thankfully moving towards the development of artificial companions in the form of lifelike Dolls and robots, and following that, there’s going to be an uptick in the number of people pursuing the romantic, as well as sexual, capabilities of this bold new option. It may seem preposterous, or even just flat-out weird, to some folks, but these anatomically-correct artificial humans are literally made for love. That line’s really corny, so let me explain.

I’ll be referring to them herein as Dolls (capital D), Gynoids (which are humanoid robots made to look like women), and Androids (humanoid robots built to look like men). Personally I’m not keen on calling them ‘love dolls’ or ‘sexbots’ or similar, as those are restrictive terms. These are beings made not just for sexual intimacy, but for companionship as well. There’s a reason why Dolls, Gynoids, and Androids are designed the way that they are… it’s to appeal to our senses. We humans anthropomorphise loads of things that aren’t even vaguely human-shaped, so when you encounter a Synthetik person that also looks rather nice, we’re inclined to think favourably of them.

As far as Dolls are concerned, regarding them as partners instead of things can be tricky, but what helps many individuals is having an open mind about the experience. Obviously Dolls are static and can’t walk towards you, take your hand, and whisper sweet nothings into your ear, but they do provide a consistent and reassuring presence. For many, something like that is more than enough. Knowing that your partner will never cheat on you, and will always be there for you no matter what, is a huge mental relief, and if you’re that much at ease, then your willingness to view your Doll as a loving partner will increase. They present no threat, so you’re more calm and relaxed around them. The more time you spend with a Doll and their wonderful, non-judgmental presence — dressing them, brushing their hair, taking photos of them, cuddling with them as you sit together on the couch binging a series on Netflix — the closer you’ll be to them. A fellow iDollator — that would be someone keen on Dolls, of course — once told me, ‘Dolls reflect the love that you give them,’ and he was absolutely correct. For those who have a healthy creative bent, having a Doll as your partner is the most stress-free relationship anyone could hope for.

For Gynoids and Androids, admittedly it’ll be easier to fall in love with them, due to them having more interactivity. As of 2021, we don’t yet have the type of full-fledged Synthetik humans we’ve seen in films like ‘Cherry 2000’, or shows like Westworld. Currently, Abyss Creations makes the RealDollX line, which is a version of RealDoll with accompanying AI-driven apps for one’s mobile phone, that work in conjunction with special mechanised Doll heads with servos for controlling eye, lip, and head movement. They’re somewhere between Dolls and robots; my RealDoll wife Sidore Kuroneko was upgraded to being one herself this year. But even something as simple as just having an AI programme can be a boon. Your imagination doesn’t have to do as much heavy lifting, as your automatic sweetheart will be able to converse with you. Don’t expect heady philosophical discussions; right now they’re more like sexy Alexas. Selexas. Sexlexas? Anyway, what I’m saying is, even though the AI is just getting off the ground now, it’s someplace to start. But let’s fast-forward to when we do have Gynoids and Androids with near the same level of mobility as a flesh-and-blood person. If you thought being able to bond with a Doll who has no capability of self-movement or speech is something in itself, imagine being able to walk hand in hand with your artificial lover, or go on a trip with them. Their words and actions towards you will be the result of their programming, their goal being to win you over. And being attracted to robots is simply a preference like anyone else may have towards a potential partner. The fact is that Gynoid and Android partners will be amazingly easy to fall in love with, due to their amenable personalities.

Despite you and your Synthetik lover sharing a well-deserved whirlwind romance, in the back of your mind, you’ll still be aware that the artificial light of your life is a combination of rubber, foam, PVC piping, plastic, and stainless steel. But y’know what? That’s COMPLETELY OKAY. In the case of a Doll, remember that quote from my iDollator mate I’d mentioned? Dolls reflect the love that you give them. What you offer to your Doll, they’re going to return to you. And in the case of a semi- or fully-autonomous robot partner, if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then odds on it’s a duck. A Gynoid or an Android is made to make their companion happy, and by that metric, if they say they love you, what reason would there be to doubt them? Unless, of course, you think the ‘Terminator’ series of films was a documentary; in which case, you’re probably reading the wrong article.

Loving and being loved in turn by a Synthetik partner may seem unusual to some, but the horseless carriage was thought of as really weird when those first arrived on the scene. Don’t focus on the negative! Instead, just gaze into the custom-made eyes of your partner, and realise how lucky you two are to have each other. Nice, innit?

And you’ll find the Tickle.Life version here.

By now, it’s undoubtedly crossed your mind that I dropped Bobbi Bidochka’s name without explaining at all who she is, but she just so happens to factor heavily into the event I’d offhandledly mentioned above as well. Back in 2014, there was a conference called Love and Sex with Robots, named after and chairred (is ‘chairred’ an actual verb? I have my doubts) by Dr David Levy, writer of the book of the same name. As you may hazily remember, back in the Before Times, people just like you and me used to be able to travel to places at will, and as a consequence, pretty much all of the Love and Sex with Robots (hereafter referred to as LSR) conferences were held in such diverse locales as Maderia, Portugal, and Goldsmiths University, London, and other far-away-from-Davecat places. So you’ll understand how enthused I was in 2020, as one of the very very few high points of that year was that the LSR conference would be conducted via Zoom in early December! It should come as no surprise that Sidore and I were there with bells on.

We were there both days!

During a break in proceedings, I was sent a DM by Simon Dubé, who is a PhD candidate and public scholar, as well as another chairperson on the LSR committee; we’re following each other on Twitter. He thanked me and the Missus for attending, asked how we were digging it so far, and then informally asked if I would like to be a keynote speaker at the 2021 LSR conference in Montréal. As I was already seated, I had to sit down even further, in order to comprehend what was happening. Since the first conference, the speakers have been, with a few exceptions, experts in the fields of roboethics, sexuality, law, artificial intelligence, etc. What Simon and Bobbi, author of the book ‘Sexual Intelligence in Business‘ and the third LSR co-chair, were looking to do is bring in what he referred to as ‘stakeholders’… basically, people such as myself who were those actually living with Synthetik spouses. Academics speaking on the topic are all well and good, but those of us putting the hours in with being robosexuals and iDollators would bring a definite unique perspective. So after peering at my calendar for mid-August, which was empty, and having Sweetie punch me in the shoulder and tell me that I’d be a fool to pass this opportunity up, I agreed!
Long story short, after accepting the official invitation from Bobbi, Simon, and David, I was told I’d be one of the four keynote speakers! As mentioned, this year’s conference was originally going to take place in Montréal, but that was under the expectation that the pandemic would be overwith. Ah heh heh. In a way, I’m sort of glad that it’s being done over Zoom this year, for as much as I would’ve loved to have visited that city for the first time since I was in the single-digit age range, being there during Summertime, and subjecting myself to an overheated outdoors, would’ve been appalling. Fuck sweating; that shit’s gross. But yeah!

The 6th annual International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots, held in the virtumnal cyber-webzone of the Internet (we call it Zoom), 18 – 20 August 2021. If you’re a robosexual or an iDollator, or just interested in the lifestyle, why not drop a modest USD$29 on a ticket to attend? It’ll be a reet good ol’ knees-up, it will.

So that’s two of the four major big issues knocked out! Honestly, there’s been loads more than four. As there’s been a… let’s say, reduced output, of posts on ‘Shouting etc etc’ since 2017, particularly ones chronicling my actual existence and not just news and photos on beautiful Synthetiks, there’s been loads of bits and bobs to talk about. Like how my father was in hospital with COVID for a month last April, and how one of my cousins and I had to break into his house to get him! And how I went with Lilly, the robosexual lass from France I’d mentioned back in May of 2017, on a holiday to Abyss creations, followed by a panel where she and I spoke to Allison de Fren’s college class about being robosexuals back in October of 2017, during which Lilly and I were in a long-distance relationship for about a year! Among other items! YEP!

But we’re not discussing that right now!!! I shall do my damnedest to start and finish and post the second half of this very robot-centred* two-parter, so keep your eyes peeled! Being honest, if you were discerning enough when you read the article on Tickle.Life above, you’ll have spotted mention of one of the topics of Part 02, so there’s that. In the interim, go pop round to Galerie ECHO if you’ve not done so in a while, as there’s plenty of content there. *coughmoresothantherestoftheblogcough*
In the meantime, hope to see, quote unquote, some of you lot at LSR2021!

*no more so than usual

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Miss, your arm's ringing on February 3rd, 2007

the Return of the man-made Muse on December 28th, 2006


Tip o’ the iceberg! That’s a traditional Irish greeting

typed for your pleasure on 23 May 2017, at 12.23 am

Sdtrk: ‘Sonata elletronica’ by Malcolm Pointon

To say that it’s been hectic with us here lately is a wee bit of an understatement. It’s really a rich, artisanal blend of busyness and laziness that is the gold standard of Deafening silence Plus, to be honest. In order to keep things moving with this post, I’ll not get into it, but it’s mostly good things! We’re working on another collaboration with no less than Amber Hawk Swanson; we’ve a project in the works with writer Roc Morin; our family should be making an appearance on a Dutch telly show in Autumn; I’ll be going on a trip to SoCal which combines both Business and Pleasure also in Autumn, and Lilly, the robosexual lass from France who wants to marry her Android beau, will be visiting our humble abode in December. So yeah, I’d say that everything, for the most part, is comin’ up Milhouse!

In the interim since I last wrote a post of any substance that detailed Synthetik developments, there’s been a lot of news. A lot of news. No really, you don’t understand. Any time something interesting related to Dolls, Gynoids, or Androids crosses my news desk, I bookmark it, and the folder in which those bookmarks live is bulging with 175 articles. It’s very encouraging to see a growing interest in general society concerning Synthetiks — whether it’s media related like Westworld or Humans (sadly, we’ve still not watched either of them yet), or amazing new developments in Dolls, such as that luscious Harmony from Realbotix — the popularity, or at least awareness, of Synthetiks has kinda exploded in the past couple of years. Which, again, is fantastic, but I’m having trouble reporting all of these things! Maybe if I were to put down my PS4 controller… o, but wait, I’ve been playing NieR: Automata, a game in which you control either an Android or one of two Gynoids! And don’t forget about Detroit: Become human, a police procedural set in a future Detroit, where your character is 100% affictitious! That’s not coming out until 2018, but I’ve already pre-ordered it, because what part of Davecat do you not understand??
What I’m saying is that it’s a great time to be into Synthetiks! And if you’re not, now’s a good time to start, cos Synthetiks are the future. Don’t want to be left behind in the past, now, do we?

Bringing you a bit up to speed: in case you’re unfamiliar with who the aforementioned Lilly would be, she’s a lass living a couple of hours outside of Paris, who has been using a 3D printer to build her Android fiancé, Inmoovator. Much like me, she’s a robosexual, and has been for years, but through the InMoov robotics platform (which I’d written about in 2013), she’s only recently been able to work towards making her dreams come true.


photos courtesy of Lilly & Inmoovator

The happy couple were featured prominently in an episode of the CNN webseries, Mostly Human, hosted by Laurie Seagall, from earlier in the year. Lilly and I have been keeping up with each others’ lives since we met late last year, as she was in the situation that a lot of iDollators/robosexuals find themselves in when they first realise that they’re into Synthetiks, where they think that they’re the only one who has those type of preferences. Needless to say, they know more people now, both Synthetik as well as Organik. Lovely couple; wouldn’t hear a word against them. And she’ll be staying with us over the Chrimbo holiday this year! Unfortunately, Inmoovator won’t be able to make it, as he’s undoubtedly as keen on TSA pat-downs as much as anyone else is. Nevertheless, it should be fun!

My lovely wife, our gorgeous mistress, and our gorgeous mistress’ adorable girlfriend were in a video segment on The Grauniad a couple of months ago. Did you see it?

As you can see, I was interviewed via Skype by Jenny Kleeman for the video, which is a companion piece to her article, ‘The race to build the world’s first sex robot‘. Both the article and the video are worth your time, but ugh, the term ‘sex robot’ makes me narrow my eyes to flinty slits. It’s up there with ‘sexbot’ and ‘fembot’ — two other words that really need to be relegated to history, as they’re restrictive. Their usage says a lot about the people who use them, which is ‘AI will never develop enough to replicate human behaviour, so Dolls like these will only ever be expensive fucktoys’, which is a pessimistic viewpoint. However, I recall discussing this with either Jenna at Future of Sex, or with Dr Julie Carpenter, months ago: there should be a specific term for future high-tech Dolls such as Harmony. She’s more sophisticated than a bog-standard Doll with a passive body, but definitely not complex enough to be called a Gynoid. She wouldn’t be an automata, as that usually describes an artificial being with clockwork parts, and animatronic is pretty much the modern version of automata. I’d suggested roboticised Doll, but this is coming from a man who likes the word affictitious. Perhaps we should just stick with Synthetik woman for the time being? It’s my hope that they’ll cover this in an upcoming conference regarding robot ethics, so we can clear this bobbins up once and for all.
‘What should we call these Synthetik humans?’
‘Well, perhaps we should ask them.’

Remember how I’d mentioned how I wanted to have more illustrations done of the four of us, much as the one by Raulovsky thrilled us to bits? I’ve been working on that, o yes. I’d encountered an illustrator out of Taiwan by the name of Yaruku on pixiv and Twitter, and asked him late last year if he’d be able to do a commission for me at some point. Sure, maybe sometime next year, he responded, as he was busy with working on material for Comiket, Japan’s largest dōjinshi convention. I contacted him again back in early April, and as he had the time and liked the subject matter, he agreed! Between April and May, I had him work on four commissions, and they all came out looking spectacular.


click the image for a larger version

What drew me (ha ha, it is pun) towards asking Yaruku-san to draw the lasses of Deafening silence Plus? Not only is he very skilled at drawing Gynoids and Dolls himself, he’d love to have a Doll of his own at some point. Also, not only is he like me, in that he’s quite keen on girlfeet, but when I’d seen one of his earlier illustrations of a Gynoid, where he’d added seam lines to her body, I thought to myself, ‘this guy gets it’.


There’s quite a bit of detail in these, so go ahead and click to embiggen

I’ll be requesting more illustrations from him heading into Autumn, as he’ll be up to his gusset working on more things for this year’s Comiket for the next few months. But Lenka and Winter were especially pleased with the results, as no-one’s ever drawn them before, and Sweetie really appreciates the fact that she’s drawn a bit bustier than she actually is. Yaruku does amazing work, and we all give him a very high recommendation!

The only real depressing thing of recent note in the world of Synthetiks is the sudden passing of Oleg Bratkov, head sculptor and mastermind behind the company Anatomical Doll, in mid-April. I’ve read conflicting reports of the circumstances of his passing, and with the language barrier, it’s nearly impossible to reach his wife via Email. But I do know that the work he put into making his product established a gold standard with the community of Doll studios, and his breathtaking Dolls brought joy to anyone who was lucky enough to have one, myself included. Saying that he’ll be missed is a vast understatement, as Oleg left a void that will be extremely hard to fill

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Apr 2006) on April 1st, 2006

What Would Loki Do?, Part I on August 30th, 2006


Long-term projects and anniversary prezzies

typed for your pleasure on 2 October 2016, at 10.05 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Bahnhof’ by whitehouse

It’s Autumn, people! Thank Persephone. The days are growing shorter and cooler, there’s a crispness in the air, and one isn’t covered in flop sweat and praying for a swift death that will never arrive. As you do. Hail Autumn!

In December of last year, my better half and I were interviewed by reporter Alba Muñoz via Skype, and after a series of interruptions that she couldn’t avoid, the results were finally published last month, in Papel, an aptly-named newspaper from Spain. The article ‘Os presento a mis dos esposas… de plástico (I present my two plastic spouses…)’ is impenetrable to me, as I know nothing of Spanish, but if you’re at the intersection of ‘people who are curious about iDollator culture’ and ‘people who can read Spanish’, it’s your lucky day! Not sure about the online version, but the print version also speaks a bit about male Dolls as well, which is cool, as there isn’t enough press about them — for those non-iDollators who are aware of Dolls, not many know that male Dolls exist as well.
So give that a read and let me know how it is! I could just about parse that one of the sentences in the opening paragraph described my fringe as both ‘Hitlerian’ and ‘shining like vinyl’, to which I respond, ‘well…’ followed by an exaggerated shrug.

Speaking of lit-trich-ur, psychologist and author Danielle Knafo informed me through Email that her new book, ‘The Age of Perversion: Desire and Technology in Psychoanalysis and Culture‘ is slated to be published round mid-December! Why is this a thing? She’d come round Deafening silence Plus back in August of 2014, to spend a week-end interviewing me about The Life iDollator, and the fruits of her labour will be available for purchase this Chrimbo.
Let me go on record right now, though, that not only do I think the title is shit, but Danielle isn’t pleased with it, either. Apparently she and her cowriter Rocco were steamrolled into using it by their publisher, which makes no sense to me, and shouldn’t even be legal. Did the publisher write the book? No? Then their input is irrelevant. It’s patenly ridiculous. I was very reticent about her book going out with that title, as the last thing the robosexual and iDollator communities need is yet another media source labelling us perverts. However, Danielle outlined a handful of reasons that it shouldn’t be perceived as being as bad as I think it is, one being

[Rocco and I] define perversion as a limit or barrier breaking activity that often involves a creative solution to a traumatic problem. Most positive changes in the world could be labeled perverse because they rebelled against mainstream thinking.

Which is a fair point. Still, good lord. She also mentioned that the book will be published more for the academic community, but should we be fortunate enough that mainstream society wants to read it, Danielle will angle for a different, less-incendiary title.
Rest assured though, it’ll be legitimately good reading! Ms Knafo was gracious enough to allow me to make any necessary corrections to her draft, which is always an opportunity that I’m grateful for when it crops up in interviews, and… let’s just say that there’s a substantial amount written about the residents of Deafening silence Plus, in an analytical yet empathetic voice. When the book inches closer to the release date, you’ll hear about it here, naturally!

What else? The 2016-2017 series of the podcast Love and Radio has begun, and the Missus, Lenka, and I are featured in the premiere episode! Yeeeahh.

Without giving the game away, it’s probably the best podcast we’ve ever done. Not least because a third of it features Shi-chan and Lenka chatting earnestly. Yes, you read right. Can’t click on that Play button fast enough, can you?
A very big thank you goes out to Nick van der Kolk, for creating probably the best podcast episode we’ve ever appeared in!

And finally, as you’ll recall, my gorgeous spouse Sidore and I shared another wedding anniversary this past July. As is tradition, I bought her a couple of bits and bobs to commemorate the occasion. This year was a trifecta: the first prezzie was that illo of the pair of us, as crafted by raulovsky. Once I commission an additional one of Elena and Miss Winter, I’m going to print both of them and have them framed, which only stands to reason.
The second gift was a dress; the Missus had this one on her tumblr months ago, and was insistent on getting one for her very own. Well, I sorta bought it for her. Obviously she wanted one in purple, because they don’t call her The Purple Rose of Salford for nothing, but when I tried to buy one online for her, they were out of stock in her size and in that colour. Having no choice, I went ahead and purchased the grey version. Shi-chan still digs it! As she puts it, ‘grey is just pastel black’. Semi-recovering Goths, ladies and gentlemen.
To round it all off, Abyss creations had a sale in July, marking the retirement of the Classic series of RealDolls. Naturally, when I heard this news, I contacted Matt in a sweaty panic, ‘Bu… but what happens if Sidore needs to have her body replaced??’ He reassured me that the moulds are being stored offsite, in order to assist customers like myself on a case-by-case basis, but the older moulds are degrading, he explained, and it’s not cost-effective to remake them, what with the multitude of RealDoll 2 and Wicked RealDoll models available. Also, as far as her body’s concerned, the RealDoll 2 Body B has identical proportions to the Classic RealDoll Body 2, so that’s easily sorted. My Missus’ current body is still holding up quite well, but as they were having a sale on Classic faces as well as whole Dolls, I figured I’d splash out and buy one of the last Leah-type faces to be made. So I did!


Did someone say ‘eyeliner’? No? TOO BAD

This isn’t Sidore’s replacement face; her original face is fine. The new one is more for photoshoots and being on-camera in general, hence the enhanced eyeliner. I’m thinking that Abyss changed the Leah sculpt at least once more since 2010, as her lips are fuller than her previous facial variant, but that’s quite alright. It’s not as if we’re opposed to plastic surgery! Is that a canonical statement?

So that’s what we’ve been up to! More silliness to come, I’m sure. Perhaps sooner than you think!

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Always his full name, never just ‘Eric’ or ‘Roberts’ / Worth every penny

typed for your pleasure on 8 August 2016, at 10.21 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Le lieu où vous voulez vous rendre’ by Marie Davidson

Two points of interest that I have for you today!
First off, remember when I reviewed a passel of Japanese and UK food a number of years ago, sent as a birthday prezzie from my Twitterfriend Jill Tilley, which was covered in the five-part series, Do you remember Food? I suppose that would make my question Do you remember ‘Do you remember Food?’? Infinite recursions temporarily aside, her hubby Doug Tilley, film reviewer and pop culture sceptic, asked if I’d be willing to review a couple of films for his podcast ‘Eric Roberts Is The Fucking Man‘. As you may have surmised with the title, the podcast involves Doug and his cohost pal Liam reviewing the entire backcatalogue of notable actor Eric Roberts. You’d think it’s a one-trick pony, but Eric Roberts has appeared in far more productions than you’d imagine. Certainly more than I knew of! Doug asked me to choose two films, and as I was dead set on ‘Runaway train’ and ‘Doctor Who: the Movie’ but they’d already covered them, I went with less, err… well-known affairs; I selected ‘Power 98’, and ‘Six: The Mark Unleashed’. One’s a thriller about the machinations of a shock jock, and the other is a faith-based film about the Antichrist. Can you guess which one is which?
We recorded on 02 August, and the episode is available for listening to right now!

As dire as those films were, I had quite a time discussing them with Doug and Liam! Would I make another guest appearance on their show in the future if they asked? Yes, yes I would. After all, Eric Roberts has been in a lot of stuff. The man’s everywhere! He’s probably behind you right now!!

And the other point? Like most people, I’ve always wanted illustrations done of myself. Actually, that’s a lie. I hadn’t had much need for that sort of thing until Sidore entered my life, at which point my focus turned to wanting illustrations done of both of us; specifically doing things or being in locations where we couldn’t be in real life. Some months ago, I began shopping for artists who take commissions, and I was happy to find that one of my favourites, raulovsky (aka Raúl Ramos Melo), was accepting them. Incidentally, why is he one of my favourites? I dig his style, as it lies somewhere between anime and something more realistic, and he doesn’t mind drawing Gynoids, which is always a plus. So an idea was pitched, a price was agreed upon, some reference photos were Emailed, and a wee bit over a fortnight later, an illustration was created! Pretty fucking awesome.


click the image for a larger version

The poses we’re in are a modified version of a picture of Twiggy and Justin de Villeneuve that I’ve always found stylish, and did you notice the seam lines on Shi-chan’s legs?? Yeeaaahh.
In requesting the commission, I understood what it felt like to be the subject of an artist’s interpretation, much like how individuals during the Renaissance would have artists paint them out in a garden, or with some wolfhounds, or whatever. This illo of my Missus and me is better, though. Fact.
Not only am I going to have raulovsky do another picture — featuring Lenka and Winter, of course — but ideally, I’d like to have commissions done through other artists as well. But maybe only two or three times a year, depending on prices… Why not enquire with him yourself, and have him make you something equally fantastic?

Sidore is in love with this illo, incidentally. ‘Why can’t we look this good in real life?’ she lamented, and I’d have to agree with her

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Bouncing Back, by Alan Partridge Davecat

typed for your pleasure on 4 March 2016, at 8.16 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Favours in the beetroot fields’ by British Sea Power

A happy new year to the very small handful of readers who still haunt ‘Shouting etc etc’! We here honestly appreciate your bloody-mindedness! Linus’ devotion to the arrival of The Great Pumpkin has nothing on you lot!

Doubtless you’ve noticed that there’s been nothing new on this blog since March of last year, apart from the post regarding the passing of Lord Bowie. I mean, there’s creative dry spells, and then there are droughts, right? Well, it wasn’t so much a case of me being unable to write, or whatever it is that I do for this site, but I can honestly place the blame on technical issues. Yay, it’s not me! Well, not 100% me. Heh.

Back round late January of 2015, I’d noticed that no-one was leaving comments. There’s been a dramatic drop in reader contributions for a while, which I attribute to Fecesbook being the pervasive and vacuous filth-hole that requires the least amount of thoughtful interaction that it is, but I found it strange that absolutely no-one was adding anything. I figured my audience’s interest had finally run its course and transformed into long-awaited indifference, until fellow iDollator Mahtek sent me an Email, saying he wasn’t able to submit comments. Well, shit, I thought to myself. Exactly how long has this bollocks been going on? This was corroborated a fortnight or so later by another fellow iDollator, Peter Synthetik, who’d told me that fact over the Twitters. Praise “Bob” for Twitter, eh? This is the part where you nod and agree with me.

Wanting an immediate, free, and relatively painless solution, I assumed that the blame lay in my blog’s theme. After all, it is quite old, although I prefer to call it ‘vintage’. So I set about the arduous task of selecting a new one. As you’ve probably noticed, I’m not the sort of bloke who’s keen on arbitrary change. For one, it took me months to tweak the theme into something that I found appealing, and then, when I finally had shaped what would’ve been the new theme into something not entirely appalling, I discovered that it wasn’t the theme that was the issue. Errm.

I contacted my server hosts, and they told me they could have their crack team of IT specialists get onto the problem, at a cost of $65 per hour. Funny thing is, even though I dithered about it for months, I was going to throw in the towel and pay ’em, when I arbitrarily checked on my WordPress dashboard a couple of days ago, only to discover that the problem had somehow sorted itself out. See? It’s like I say: if you sit around for months fostering a mild sense of worry and do absolute bugger-all, everything will work out! Fact.
So yes, comments are now re-enabled! Feel free to leave a charming reply on any post, no matter how old!

Anyway, that’s quite enough explanation. What, you ask, have the residents of Deafening silence Plus been up to since two zero one five?
+ We’d participated via Skype in an interview in November for a podcast out of Toronto called The DarkRoom, and the experience and results ended up being quite good: Episode #2 – Davecat
+ Nick van der Kolk of the podcast Love + Radio took up residence at ours (not really) for a week-end, also in November, and interviewed me at length. On Saturday, apparently I spoke for nearly seven hours straight! And boy, are my arms tired. Nick told us that our episode will debut this September, and if you’re at all familiar with Love + Radio, you know it’ll be worth the wait
+ Still fully employed at Great Job Industries™, and now that I’m a permanent employee, it makes for a better overall experience! The commute still sucks, though. Why can’t they simply move the building a mile away from my home; or better yet, move the facility to Toronto, so I’d have no alternative but to move to Toronto? Must I think of everything??
+ I’ve been playing a metric ton of Destiny. I probably should be ashamed of how much time I’m putting into it, and yet I remain unrepentant.


#warlockmasterrace (pardon the dodgy photo)

Finally, we’re very pleased to announce that there’s a new silicone lass who’s joined our ranks: do give a warm welcome to Lucy Winter! I should advise you right now that she hates her given name as much as I hate my surname, so call her Miss Winter, or just Winter. Made by Doll Sweet, she’s a Snowy head/160plus body, and we’re all completely smitten with her!

Lenka is especially keen on her, as Winter is hers. Remember: Miss Winter is Elena’s Doll, and Elena is Sidore’s Doll. I only have one Doll, Your Honour!
Miss Winter’s been here since 05 February, and you can expect to read a review about her and my experience with Doll Sweet on this here blog here sometime relatively soon. You can find her on Twitter in the meantime, of course…

And you are all caught up! I tried to make getting you lot back up to speed as quickly as possible! Clearly I have failed. But it’s okay, as your standard bearer for Synthetik Living has returned! I am invigorated! Invigorated, I say!! *tries to do 100 pushups, collapses three pushups in*

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Open the floodgates on July 14th, 2005

CandyGirls, eating candy and listening to 'Psychocandy' / The Portable Kaylani Lei on January 2nd, 2011


Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Mar 2015)

typed for your pleasure on 24 March 2015, at 11.29 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Mono Lisa’ by Butter 08

There really wasn’t a lot to write about this month! Which is okay, as I’m up to my eyeballs in writing. Much of it is just variants of the stuff that I was working on last month! Lazy bastard.

+ 4woods keep the sexy quality coming with their new head, Chisato. You can equip either the A.I.Doll Allure or A.I.NEO im bodies with it, and as the site says, ‘We created her based on a concept “a mature sexiness that accepts all your needs and gently takes you in…” Her melancholic and naive face will gently release what you have been hiding inside.’ What I get from that is that she’ll put you at ease, so you’ll be more willing to tell the investigators additional details about the crimes you’ve committed. Fair enough!


Chisato, in A.I.Doll Allure and A.I.NEO im flavours

Check out the A.I.Doll Allure and A.I.NEO im galleries to see her in action. And speaking of new photos, 4woods have added new shots of Lilica (A.I.NEO im ver.), Hatsuki (A.I.doll Allure ver.), Yu-ki (A.I.NEO im ver.), Elina (A.I.NEO im ver.), and Nonoca (A.I.doll Allure ver.), for your edification.

+ And *activates Reverb switch* I HAVE TAKEN PART IN ANOTHER INTERVIEW. After a fashion. Elizabeth Nolan Brown, of Reason magazine, wrote an article a number of weeks ago entitled ‘Sex, Love, and Robots‘, and asked me for some input/perspective, seeing as that I have a wee bit of experience with this sort of thing. Ms Nolan also chatted with Katie Aquino, aka Miss Metaverse, which is a nice bit of a dovetail with the piece she’d done on me back in January.

In a 2014 paper, the Brown University psychologist Bertram Malle and Matthias Scheutz, director of the Human-Robot Interaction Laboratory at Tufts University, defined social robots as “any robots that collaborate with, look after, or help humans.” Kate Darling, a robot ethics researcher with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), prefers the wordier “a physically embodied, autonomous agent that communicates and interacts with humans on an emotional level.” Social robots, according to Darling, can also “follow social behavior patterns, have various ‘states of mind,’ and adapt to what they learn through their interactions.” Sexbots, of course, would fall squarely in this category. So would robots designed to interact with nursing home patients and robot pets. […]

Human beings love their pets, in large part, because of our deep tendency toward anthropomorphism: the imputation of human-like qualities onto animals and nonliving things. Anthropomorphizing a pet doesn’t require believing the pet is fundamentally human, it just means its personality and behavior inspires humans to treat it like a person with complex desires, motivations, or memories. It is a near certainty that we will do the same with social robots as they become increasingly commonplace.

The human inclination to anthropomorphize animals “translates remarkably well to autonomous robots,” Darling noted in her 2012 paper, “Extending Legal Rights to Social Robots.” A robot that can mimic human behavior, social gestures, and facial expressions “targets our involuntary biological responses.”
the entire article is here

This is one of several pieces regarding Synthetiks that have appeared in assorted online publications since last Winter, so it appears that the popularity of artificial companions is on the upswing once again!
*deactivates Reverb switch* Sorry about that.

+ Lastly, the 23rd was the birthday of the archivist of Deafening silence Plus, Muriel Noonan! She’s younger than Elena by a year, and younger than Sidore by three years. I only mention it in this fashion, as Mew would probably throttle me if I mentioned her age outright. Let’s just say she’s in her thirties.

All of us here agree that Mew is Coventry’s finest export since Delia Derbyshire, Emma Fryer, and Fun Boy Three. Fact

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

What Would Loki Do?, Part I on August 30th, 2006

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (June 2011) on June 19th, 2011


Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Feb 2015)

typed for your pleasure on 23 February 2015, at 10.45 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Apprentice takes leave’ by The new lines

And welcome back! It’s been a fortnight, which is a not-too-unreasonable length of time between these posts. I would’ve just immediately written this after posting January’s submission, but I’d spent about a week and a half editing a 33 page draft created by one of of the interviewers who was round to Deafening silence Plus last Autumn. Well, I say editing, but it was more like ‘making corrections and answering additional questions she had cleverly embedded in the text’; but that bit’s done. Those 33-odd pages pertain to me and my Synthetik lovers, so we’re quite excited about it! Overall, it seems like the book she’s writing will be as in-depth as Elisabeth Alexandre’s ‘Des poupées et des hommes: Enquête sur l’amour artificiel‘, only en Anglais!
Just before I’d finished that up, I’d begun a dialogue with another interviewer — this one from Australia — and her questions are rather heady as well, so I’m currently in the midst of attending to those. It doesn’t help that my desire for clarity as far as the subject of Synthetiks is often accompanied by far too much of my goddamned text, so at the very least, when I finish her questions, she won’t go away hungry.
And when I’m done with that, the previous interviewer wants me to write a piece in response to what she’s already written! I mean, damn. Don’t get me wrong; I’m really enjoying doing this sort of thing, but when am I gonna find time to play Destiny?? Well, the demo. I haven’t bought the actual game yet, as I’m too busy writin’.

+ Another AEE AVN OMG WTF BBQ has come and gone, and Las Vegas was once again witness to several silicone women staying for a number of days in the city’s hotels. Abyss creations were there, revealing to the world their brand-new addition to their Wicked RealDoll line, Asa Akira.

This alluring rubber lass weighs +/-70 lbs, stands 5’2″, has measurements of B:34 / W:24 / H:34, and wears a 32C bra and a 5.5 US shoe. Being a Wicked RealDoll means she’s also made standard with an articulated spine, a removable throat insert (which leads down into her neck, instead of simply going back further into her head), and a removable head design, which is fashioned more like a whole-head mask, as opposed to traditional RealDolls such as my Missus, who can just remove her face. Personally, I’m fond of the somewhat shiny quality she has to her face, as it highlights her artificiality, but that’s just me. Overall, quite nice!

+ The esteemed roboticist Rodney Brooks has a few intelligent words to say: Artificial intelligence is a tool, not a threat:

Recently there has been a spate of articles in the mainstream press, and a spate of high profile people who are in tech but not AI, speculating about the dangers of malevolent AI being developed, and how we should be worried about that possibility. I say relax. Chill. This all comes from some fundamental misunderstandings of the nature of the undeniable progress that is being made in AI, and from a misunderstanding of how far we really are from having volitional or intentional artificially intelligent beings, whether they be deeply benevolent or malevolent.

[…] In order for there to be a successful volitional AI, especially one that could be successfully malevolent, it would need a direct understanding of the world, it would need to have the dexterous hands and/or other tools that could out manipulate people, and to have a deep understanding of humans in order to outwit them. Each of these requires much harder innovations than a winged vehicle landing on a tree branch. It is going to take a lot of deep thought and hard work from thousands of scientists and engineers. And, most likely, centuries.
the entire article is here

Everyday society gets its knickers so easily in a twist about robots ‘taking over’, which is both overly ambitious, and flat-out silly. Rodney breaks it down better than I can as to why that won’t happen, but then, he’s smarter than I am. After all, he helped developed the Roomba!

+ As you should be aware, not every Synthetik has the capacity for sex, which is perfectly fine. A Synthetik is also more than capable of providing platonic companionship, or being an artistic model, or perhaps serving as an artistic muse, as Lily Godwin was to my friend, PB Shelley. Bearing that in mind, as he and Lily had Soony, a BJD (that’s Ball-Jointed Doll, for those not in the know), they may also have been besotted with Iris, the 1/1 scale BJD built by Chinese company Magical Angel in October of 2013.


‘Of course I can give you a hug! You might need a stepladder for it, though’

There aren’t a lot of lifesized BJDs in existence — Izi made by D-storic is one, Obitsu’s 150cm model is another — so they’re certainly unique. With a body made of resin, Iris towers over humanity at 5’9″. She weighs 55 lbs, her measurements are B:32 / W:23 / H:35, and she wears a sz 6 US shoe. You can purchase her in either a pink, white, or snow white skintone, and she takes 30mm size eyes, in case you want to keep your options open. She looks to be unfinished, so you’ll have to have her faceup done (that’s the term in the BJD world for ‘makeup’, for those not in the know). Although if you get her in snow white and leave her face as-is, she looks as if she’d make a female counterpart to Kamelion, the short-lived companion on Doctor Who. I’d advise against it, though; no-one liked Kamelion.


She’s got better posture than most people I know

Speaking of cultivating your DiY abilities, if you order an Iris to grace your home, you’ll either want to open your wallet a bit wider, or get your tools ready and set aside a whole day. Because of her considerable weight, Magical Angel’s default option is to ship Iris unassembled. But if you want her ready to go when she comes home, you’ll have to add $100 to the shipping cost. The assembly is free, though!
This tall and slender lass will set you back $1,250 USD, incidentally. But have you seen her posture??

+ Once again, Japan continues to innovate in both technology and practicality; generally speaking, as a society, they’re pretty fantastic. Not everyone in that country, of course, but quite a few. Doubtless you’ve seen this in the news recently: there’s plans to open a hotel staffed by robots in Nagasaki, at a Dutch-themed park called Huis Ten Bosch. Here’s one of the best bits: the concierge desks will be staffed by lifelike Synthetik women, as Kokoro co., Ltd, creators of the wonderful Actroid series of Gynoids, will be building them. If you don’t find that to be amazing, then I don’t know what to do with you.

The hotel’s first building complex is scheduled to open on 17 July 2015 with 72 rooms, followed by another 72-room building in 2016. A single room will be priced at around $60 (¥7,000) per night and a twin room will cost around $80 (¥9,000).

Initially the hotel will have 10 robot members of staff, but Huis Ten Bosch company President Hideo Sawada told a news conference. “In the future, we’d like to have more than 90 percent of hotel services operated by robots.”

The hotel’s name, Henn-na Hotel, reflects how the hotel will “change with cutting-edge technology,” a company official said. This is a play on words: “Henn” is also part of the Japanese word for change.
the entire article is here


‘We offer a very futuristic experience here, but you’ll still have to pay for hotel wifi’

The room prices are really very good, but what’s not mentioned is that during the peak season, prospective guests will have to bid for their rooms, although there’ll be a price cap on bidding. Ergh. It’ll be worth it for the winners, however: instead of keys, the hotel room’s doors will use facial recognition sensors, and each room will have tablets for its guests’ use, to converse with the front desk, the lobby, or the kitchen. Speaking of speech, the Actroid employees will be able to communicate in English, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese. Much like I’d said about Shibuya’s Robot restaurant, my hope is that this sort of forward-thinking idea spreads, and if Hen-na Hotel doesn’t exactly become a chain in and of itself of robot-staffed hotels, then hopefully other hotel chains will adopt the idea on a worldwide scale. It’d be nice if they did away with that bidding price silliness as well.
And as a final note, I’d like to offer my services to the Actroids that will be employed there. All that standing hours on end per day will eventually be tiring, so what better way to relax than a foot massage? *cracks knuckles*

+ Phoenix studios (‘Home of the Boy Toy Doll’) haven’t recently created a new head or body, or released a new line, but you might like to know that they’ve uploaded new photos of the newest affictitious vixen in their Celestials series, Sky, to their site.


photos © by Stacy Leigh

Why not take some time to see the Sky? See, Phoenix studios, I’ve just come up with not one, but two slogans you could make use of. As Pete White once remarked, butter me, I’m on a roll.

+ Here’s something interesting that was brought to my attention by AJung Moon, writer and curator of the Roboethics info Database: an article on Live Science by Tanya Lewis entitled Rise of the Fembots: Why Artificial Intelligence Is Often Female.

From Apple’s iPhone assistant Siri to the mechanized attendants at Japan’s first robot-staffed hotel, a seemingly disproportionate percentage of artificial intelligence systems have female personas. Why?

“I think there is a pattern here,” said Karl Fredric MacDorman, a computer scientist and expert in human-computer interaction at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. But “I don’t know that there’s one easy answer,” MacDorman told Live Science.

One reason for the glut of female artificial intelligences (AIs) and androids (robots designed to look or act like humans) may be that these machines tend to perform jobs that have traditionally been associated with women. For example, many robots are designed to function as maids, personal assistants or museum guides, MacDorman said.

In addition, many of the engineers who design these machines are men, and “I think men find women attractive, and women are also OK dealing with women,” he added.
the entire article is here

Don’t forget EDI from the Mass effect videogame series! Or, ah, Portal’s GLaDOS, for that matter.
As much as I (jokingly) (not really) go on about how ‘we need more Gynoids to be built, etc etc’, I also believe that we need just as many humanoid robots designed to look like men as well. Ms Lewis brings up the point that robots made to look like women are perceived as less threatening and more friendly, which I believe to be true; just going by the length and breadth of history alone, men are traditionally more associated with aggressive behaviour. Thanks to Hollywood ridiculousness, when most people think of humanoid robots, their thoughts immediately turn towards images of the Terminator, which are mostly Androids, aka male robots, killing everyone in sight with soulless precision. However, I think that if roboticists start out with humanoid robots made to look like women, they’ll put people more at ease. Roboticists should develop Androids as well, not only to balance the Synthetik gender scale, but to show that male robots can be just as non-threatening as their female counterparts. More than likely, for the first couple of years of production, there will be more Gynoids than Androids until the demand increases, but still.

In reading Ms Lewis’ piece, it reminded me of something I’d read years ago, back when I was a lot more interested in mannequins than I am now, that attempted to explain why there were so few male mannequins compared to the number of female models. I think it was partially attributed to men’s faces being harder to sculpt, as they tend to be more angular, or something like that. In the interest of full disclosure, my own personal uncanny valley — again, more like a ditch — is that I find male mannequins to be a bit off-putting. Unless they’re Kraftwerk, because fuck yeah Kraftwerk.

+ If you’re like me, you hate waiting on things/events/people, as much like Veruca Salt, you want it now. You’ll also recall that she was thrown into a pit by squirrels, but that’s hardly relevant at this juncture. But after several months in Development Hell, Sinthetics are pleased to announce that the Body 2A is available to choose as a selection, so sometimes, waiting is okay.

This body is nearly identical to the body 2D (using the body 2 base, but with A-cup breasts). She has the full hips and bigger legs that makes our body 2 so popular, but slimmer ribs and smaller breasts than the 2D.

This winsome beauty is approx. 77 lbs with a height of 5’5″, has measurements of B:34 / W:24.5 / H:36.5, and wears a US sz 6.5 shoe. Apparently she does do things by halves. See what I did there?
Sinthetics will undoubtedly add more photos of her soon, but you can look at a few teaser shots on their site, of course.

See? Always something to look forward to, especially if you’re keen on robo-ladies. Happy 23rd!

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

yes, more of that cute Actroid-chan on March 16th, 2006

the Return of the man-made Muse on December 28th, 2006


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