Voices in the Uncanny Valley

Marcello Sachs '10, English 65, The Cyborg Self, Brown University (Fall 2006)

You drive across the intersection and then turn right into the CVS parking lot. Once you enter the store, you begin looking for where the contact lens solution is. You pass through a couple of aisles, and only then remember that there are actually signs indicating the content of the aisles. You walk over to the aisle with the sign that says "eye care" located near the pharmaceutical counter.

As you search for the particular brand you use, you overhear a conversation between a customer and a pharmaceutical assistant. You can't really hear exactly what they're saying, but you can discern the tone pretty well. And the tone is pretty serious; of course, any conversation concerning prescription drugs should be a serious one, but still, this conversation seems a bit different. The two also seemed a bit self-conscious: it appears as though they are somewhat wary of your proximity.

Lean in closer?

No; that would be pretty rude. Besides, you're at a freakin' CVS. Get your contact solution and get on with your life.

Course Website cyborg Body & Self Literature

Last modified 31 December 2006