Archive for January 20th, 2011

Season 10 of American Idol launched tonight, and call me a pollyanna, but I have much optimism that this will be the most technologically advanced season of AI ever. From the Botox injections, to the Autotuned music of the guests, to the amazing graphics to the phenomenal cutting edge film editing technology, this year’s show has everything to provide you with the best entertainment that machines and not humans can offer.

You cannot argue that we are still celebrating an incredible century of scientific achievement when we saw breakthroughs in mathematics, chemistry, particle physics, computing, biology, industrial science, etc., and I believe these breakthroughs have naturally brought us here, to a new dawn of American potential that is Season 10 of American Idol. As the judges traveled through the heart of American commerce and industry–East Rutherford, N.J.– looking for the next person whose face will grace the Prospectus of a large military-industrial company’s media subsidiary, we were reminded again that America is built on innovation and ineluctable technological advance. From the opening graphics to the Terminator robot voice responsible for Miley Cyrus’ “Party In the USA,” American Idol is a revolutionary creation right up there with Rene Descartes’ automatons, the combustion engine, the atom smasher and recombinant bovine hormone. The show even uses very professional demographic studies based on statistical analysis to know exactly who to put in the front row to show the most preconceived excitement. Capable professionals who master in film editing techniques will be on hand to make sure that we feel human drama at right times, as well as moments of comic respite.

I cannot help but think that this is what Hegel meant when he laid out his dialectical method of scientific progress, and that we are synthesizing new and better things every day. We envy the machines we create, because they reveal our idealism, our enlightenment responsibility to reason. As we saw tonight, when people gathered together to sing the hit Miley Cyrus song, people are enamored of robots and this bodes very well for our country’s technical schools, engineering programs and computer science departments. They want to perfect themselves with Botox. Like Steven Tyler very likely does. They want to lose weight like Randy Jackson through gastric bypass.  They want to efficiently condense their names into useful portmanteau words like “Benifer.” Even the show’s public relations effort has been pursued by highly trained professionals who know exactly the right moment to claim the show is a hit just in case the ratings prove otherwise.

Even British mathematical genius Alan Turing could not have come up with a Turing machine as self-perfecting as the American Idol juggernaut, and my guess is that this show will leave us with a legacy of new technologies as World War II did when it brought us rocket fuels, helicopters, new plastics, metallurgy, medicine and Jane Russell.

I can’t wait to watch it again next week to see how this show will inevitably improve me. See you there, fans.

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