By Adrian Baer (Provided by Photographer to Devanthro Society) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
There is increasing concern by very smart people that artificial intelligence (AI) and its many consequences will overwhelm the power of humans in the very near future. Referred to as the singularity, the potential of such an event could be catastrophic. Think the killer computer system Skynet in "Terminator 2" or the doomsday device in "Dr. Strangelove". It’s easy to worry about the future on such a convoluted and conflicted planet as ours.
How do Bedford Slims fit into all of this? Even without computerized overlords, modern life is technologically complex to the point that technology itself seems to be in charge. When you want to watch your favorite TV series, you no longer turn on one channel and wait. You search an app, check a DVR, scroll through on demand menus: there are many elaborate ways to get results that once came simply.
Electronic cigarettes are a much simpler pleasure than finding media. When vaping emerged in the late 00’s, it was for the most part relatively simple. That has changed as mods and rigs have become increasingly elaborate and powerful. Nor are flavors limited as they once were; there are seemingly endless combinations of fruits and candies and other treats to sweeten the process. To keep up with the times, Bedford Slims has a liquid line for people who see vaping as a techie hobby.
But not everyone wants to make vaping more elaborate. Some of us want to take out an electronic cigarette, vape by just inhaling, and get on with life. Fortunately, Bedford Slims has simplicity down. Their vapourettes offer instant pleasure, simpler even than lighting a cigarette. Just take it out and take your puffs—no research on devices or replacing coils required.
Using a vape has its own joys as well. Sometimes clouding up the world with huge plumes is just the aggressive gesture you want to make. The user experience is also more customizable. It’s up to you to choose harsh or soft, hot or cold, strong or mild each puff is.
Now consider vaping in the larger context of technological advancement. What other machine has the power of an electronic cigarette? Video games, ebooks, apps: all aim the provide pleasant distraction from life. Vaping is different: something that happens out in the world, with unequalled mobility and sociability. They pack the power to connect you with others, in person, in a way a phone or computer cannot.
Sometimes it feels like drones and phones are now more at home in the world than the people who made them. Maybe they have already won. Maybe the singularity already happened and the billions of hairless monkeys scurrying around are all fooling themselves by thinking the world is still theirs. Regardless, humans will likely only cede more to the abilities of machines as the decades past.
The singularity is not necessarily a bad thing. Consider a world where everything unpleasant is performed by machines who look out for their beloved creators. Done right, the ascension of AI could give us all more time to chill out, more time to connect with other people, more time to pursue the passions that truly make us human, more time to vape.