Science Fantasy

At Semionaut, Joshua Glenn points to a trend in advertising that we could call “science fantasy”: the depiction of technology as a kind of enchantment. In a recent IBM commercial, Glenn avers, science fantasy goes warm and cuddly:

In “Data Baby,” one of seven endlessly watchable TV spots recently directed for IBM by Mathew Cullen, data (the baby’s heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, ECG, temperature) envelops and surrounds a newborn in a neonatal ward, forming a protective shell/blanket/mobileŚwe might even think of it as bathwater. It’s magicalŚno, wait, it’s science! It’s the human touchŚno, wait, it’s hyper-advanced technology! What a compelling fantasy, indeed.

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