Ms. Julie and Myself

by Phyllis Chesler

Last evening, a hero came uptown to visit me. Her name is Dr. Julie Ancis and she is the founder of Psychologists Against Antisemitism. Dr. Julie was once a diversity and anti-racism expert—and she still is—but she is now also an expert in Cyber Psychology which sounds utterly fascinating. As I understand it, this concerns the psychological consequences of human interaction with machines. This might constitute the psychology of the future since everyone under fifty spends so much of their time on the internet. Dr. Julie told me that war-traumatized veterans are often more comfortable with a robot programmed to counsel them than they are with another living being. I must introduce her to my friend Dr. Paula Boddington, the philosopher, who specializes in the ethics of artificial intelligence. Who knows what the two of them might discover?

Julie wanted to have a photo. I have a hard time taking one. My eyes always automatically close. Oh, the time we had to take to get a few images in which my eyes were not closed or half-closed. But we kept trying and oh how we laughed. Here’s two with my Eyes (almost) Wide Open. Obtaining a good photo is not that easy. Once, I sat for the great photographer, Joan L. Roth, for an author portrait. After 45 minutes, I picked myself up, thanked her, and said I’d be leaving. “Oh no darling,” she said, “we’ve only just begun.” She was right. I was there for nearly three hours, which was apparently the time it took to take the absolutely perfect photo.



2 Responses

  1. At the beginning of the article the author states that Dr Ancis “came to visit me.” At the end of the article the author states that “after 45 minutes” she’d (the author) would be “leaving.” Then she states that she was “there” for “nearly three hours.” This raises some important questions. For example, if the doctor was visiting the author, why would the author leave her own place? This sort of thing causes confusion.

    I met a famous person once. I looked everywhere for a camera but could not find one. Then, I asked the famous person if we could take a selfie together using our cell phones. The famous person’s phone broke because she dropped it. She was very upset about this. Then, I tried to take a selfie of us both but I dropped my cellphone as well. It was totally broken. We were both bitterly upset and blamed each other for the broken cell phones. I blamed her and she blamed me. It all seemed so overly dramatic and self-referential that we’d blame one another for something that we’d done ourselves. But that is how it went with this famous person. I don’t know if all famous people are like this famous person, but I bet they are.

    Oh, I got a new cellphone a few weeks back and it’s better than the one the famous person broke. It was definitely her fault.

  2. The other person who commented on this very funny and fascinating article, misread it. Phyllis is talking about two separate instances, hence the “confusion.”

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