Wednesday, October 12, 2005
- Dear readers: if you have a website whose link has mysteriously disappeared from my sidebar since Monday, the reason is that Blogger seems to have eaten half of my blog template. I had to back up from an older saved copy dated June which is missing some recent additions. So, my apologies - if you would like your site linked again please contact me (see sidebar → or click here ).
- "The Uncanny Valley - Why are monster-movie zombies so horrifying
and talking animals so fascinating?" by Dave Bryant:
Though originally intended to provide an insight into human psychological reaction to robotic design, the concept expressed by this phrase is equally applicable to interactions with nearly any nonhuman entity. Stated simply, the idea is that if one were to plot emotional response against similarity to human appearance and movement, the curve is not a sure, steady upward trend. Instead, there is a peak shortly before one reaches a completely human "look" ... but then a deep chasm plunges below into a strongly negative response before rebounding to a second peak where resemblance to humanity is complete.[as linked on The Countess, in a fascinating but disturbing post on the Real Doll phenomenon (note: mature readers topic); also see a farkleberries reader fave, the Russian Bubble Baba Challenge]
This chasm — the uncanny valley of Doctor Masahiro Mori’s thesis — represents the point at which a person observing the creature or object in question sees something that is nearly human, but just enough off-kilter to seem eerie or disquieting. [read full article]
- Ed at Dispatches from the Culture Wars takes a considered look at the USAF's policy on proselytizing servicemembers - there seems to be a tacit "rule" that states chaplains may not evangelize those who currently have a religious affiliation (even if non-Christian), but this limitation does not apply to those who have not declared a specific faith:
...it seems to me that if a chaplain is taking the inititative in trying to convert people, he is acting in a manner that contradicts the purpose for which he is there. His job is to minister to the needs of the recruits, not to decide for himself that a recruit needs to be converted to his faith. If a non-Christian recruit is happy with his beliefs and is not seeking out another belief, a chaplain who seeks him out to evangelize him is no longer acting as a chaplain, he is acting as a missionary. [read full post]
- "It's incredible that you can put this piece of leathery meat in a smoker for 12-18 hours, pack it on ice and send it 1500 miles away and it's still so delicious that you can hardly stand it."
- "They're not sneering libertines lobbing condoms over the walls of your daughter's virtue; they're scientists, doing their jobs."