Home‎ > ‎

#016 The Uncanny Rule

posted 15 Dec 2017, 04:32 by Aaron Brownlee   [ updated 15 Dec 2017, 04:35 ]
"The difference between Genius and stupidity is that genius has limits" - Albert Einstein
 There is a theory that the closer something gets to human, the more familiar we are with it. However, when you get close to fully human, the things that look similar to humans but not right will seem scary until you get close enough to humans to be lifelike. This sudden drop is known as the "uncanny valley" and I guess is why horror films using puppets are scary. They're humanoid and can talk, yet aren't human enough, so hit the uncanny valley.

When I started thinking about it, I saw that this "rule" could be applied to other areas. Video games as one example, you get games like Call of duty or GTA going for super realistic graphics and complicated gameplay, then you have games like flappy bird, literally so simple, 12-year-olds are taught to make it at school. Yet both seem to reach similar levels of popularity, maybe flappy bird even being more successful. In terms of the uncanny valley, games from the early era of computers that tried 3D graphics have sort of faded out. For example, the original tomb raider game. Maybe fun at the time because it was the peak of technology. But today, it's been replaced by games that get closer to lifelike, meanwhile, games that went for simple like Pacman or dig-dug are still pretty famous.

I guess someone could technically argue the video game valley is just a repeat of the original, with lifelike graphics as good, while worse graphics aren't so good till you get to a point the games selling point isn't its graphics anyway. One example I thought up that's not based on looks is the reward for good and evil in life. For example, taking halfway down the drop to the uncanny valley as the "starting point", the graph would look like something on the right (Or below if on a phone). 

So, with this graph, I would think that if you sort of are neutral to everyone in life,  you would end up in an ok position.  People who are likeable will obviously end up in a better situation, while people who are negative about everything are likely to end up worse. However, when you go from simply being unlikeable to being evil, you start to get some success. On the diagram, it's shown by dictators, who, while evil, have lots of wealth and power.
another example is successfully robbing banks or taking hostages for ransom. Evil, but if you're good at it you would be rich. 

If you go far on the good side, you would get people like charity workers, who are so morally good that they give any wealth they may earn to others. While obviously there are many benefits to this, in terms of wealth and power, what this graph is based on, they give it all to others. There may be a few exceptions to this, for example, people like Mother Teresa are famous for what they did and are now globally recognised. Many people would say she was "Successful" at what she did, even if she wasn't technically rich. 

I guess the only answer is that if you go to the extremes of either end, you find success. But with that in mind, maybe the graph should look like the final drawing. If it looks like this, it would explain a few things, for example, that flappy bird in the first example, would probably come to the extreme area, being so simple it's popular for its simplicity, I guess the only thing that changes is the "midpoint" of the graph. 

The only question that now comes up, is what would be put in that area in the original uncanny valley?  With the scale from human to inhuman, what should be at the original end of the scale is probably a solid block of wood or something else completely simplistic and non-human. But then how do you get further from humanity than the simplest object possible. My idea would be the 4th dimension. 4D objects are popular because they somehow manage to be simpler than possible in 3D, for example, a Klein bottle, a 1 sided shape, which is able to be 1-sided because the 4th dimension allows it to pass through itself.
as it is 1 sided, it is able to be simpler than reality, and that's what i would guess would be on the left extreme of the uncanny rule, a 4d object of some kind that is far better than lifelike humanity. Anyway, Thought Over,

- Aaron
Related image
Image result for original lara croft game
Image result for klein bottle