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This place matters

Friday, January 23, 2015

Uncanny Valley is pretty close to Silicon Valley, in a way...

Unless you are a very, very lucky person indeed, you've likely been unable to keep your eyes from being assaulted by pictures of Kim Kardashian "breaking the internet" with her ass. Or something. I'm not sure why this allegedly breaks the Internet, nor why she remotely gets to be famous.
So while I've done my level best not to be subjected to these Internet-breaking photos (or the Kardashians in general), I have failed. Repeatedly. Which is a problem because they really, really really, really really freak me the hell out. Like It creepy.
They'll both murder you and gnaw on your bones,
but at least the clown's up front about it.

I mentioned my strange reaction to Jeremy, who replied that Kim Kardashian has reached the Uncanny Valley. 
The Uncanny Valley describes the sense of revulsion we get when the thing we're looking at is appears nearly human but isn't human, not quite. All the plastic surgery, combined with the heavy image processing, and Kim's constant "dead behind the eyes" expression have made her look just a shade shy of human, prompting me to go to my happy place every time her picture finds its way onto my computer screen.
The Uncanny Valley has been a real problem in the field of computer animation.  Remember when The Polar Express came out, and half of everybody who saw it was pretty sure Tom Hanks was luring that child into some cold, snowy demon convention? Reviewer John Anderson summed it up perfectly when he called The Polar Express a zombie train.
Santa has a surprise for you.
I'll give you a hint: it has tentacles. 

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