Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Graphing zombies

Last night I was trying to explain to my girlfriend why this t-shirt is totally awesome and hilarious, a task which eventually led to the Wikipedia entry for “Uncanny valley,” a term used to describe the human feeling of repulsion for humanoid robots that are not completely lifelike. To my great surprise and pleasure, I found that the entry was accompanied by this awesomely ridiculous graph:

graph describing the uncanny valley

You see, if you plot the human likeness of things that move ( _ _ _ ) and things that don’t move ( ___ ) against their degree of familiarity, it is plain that zombies occupy a more central position in the uncanny valley than do stuffed animals or bunraku puppets.

My only question is: How do we classify Jeffy using this scheme?

Family Circus sunday strip: Grandma tells Jeffy he has wings and he runs around flapping his arms like an idiot

The dashed line indicates he’s ambulatory, and he is vaguely humanoid (he clearly has a human likeness); yet for some reason he still creeps me out.

1 comment:

Cutter said...

Ha ha ha! You might want to check out Zizek in _Plague of Fantasies_ and his discussion of the undead.