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Old May 5th 2018, 01:17 PM
Abishai100 Abishai100 is offline
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Default Futurama: Limits/Medicine

When we think of science-fiction stories about the development of unbelievable technologies and fantastic imagination, we start to think critically about what comprises the achievements of our own era.

Stories about the progression of science to incredible heights in some distant future time therefore motivate us to consider the 'geometry' of evolutionary ergonomics.

Ergonomics is an important consideration when thinking about the analytics behind the design of technologies. Even religious texts off us abundant imagery about the value of ergonomics and comfort --- e.g., "the serpentine dragon," "the flaming heretic," "the prowling beast," "the tranquil ripples of the river," "the Tower of Babel," etc.

Leonardo da Vinci's iconic portrait of the elegance and symmetry of the human body titled The Vitruvian Man represents humanity's enduring fascination with the 'logic' of evolutionary design. From this work by da Vinci, we can extrapolate ideas about the value of basic human comforts in the design of 'advanced' automobiles/cars such as the Dodge Viper.

We can even see how modern civilization, complete with all kinds of commercial and consumerism conveniences such as Home-Depot.com, inspires horror-film writers to invent bizarre 'anti-human ghouls' such as Leatherface (a fictional chainsaw-wielding cannibal) who represent devolution (not evolution!).

That's why the human skeleton is such a useful 'totem' for the contemplation of the limits and psychiatry involved with imaginations about the future and the incredible development of unbelievable technologies and toys. The human skeleton (like da Vinci's The Vitruvian Man!) symbolizes our curiosity about the philosophical 'value' of ergonomics in evolutionary design.

When we think of the human skeleton, we think of 'primal fears,' which is why we might see 'evil living skeletons' (representations of the 'undead') arrayed in martial positions in courage-themed films (e.g., Army of Darkness).

So if you see an 'advanced new kitchen knife' being sold at a kitchen-and-hardware store, you might wonder, "Is the grip practical?", "Is the blade size/shape convenient?", "Is the thickness/sharpness useful?", and "Is the quality/craftsmanship practical?"

Without such meditation, our technologies in an imaginary 'futurama-universe' might be downright uncomfortable to use(!).

Isn't that how scientists thought about 'pragmatism' when they invented sandpaper?

In conclusion, futurama-storytelling must be tempered by considerations about the limits of human use.

Sounds familiar...



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"Dr. Kildare looked at his wrist-watch and realized it was almost midnight. His time-machine was already operating and when the clock struck twelve, an army of skeletons from the year 4040(!) would pour out into London (where Kildare placed his ingenious time-machine).

Dr. Kildare wondered if this army of skeletons would be completely incompatible with humans from the 21st Century. Would these skeletons start gnawing on the necks of frightened passerby of London's streets? What would they do?

Dr. Kildare did not want to end up like Victor Frankenstein, so he started scribbling notes about warning humanity about the potential danger that this army of skeletons would devastate Londoners' sense of 'gentle ergonomics'..."


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