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Snackish Magpie
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« on: February 25, 2024 @968.72 »

Does anyone have any burning (and potentially silly) questions that they feel they should probably know the answer to, but don't?

Mine is "where do birds go at night?", people tend to give me the sensible answer of "they sleep in the trees", but I can't think of a time I saw birds sleeping in trees - even during winter when there's no leaves! Maybe they are there but I'm just not looking for them...or they're sensible enough to be very well hidden :)

I'd look up the answer, but that feels like taking the easy way out!  :dive:
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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2024 @23.43 »

I'm not a bird expert, so just my guess. I think during winter many bird migrate. The ones that don't probably have a nest in various better protected locations than bare trees. I would think of crevices in rocks, hollow trees and human made structures. During other times of the year they're probably all around, just good at hiding their nests or themselves while taking a nap.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2024 @25.22 by neongod » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2024 @970.68 »

Don't forget evergreen trees and shrubs. Not all trees end up bare-branched in winter!

Birds are generally good at hiding, although in my area there's a massive murder of crows (approaching 10,000!) that all sleep together in a known area, so it's rather hard to miss. The twilight "crow commute" is impressive - just *rivers* of crows all flying towards their rookery for the night.
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2024 @507.84 »

Everyone doesn't really know the question to this but what happens after death? I was raised up Christian all my childhood. mostly thought it was heaven or hell. but is it really true? For all I know we could just die and end up in an eternity in a backroom which wouldn't be bad if I was trapped in a mall like backroom, I wouldn't mind that. sorry I am being unserious. :ohdear:
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« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2024 @709.78 »

Everyone doesn't really know the question to this but what happens after death? I was raised up Christian all my childhood. mostly thought it was heaven or hell. but is it really true? For all I know we could just die and end up in an eternity in a backroom which wouldn't be bad if I was trapped in a mall like backroom, I wouldn't mind that. sorry I am being unserious. :ohdear:

I once saw an interview with Betty White where she said that her mother always called it "the secret" that we all find out once we die. When we're in this life, we may think we know, but we can't be for sure about it. I find that's a really helpful way of looking at the mystery of it. I'm a Christian personally, but I don't really believe in Hell---many Christians, myself included, believe it's either Heaven or nonexistence.

I'm not a bird expert, so just my guess. I think during winter many bird migrate. The ones that don't probably have a nest in various better protected locations than bare trees. I would think of crevices in rocks, hollow trees and human made structures. During other times of the year they're probably all around, just good at hiding their nests or themselves while taking a nap.

I've also seen birds' nests on the underside of bridges---they're very resourceful! They may also be living in local birdhouses---my mum's got a birdhouse out back with some birds in it right now.

My question is this (if you get this, you're my new best friend): where did all the anvils go?
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« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2024 @91.45 »

I once saw an interview with Betty White where she said that her mother always called it "the secret" that we all find out once we die. When we're in this life, we may think we know, but we can't be for sure about it. I find that's a really helpful way of looking at the mystery of it. I'm a Christian personally, but I don't really believe in Hell---many Christians, myself included, believe it's either Heaven or nonexistence.

I've also seen birds' nests on the underside of bridges---they're very resourceful! They may also be living in local birdhouses---my mum's got a birdhouse out back with some birds in it right now.

My question is this (if you get this, you're my new best friend): where did all the anvils go?

True, it's a secret we won't know until it's time, but it is best for now to live life to the fullest before it is up.
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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2024 @21.46 »

For years I wondered about the origins of Peewee Herman. did he just appear one day, started making movies and just went from there? I made an active effort to not look it up, to just speculate to myself and ask others if they knew. After he passed last year I finally brought myself to google it, and the answer is far more mundane than I was hoping. Oh well, at least I learned some fun trivia!
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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2024 @146.54 »

One question I’d love to know the answer to is how we discovered that metal coils can carry electricity through it, where exactly said electricity comes from, and how that invention exactly lead up to computers capable of making videos and songs without much if any human input?
I’m sure the answer is out there, but I have no idea how to find it. :drat:

Everyone doesn't really know the question to this but what happens after death? I was raised up Christian all my childhood. mostly thought it was heaven or hell. but is it really true? For all I know we could just die and end up in an eternity in a backroom which wouldn't be bad if I was trapped in a mall like backroom, I wouldn't mind that. sorry I am being unserious. :ohdear:

I enjoy theories about what happens after death.
Some heart attack patients who died and got resuscitated report (and verified) seeing and hearing things that happened when they were dead.

I love thinking about the more out there theories about death. One of them is “quantum immortality”, where you’re sent to an alternate universe where you didn’t die when you did, and I assume you keep doing this until the death is completely unavoidable.

There’s a belief in some Indian communities where when you die, you are judged by every (non-human) animal you’ve encountered and they decide whether you go to heaven and hell. It’s kind of a nice thought since it feels like how animals are treated is a true test of one’s morals.

Ones I make up myself include your life being on loop, or waking up to find you were just playing some hyper realistic game, like in the Red Dwarf episode “Back to Reality”.
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« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2024 @152.51 »

One question I’d love to know the answer to is how we discovered that metal coils can carry electricity through it, where exactly said electricity comes from, and how that invention exactly lead up to computers capable of making videos and songs without much if any human input?
I’m sure the answer is out there, but I have no idea how to find it. :drat:

I enjoy theories about what happens after death.
Some heart attack patients who died and got resuscitated report (and verified) seeing and hearing things that happened when they were dead.

Okay, but here's the thing about that; some scientists have found that right before we die, the area of our brain that lights up when we're experiencing dreams activates, so it's very much possible that any visions of heaven or seeing our loved ones after dying are just our brain producing a hallucination in order to ease us into death.

Here's my question though: Why do humans experience dreams at all? What purpose do they serve at all?

And similarly, what was the evolutionary purpose for the uncanny valley? I'm actually kinda afraid to find out why we'd ever need to have an impulsive fear towards something resembling a human, but not quite being one.
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« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2024 @704.57 »

in my area there's a massive murder of crows (approaching 10,000!) that all sleep together in a known area, so it's rather hard to miss. The twilight "crow commute" is impressive - just *rivers* of crows all flying towards their rookery for the night.

I LOVE seeing corvids of any kind especially crows and ravens... whenever I see a large murder of crows from my office window I just feel a sense of comfort and ease. I also love hearing their caws. One of my dreams is to make a crow friend and for the crow to want to live with me and become my crow friend... that would be so cool.

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Cobra!
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« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2024 @134.40 »

Okay, but here's the thing about that; some scientists have found that right before we die, the area of our brain that lights up when we're experiencing dreams activates, so it's very much possible that any visions of heaven or seeing our loved ones after dying are just our brain producing a hallucination in order to ease us into death.

That makes sense, but the reports I’m referencing talk about people seeing things that actually happened around them when they were clinically dead, and the events cited were confirmed by people around them.

I’m not saying this is definite proof that there’s is something for us after death, I personally don’t believe there is, but it is interesting to think about.

My mum firmly believes that there is life after death, and I’m not one to argue, because evidence aside, it helps her cope. She saw a psychic yesterday and they told her that my grandmother is watching over me because I’ve been pretty depressed lately. I don’t know if I actually believe it, but it’s a nice thought, you know?
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« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2024 @160.69 »

i have a few questions that often randomly resurface, and i find myself for a time pondering them and why i don't know the answer, but i'm never at my computer when i think of them and by the time i am i've forgotten them. eternally, they remain mysteries to me. important, vital questions, yet...even now they elude me. i'll remember them of the morn when i put my seedlings outside to harden.

so instead i'll offer (my memory and/or speculation of) answers, because i find trying to dredge up what knowledge i can remember stimulating (and then i can look up the real answers afterwards to satisfy my own curiosity).

Mine is "where do birds go at night?"

ah, an easy one. arboreal birds usually do sleep in trees. you don't see them because they're not going to be sleeping in a place with human activity, and they're not going to be sleeping in the open. birds (especially of the kind that do sleep in trees) are incredibly flighty, and are more easily startled when they're asleep than awake. the slightest noise, and they're no longer asleep and ten trees south. finding a wild perching bird asleep by pure chance is nearly impossible unless that bird is ill or injured.

perching birds (which is not a vague term but refers to passerines) have a tendon in their legs which, at rest, clamps closed to grip a branch. they usually roost as high up as they safely can, and some species feel so insecure without a branch between their toes that they will never sleep in knotholes or nestboxes.

terrestrial birds (which includes all fowl, water and otherwise) sleep on the ground, usually inside bushes or dens or whatever other cover they can find. a few species of bird sleep underground, like the burrowing owl (which is also the only diurnal owl).

source: many years of studying and working with birds. speaking of which...

The twilight "crow commute" is impressive - just *rivers* of crows all flying towards their rookery for the night.

i also live in crow country! pigeons are pretty unusual around here (usually wood pigeons or collared doves) but crows are everywhere. they're very easy to befriend. i've somewhat humanised the local population by feeding them nuts every morning. they gather around the house and make a row when it's time for breakfast, usually about an hour after dawn chorus (i guess crows are late risers).

One question I’d love to know the answer to is how we discovered that metal coils can carry electricity through it, where exactly said electricity comes from, and how that invention exactly lead up to computers capable of making videos and songs without much if any human input?

oooh i've often wondered about this too! there's this popular refrain that humanity "tricked rocks into thinking" and that's what computers are but that's such a meaningless oversimplification as to be less than helpful. at least the circular "think of a computer as a brain" explanations make some sense and provide some insight into how things work (but all discussions about brains tend to revert to "think of the brain as a squishy computer" which is why i call them circular comparisons.)

as evidenced by above, my scientific knowledge largely ends at biology (and more to the point the behaviour shaped by and shaping that biology) and i don't really know the answer. i'm vaguely aware that electric eels (which aren't actually eels despite being called that) were a significant instigator in the early part of the process. or is that just a story? "humanity learned electricity from eels" has the feeling of a myth.

that said, i can speculate as to the discovery that metal carries electricity: it's sort of inevitable. once people started experimenting with electricity on a basic level, some of their tools would inevitably be made of metal, and it doesn't take much to work out that the metal tools transfer electricity much better than most others.

Here's my question though: Why do humans experience dreams at all? What purpose do they serve at all?

And similarly, what was the evolutionary purpose for the uncanny valley? I'm actually kinda afraid to find out why we'd ever need to have an impulsive fear towards something resembling a human, but not quite being one.

i'll answer the second question first: it's less an evolutionary purpose and more an accident of human pattern recognition (and more specifically facial recognition).

human facial recognition exists on two levels at once: the ability to recognise whether something is or isn't human (on the basis, broadly, of "how similar is it to my parents?"), and the ability to recognise specific humans as distinct from one another. these are forms of facial recognition that most species probably have, though i think it's only been proven in mammals and corvids.

in any situation where you draw a line between two distinct groups, you're going to find something that has qualities that would put it on either side.

human facial recognition seems to fail on the human side of the line. meaning, if something could go either way, the default is human. this is the cause for "periodelia" which i may have mis-spelled, the effect of humans seeing faces in things that literally do not have them.

in meatspace, there's nothing that has qualities of both a human face AND a non-human face at the same time, so there's little cause to experience this line-staggering.

but...artwork can have both qualities at once. and that artwork can be uncomfortable to look at, because the automatic failsafe of "if in doubt, human" triggers at the same time a more intellectual examination asks "but is it?"

to oversimplify, it's instinct and intellect disagreeing. it doesn't have a purpose, it's the result of separate systems struggling to make sense of conflicting information.

fun fact! i'm a lifelong furry; and i'm really bad at recognising human faces. these are unrelated, but coincidental facts. i'm not faceblind. i can recognise human faces that i look at regularly and for protracted periods of time (meaning, basically, actors i watch a lot of). some humans can look at a photo of a child and a photo of a grey-haired adult and know they're the same human; or a fat human and a skinny one; or tell at a glance that two humans share a genetic link. i cannot do these things. even a few years is too much for me if i haven't seen the intervening stages and learned to recognise the new shape, the new lines. a haircut can completely throw me off, as can weight gain or loss. some humans can see through all of those.

i am really, really bad at recognising human faces. for a long time, i didn't think i'd ever understand what the uncanny valley is or what it looks like. it seems to require a more granular understanding of humanity than i possess.

until! the cgi lion king movie. i watched it, and i talked to a friend of mine about it. about how weird the lions' faces were. the wrong shapes, too long, their eyes the wrong shapes and in the wrong places. their whole heads moved in a way that didn't make sense, wasn't how lion heads moved. it all felt artifical. that was the overall feeling: the entire movie felt artificial, and it was because the faces were so badly-modelled. like the movie had been made by a team who had thousands of references videos of lions from every possible angle, yet somehow there was something obscuring the head of every reference lion they had, so they sort of just had to guess based on the vague details they could see beyond those obstructions.

and my friend was delighted. "aha!" he said. "so there is a furry equivalent of the uncanny valley! i'd always wondered."

"oh," i said, "so that's what the uncanny valley is. off-model. so blatantly fake that no amount of surrounding realism matters: you're loudly and constantly telling the audience that this is fake and you can't take any of it seriously."

...that got away from me.

i think the most basic answer to the question of "why do humans dream?" is "it's not deadly".

dreaming is largely accepted* to be the result of the brain transferring short-term memory to long-term, which is why the phenomenon of forgetting things after sleep is so common. those memories weren't transferred.

*which doesn't necessarily make it correct. a lot of things have been "largely accepted" only to be later proven utter shite.

but, that's still only answering the question of what causes dreams on a mechanical level. there may not be a "purpose" in the way you're asking. something being consistent within a species, or a certain sub-group within that species, doesn't mean that thing has a purpose. some things are just random. some things just happen, and they aren't a net detriment to the group's ability to reproduce, so that's it. they continue to happen.

evolution isn't controlled. evolution has no purpose. evolution does not guide anything, not even reproduction; it is the coincidental result of reproduction.

so maybe a more coherent answer is "it might be an accident of the process of memory, and it's not killing anyone so the gene for having dreams* isn't removed from the breeding population".

*some humans can't dream at all, almost always as a result of a head injury. their memory continues to function normally, and they seem to retain normal biological and psychological functioning, so...arguably dreams aren't doing anythign important, and really are just an accident.

that doesn't mean that's the only reason dreaming happens. sleep is a complete mystery that even the best biologists only barely understand. actually, here's one of my Big Questions:

why do animals need to sleep?

it's known that their basic functionality declines rapidly if they don't, and then eventually they die. WHY does failure to sleep cause this decline in function? why is this so universal?

no fucking clue. complete mystery. animals can literally die of not sleeping. nothing vital happens during sleep that doesn't also happen while awake. all the vital organs function the same way (actually, it's fairly common for animals to cease breathing entirely for brief periods during sleep, even humans, so if anything they function less).




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« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2024 @451.93 »

One question I’d love to know the answer to is how we discovered that metal coils can carry electricity through it, where exactly said electricity comes from, and how that invention exactly lead up to computers capable of making videos and songs without much if any human input?
I’m sure the answer is out there, but I have no idea how to find it. :drat:

i don't know the history, but my knowledge of physics leans me towards thinking magnetism was probably involved.

when you wrap copper wire with a certain number of turns around a magnet and then rotate one or the other, the amount of magnetic field crossing a surface (flux linkage) changes which induces an electromagnetic field in the coil according with Faraday's law of electromagnetic induction (magnitude of the induced emf across a body is directly proportional to the rate of change of flux linkage through it). this then causes a current to flow in the coil in the opposite direction (i think) of whatever is being rotated. at this point, you essentially have a generator.

the above may be a little skewed as i finished physics many, many years ago - but this principle is how things like transformers work.

if you'd like to learn more, i'd suggest this and these books :)
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« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2024 @742.95 »

i have a few questions that often randomly resurface, and i find myself for a time pondering them and why i don't know the answer, but i'm never at my computer when i think of them and by the time i am i've forgotten them. eternally, they remain mysteries to me. important, vital questions, yet...even now they elude me. i'll remember them of the morn when i put my seedlings outside to harden.

so instead i'll offer (my memory and/or speculation of) answers, because i find trying to dredge up what knowledge i can remember stimulating (and then i can look up the real answers afterwards to satisfy my own curiosity).

ah, an easy one. arboreal birds usually do sleep in trees. you don't see them because they're not going to be sleeping in a place with human activity, and they're not going to be sleeping in the open. birds (especially of the kind that do sleep in trees) are incredibly flighty, and are more easily startled when they're asleep than awake. the slightest noise, and they're no longer asleep and ten trees south. finding a wild perching bird asleep by pure chance is nearly impossible unless that bird is ill or injured.

perching birds (which is not a vague term but refers to passerines) have a tendon in their legs which, at rest, clamps closed to grip a branch. they usually roost as high up as they safely can, and some species feel so insecure without a branch between their toes that they will never sleep in knotholes or nestboxes.

terrestrial birds (which includes all fowl, water and otherwise) sleep on the ground, usually inside bushes or dens or whatever other cover they can find. a few species of bird sleep underground, like the burrowing owl (which is also the only diurnal owl).

source: many years of studying and working with birds. speaking of which...

i also live in crow country! pigeons are pretty unusual around here (usually wood pigeons or collared doves) but crows are everywhere. they're very easy to befriend. i've somewhat humanised the local population by feeding them nuts every morning. they gather around the house and make a row when it's time for breakfast, usually about an hour after dawn chorus (i guess crows are late risers).

oooh i've often wondered about this too! there's this popular refrain that humanity "tricked rocks into thinking" and that's what computers are but that's such a meaningless oversimplification as to be less than helpful. at least the circular "think of a computer as a brain" explanations make some sense and provide some insight into how things work (but all discussions about brains tend to revert to "think of the brain as a squishy computer" which is why i call them circular comparisons.)

as evidenced by above, my scientific knowledge largely ends at biology (and more to the point the behaviour shaped by and shaping that biology) and i don't really know the answer. i'm vaguely aware that electric eels (which aren't actually eels despite being called that) were a significant instigator in the early part of the process. or is that just a story? "humanity learned electricity from eels" has the feeling of a myth.

that said, i can speculate as to the discovery that metal carries electricity: it's sort of inevitable. once people started experimenting with electricity on a basic level, some of their tools would inevitably be made of metal, and it doesn't take much to work out that the metal tools transfer electricity much better than most others.

i'll answer the second question first: it's less an evolutionary purpose and more an accident of human pattern recognition (and more specifically facial recognition).

human facial recognition exists on two levels at once: the ability to recognise whether something is or isn't human (on the basis, broadly, of "how similar is it to my parents?"), and the ability to recognise specific humans as distinct from one another. these are forms of facial recognition that most species probably have, though i think it's only been proven in mammals and corvids.

in any situation where you draw a line between two distinct groups, you're going to find something that has qualities that would put it on either side.

human facial recognition seems to fail on the human side of the line. meaning, if something could go either way, the default is human. this is the cause for "periodelia" which i may have mis-spelled, the effect of humans seeing faces in things that literally do not have them.

in meatspace, there's nothing that has qualities of both a human face AND a non-human face at the same time, so there's little cause to experience this line-staggering.

but...artwork can have both qualities at once. and that artwork can be uncomfortable to look at, because the automatic failsafe of "if in doubt, human" triggers at the same time a more intellectual examination asks "but is it?"

to oversimplify, it's instinct and intellect disagreeing. it doesn't have a purpose, it's the result of separate systems struggling to make sense of conflicting information.

fun fact! i'm a lifelong furry; and i'm really bad at recognising human faces. these are unrelated, but coincidental facts. i'm not faceblind. i can recognise human faces that i look at regularly and for protracted periods of time (meaning, basically, actors i watch a lot of). some humans can look at a photo of a child and a photo of a grey-haired adult and know they're the same human; or a fat human and a skinny one; or tell at a glance that two humans share a genetic link. i cannot do these things. even a few years is too much for me if i haven't seen the intervening stages and learned to recognise the new shape, the new lines. a haircut can completely throw me off, as can weight gain or loss. some humans can see through all of those.

i am really, really bad at recognising human faces. for a long time, i didn't think i'd ever understand what the uncanny valley is or what it looks like. it seems to require a more granular understanding of humanity than i possess.

until! the cgi lion king movie. i watched it, and i talked to a friend of mine about it. about how weird the lions' faces were. the wrong shapes, too long, their eyes the wrong shapes and in the wrong places. their whole heads moved in a way that didn't make sense, wasn't how lion heads moved. it all felt artifical. that was the overall feeling: the entire movie felt artificial, and it was because the faces were so badly-modelled. like the movie had been made by a team who had thousands of references videos of lions from every possible angle, yet somehow there was something obscuring the head of every reference lion they had, so they sort of just had to guess based on the vague details they could see beyond those obstructions.

and my friend was delighted. "aha!" he said. "so there is a furry equivalent of the uncanny valley! i'd always wondered."

"oh," i said, "so that's what the uncanny valley is. off-model. so blatantly fake that no amount of surrounding realism matters: you're loudly and constantly telling the audience that this is fake and you can't take any of it seriously."

...that got away from me.

i think the most basic answer to the question of "why do humans dream?" is "it's not deadly".

dreaming is largely accepted* to be the result of the brain transferring short-term memory to long-term, which is why the phenomenon of forgetting things after sleep is so common. those memories weren't transferred.

*which doesn't necessarily make it correct. a lot of things have been "largely accepted" only to be later proven utter shite.

but, that's still only answering the question of what causes dreams on a mechanical level. there may not be a "purpose" in the way you're asking. something being consistent within a species, or a certain sub-group within that species, doesn't mean that thing has a purpose. some things are just random. some things just happen, and they aren't a net detriment to the group's ability to reproduce, so that's it. they continue to happen.

evolution isn't controlled. evolution has no purpose. evolution does not guide anything, not even reproduction; it is the coincidental result of reproduction.

so maybe a more coherent answer is "it might be an accident of the process of memory, and it's not killing anyone so the gene for having dreams* isn't removed from the breeding population".

*some humans can't dream at all, almost always as a result of a head injury. their memory continues to function normally, and they seem to retain normal biological and psychological functioning, so...arguably dreams aren't doing anythign important, and really are just an accident.

that doesn't mean that's the only reason dreaming happens. sleep is a complete mystery that even the best biologists only barely understand. actually, here's one of my Big Questions:

why do animals need to sleep?

it's known that their basic functionality declines rapidly if they don't, and then eventually they die. WHY does failure to sleep cause this decline in function? why is this so universal?

no fucking clue. complete mystery. animals can literally die of not sleeping. nothing vital happens during sleep that doesn't also happen while awake. all the vital organs function the same way (actually, it's fairly common for animals to cease breathing entirely for brief periods during sleep, even humans, so if anything they function less).






Every bit of this post filled me with a joy I can't articulate. I loved reading your thoughts on all of this!

I had my own personal theory on why we experience the uncanny valley affect (and I believe it's not exclusive to humans as I've seen what I believe to be the same effect occurring with my cat when he perceives a plush/artificial version of a feline or a shape he doesn't quite recognise or understand)

My theory was that - on an evolutionary level - the uncanny valley effect was caused by our ingrained fear of seeing other beings of the same species no longer alive. I've seen a couple of deceased humans in my life and the biggest reason they looked so surreal to me is how still they were, how relaxed their muscles were, the unnatural position of their body and looking at a cadaver - for me - triggered the same feelings of discomfort I get from the uncanny Valley.

So I always wondered if perhaps, the uncanny Valley stems from our deep rooted fear of seeing our own kind dead or comprehending our own deaths. The unnatural look of a dead animal that resembled ourselves.
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dirtnap
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« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2024 @987.19 »

Every bit of this post filled me with a joy I can't articulate. I loved reading your thoughts on all of this!

i'm glad my verbosity is good for something!

Quote
I had my own personal theory on why we experience the uncanny valley affect (and I believe it's not exclusive to humans as I've seen what I believe to be the same effect occurring with my cat when he perceives a plush/artificial version of a feline or a shape he doesn't quite recognise or understand)

My theory was that - on an evolutionary level - the uncanny valley effect was caused by our ingrained fear of seeing other beings of the same species no longer alive. I've seen a couple of deceased humans in my life and the biggest reason they looked so surreal to me is how still they were, how relaxed their muscles were, the unnatural position of their body and looking at a cadaver - for me - triggered the same feelings of discomfort I get from the uncanny Valley.

So I always wondered if perhaps, the uncanny Valley stems from our deep rooted fear of seeing our own kind dead or comprehending our own deaths. The unnatural look of a dead animal that resembled ourselves. [/color]

that's an interesting theory, and i think that could be the cause of the sensation sometimes. corpses are unsettling, and some art labelled as uncanny valley does look rather lifeless.

as regards your cat, yes, this could be part of the issue; but cats are very easily spooked by anything unfamiliar. if you give him enough time with the scary cat plush, he'd likely accept it as harmless.

also, a lot of cats are scared of forward-facing eyes. anything that even vaguely resembles a pair of eyes can spook a cat, especially if they're glass or plastic and thus reflect light. try putting a blindfold on the scary cat plush and see how your cat reacts then!
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