online: 14 july 2017
modified: 2, 14 july 2017
2 july 2017 uncanny control
...about to walk in the woods when i caught sight of someone in a field
with hands aloft... as if taking a photograph with a digital camera...
but when i got nearer i saw that he was not holding a camera but the
control box of a model helicopter... that he could move the helicopter a few
centimetres in any direction (or stop in midair) in a manner that seems
to me uncanny... so precise and so lacking in visible instruction...
...why (i wondered) do the movements of full size aircraft not also seem
uncanny... or the movements of birds... or of insects (for instance
the butterfly i saw on the pavement) ?... is it just that i am unused to
model helicopters... or is it that rigidly geometric control is itself a
bit uncanny... but we have got used to it in weapons, vehicles, machines
of many kinds... and quite soon the hovering and precise motions of
model helicopters may seem quite natural...
...i wonder if the mechanical actions of humans are in fact
supernatural... whereas our more animal actions are natural... ?
(such questions pervade this writing!)
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