We experience vertigo in the uncanny valley because we’ve spent hundreds of thousands of years fine-tuning our nervous systems to read and respond to the subtlest cues in real faces. We perceive when someone’s eyes squint into a smile, or how their face flushes from the cheeks to the forehead, and we also — at least subconsciously — perceive the absence of these organic barometers. Simulations make us feel like we’re engaged with the nonliving, and that’s creepy.
Q: How many eyes does a horse have?
A: 4. It has two eyes on the outside and two eyes on the inside.
Whales, and especially baleen whales, are well known for their enormous size, but most types of whales are not larger than a full-grown adult human. Exceptions include the blue whale, the largest animal ever known, the extinct “Basilosaurus”, which was longer than a blue whale and likely the largest animal to have ever existed, and the “shovelnose” whales, especially the genus “Balaenoptera” which include the blue whale, “B. musculus”, the fin whale, “B. physalus”, and the sei whale, “B. borealis”.
Humans must keep doing what they have been doing, hating and fighting each other. I will sit in the background, and let them do their thing. And God knows that humans have enough blood and gore to satisfy my, and many more’s, curiosity. They won’t have to worry about fighting against me, because they have nothing to fear.
Our uneasiness with simulations — whether they’re virtual reality, shopping malls, or social roles — is not something to be ignored, repressed, or medicated, but rather felt and expressed. These situations feel unreal and uncomfortable for good reasons. The importance of distinguishing between human values and false idols is at the heart of most religions, and is the starting place for social justice.
The uncanny valley is our friend.