Friday, February 05, 2010

For Microsoft and Google, time passes quickly in the Uncanny Valley

- It seems like the older we get, the faster time flies.  Well, I got some bad-news for you.  Time really does pass by faster the older you get. There are several reasons why this happens. 

A child's five senses are new and tend to work better than an adult's senses.  That's why it's easy to accidentally scald a baby by putting the child in bathwater that may be too warm for the child, but feels just right to you.  Does your child have trouble eating certain foods, especially ones that do not taste great in the first place?  A child's sense of taste is stronger than yours.  Things that taste good to an adult will taste really good to a child; things that taste bad to an adult will taste really bad to a child.  Children can also hear higher frequencies than adults (ed. remember to write about this phenomenon and it's practical uses at a later date.)

Since children's senses are often stronger than an adult, a child takes in more information.  Taking in more information causes the world to pass by more slowly.  It's an abstract idea, so perhaps a small example will help make my point.  Have you ever flipped through a book containing roughly the same picture on each page, and as you quickly flip the pages, the picture begins to move?  It's a rudimentary form of animation.  Well, with children, their book (ie. their perceptions) has more pages than an adult's, so they flip through the book at a slower pace than an adult. 

Children also are not filled with memories, regrets, anxieties, expectations, etc., stuff that fills a person's brain as an adult gets older.  During times of boredom or "down-time" an adult will often retreat into their memories or worries to fill the time without even knowing they are doing so.  A child has no such mechanisms for time-passing, so they literally must sit and wait for time to pass.

So the next time you are in the waiting room of a doctor's office, and your child is bouncing off the walls while waiting to see the doctor, remember that for your child, time really is passing slower than it is passing for you.  Here is an article explaining some of the details I just mentioned:

- Comparison of Microsoft vs. Google vs. Apple.  Wonderful comparisons:

- The Uncanny Valley.  It's a term used to describe how realistic a human character can be in an animation or computer simulation without getting so realistic that it begins to creep-out the people watching the human character.  The movie Polar Express and Beowulf suffered from this phenomenon.  The characters in those movies seemed more realistic than typical animation characters, but not quite realistic enough to fool viewers into thinking they were actually human.  The characters from those two movies fell into the Uncanny Valley.  The Uncanny Valley theory has become quite popular in the realm of Human Computer Interaction.  It's a real problem for graphic designers and software animators.  This clip from 30 Rock does an excellent job of explaining the problem:

- A good friend of mine has started a non-partisan organization dedicated towards solving the school funding problems in Colorado.  A worthy issue and certainly worthy of your time.  Here is the website:


Randal said...

Good for Dave.

Oh, and to raise Google awareness, you need to get people to link to your site. Get yourself on blogrolls, put your address on comments that you make on other sites, specialize on a topic and blog daily. Start with a couple conservative sites (I recommend,, or and make sure is visible on your posts somewhere, either in a signature or in your profile. Mek substantial comments...all it takes is one or two eyeballs clicking to make Google notice.

And for god's sake, get Elizabeth, Scott, Jen, Dave, Brian, everyone to comment every once in a while! I love talking to you, but it's getting lonely in here with just you and me!

And more full frontal.

Greymarch said...

Randal, I have been using some of your suggestions for increasing traffic to There are dozens of technology and political websites I read each day. I have been commenting on them with more frequency, and I always leave a link to at the end of each comment.

I know that posting something new each and every day to the website would also help increase traffic, but I just dont have the time nor the passion to update the page everyday. I am open to adding more writers to the website, but they would have to stick with the theme of the site...conservative politics, technology, Star Wars, movies, sports, etc. No one leaves the reservation!

I will start reading and posting to right-thinking and proteinwisdom.

I installed google analytics and google webmaster tools for, so I know how many visitors and unique visitors I am getting each day. Come on people, I know more than just my friends are reading this site. Make some comments!