Bill Higgins, The Uncanny Valley and… Wallace Stevens?

Not sure how I missed this posting by Bill Higgins about the design of robots and what it could teach us about UX design for the web back in “07 but many thanks to my former student Ryan Cannon for pointing it out to me. I *think* he sent me the link (via Twitter, slots of course) in response to something I tweeted earlier in the day about how the best line from poet Wallace Stevens for user experience design freaks like us is:

the lunatic of one idea / in a world of ideas

That line is from Esthetique du Mal (warning, PDF link), and reflections on how that poem and this thing called The Uncanny Valley might correlate and sympathize with one another is something I”ll blog about later when my laptop battery is recharged.

Lastly, a quick shout-out to Prof. George Bornstein at the University of Michigan, who taught an amazing course on Pound, Elliot and Stevens which totally changed my life.

17. December 2008 by dan
Categories: User Experience Design | Tags: , , | 1 comment

One Comment

  1. Here’s the context around that particular line from Stevens. Fair use, etc.

    Victor Serge said, "I followed his argument
    With the blank uneasiness which one might feel
    In the presence of a logical lunatic."
    He said it of Konstantinov. Revolution
    Is the affair of logical lunatics [...]
    Lakes are more reasonable than oceans. Hence,
    A promenade amid the grandeurs of the mind,
    By a lake, with clouds like lights among great tombs,
    Gives one a blank uneasiness, as if
    One might meet Konstantinov, who would interrupt
    With his lunacy. He would not be aware of the lake.
    He would be the lunatic of one idea
    In a world of ideas, who would have all the people
    Live, work, suffer and die in that idea
    In a world of ideas. He would not be aware of the clouds,
    Lighting the martyrs of logic with white fire.
    His extreme of logic would be illogical.

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