Thursday, January 31, 2013

Of biomorphic influences

Anthropology is one of the several areas I have so much curiosity and interest to learn and delve about. And the nice thing about this one is that it is distant enough from my current studies so that I will have new ideas, but at the same time, it has enough connections that it will open my horizons wider.

One of these anthropological ideas I’ve been thinking very roughly about is the way human cultures are so, so deeply influenced by the nature all around us. Earlier cultures had people literally connecting themselves to plants and animals. The simpler example is the native Americans using feathers to their outfit so to represent themselves as somehow related to the nature around them. But I don’t think it has disappeared even in our world.

All objects we develop have their shapes influenced by some element already present in our lives. It can be so subtle that it can be present in everything, from shapes of cars (VW beetles, as a clear example). Some car hoods I see seem to have some influence in the snouts of some animals, and even the front layout with the lights seem to emulate a creature. Do cars have two lights because in nature it so happens that virtually all eyed life forms have two eyes?

But the molds and symmetric lines of evolution that makes some animals and insects look so visually engaging also happen to influence us. It’s about how human mind follows natural patterns. It’s all around us, so those cultures more connected to nature make the individuals see themselves as part of it. Humans long to be delicate and beautiful like flowers or dashing and strong like lions. We long for being as imposing as imposing as mountains, or quiet like a gentle breeze licking the trees in the forest. Indeed, we seem to get involved with these allegorical quintessences. No wonder we refer to chaotic periods in our lives as storms and the peace afterwards as the clouds torn open to let the blue sky in - the caring mother coming to sooth her child.

But here’s one old question of mine… when is something a result of crests or just influence of sensors? I never got to actually think too much about it, as I can’t possibly get past this primordial question. I’d like to think of sensors existing prior to crests, but I don’t want to go ahead of the quintessential rope guiding me.

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