Tuesday, 19 December 2006
Where is the sensor in a lift door that warns it of an obstruction?
Just now, someone ran up to the lift at the last moment and waved his hand between the doors to stop them closing. His gesture was decisive and yet slightly unsure. Would it work? It was a communication - not between man and machine, but between one man and lots of others, since the lift was not made by a lone inventor, but by many people who decided together what kind of gesture should stop the doors from closing. And in so doing privileged and reinforced a certain kind of gesture amongst the kind of people who travel in this kind of lift.
So this sensor, is it an infra-red beam? Where is it in the doors? Top? Middle? Bottom? Are there many? What if they miss a finger or belt? I guess there's a whole industry to work all this out and implement it. How much does it cost?. What would it cost to walk?
The human body and 'objects-to-climb' evolved together. One did not design the other. All natural systems are co-responsive. One thing fits into the gaps of the other. Even wilful manipulations conform to pre-existing laws. Can this will stray too far? Can it become over-zealous in it's designs? What about an evolutionary design? Perhaps this is what Siddharth at Srishti means by emergent design. I should talk to him. What does this do to the arguments of Richard Dawkins and the Bible belt bashers about Intelligent Design and the existence of God?
Not only action but perception itself must also be entwined and co-dependant. This point is made most persuasively in David Abram's landmark article, David Abram, "The Perceptual Implications of Gaia" first published in 1985 in The Ecologist, 15, no. 3.