I think this picture is sweet. A little robot and his robot dog. See, even when we imagine things to come, or things on a different planet/world, we can’t get away from who we are. We put a dog in the picture because we love dogs. Many sci-fi films, books, etc, include “pets,” or companion animals. The people in those worlds aren’t that different from us because we can’t think past who we are. There’s no place for our minds to go.
I could draw a string and write about it being a living entity but it would eventually end up thinking like a human, at least a little. We ARE this thing called human and we can’t escape. Even the things we “make up” are still who we are. The above picture is cute because it’s a little boy and his dog in a strange world. We don’t care about the world, or even the fact that the boy and dog are robots, we just love them anyway. We think they are just like us. We imagine that they have our feelings and thoughts. That the little robot runs and his dog runs with him. The dog is looking at him, just the way our dogs look at us. We can’t help it. We don’t even think about the boy being the dog’s pet. Not really. But that’s more than possible on a different world. Even the slender aerial on his head reminds us of his hair being out of place. It makes us think, awwww. His eyes are perfectly spaced, to draw us in. Everything about him makes him seem real and one of us, even though we can plainly see that both robots are not human.
That’s how much we are locked in to being who we are. We can’t imagine things past a certain point. No matter how far out, we give whatever it is, a sense of humanity. It’s all we know. In stories trees can sing and shelter beings, they can even walk. Mountains can speak and they sometimes have eyes. We are literally prisoners, locked into a body and mind that can only go so far and do certain things. We can learn. We can do a lot of things, within our limits, but things have to make sense to our brains. We can’t even imagine big numbers, or how truly far away some of the things we see in telescopes are. That’s the thing, we too often refuse to acknowledge the fact that we have limits.
We are easily manipulated by what we see. If the robots in the picture were ugly or threatening,we wouldn’t think they were cute we would want to disassemble them. But the boy and his dog speak to a part of our brain that wants to care for and protect them. It’s not a conscious thing. We are wired to act that way. If either of them were damaged, we would want to fix/help them.
They’ve done studies on faces. Marilyn Monroe’s features were such (they measured) that they made people see her as a child, a baby, the distance between her eyes, etc.,triggered a certain response in those who saw her. Basically, we’re just riding around in these bodies, doing as we’re told, seeing what our brains tell us is there, and how we should feel about all of that.
The robot is adorable and so is the dog. People would buy tiny images of both and put them on a shelf…I have robots on my shelf. If we didn’t know what a boy or a dog was, however, I wonder what we would think about the picture?