Week 3_Industrial Age, Kinetic Art, Robotics by Crystal Lin

It’s interesting to see how the development of technology brings about change in the art world. When the Professor was talking about Descartes, I had to think twice to make sure I wasn’t in another math class. Whenever I think of Descartes I think of Descartes rule of signs, with zeros and polynomials. I didn’t realize he was a philosopher as well as a mathematician. I guess that’s another to show the distinction between two cultures: when I told my North Campus friend about it, she said, “Descartes was a mathematician? I just knew he was a philosopher!” Though Descartes rule of signs didn’t affect the world of art, other mathematic discoveries did, like the fractals we looked at in last week’s lecture. One of the movie clips that stuck in my mind from lecture was the one of a man explaining the Hebrew language, and how each letter had a corresponding number, and each number had significance. For example, the numbers for the word “father” totaled 3, and the numbers for the word “mother” totaled 41.Together they make 44, which is the numerical total for the word “child.” To think that the “Torah’s just a long string of numbers” is insane in my mind.

The picture corresponding to Descartes’ illustration of mind-body dualism also caught my attention. If I took Philosophy of the Mind this quarter like I had intended, I probably would have learned more about it, but my current understanding of mind-body dualism is that the mind is separate from the brain. The mind has to do with consciousness and self-awareness, whereas the brain has to do with intelligence. It’s interesting to think how one would do without the other.

I think one of the things I really take for granted is the technological wonder of robotics. I never found robots to be interesting, nor did I care to look at the complexity of even the simplest robotic machine. It was cool nonetheless to watch the evolution of robotics through movie clips and slideshows. When the professor showed the clip of a woman’s face being recreated through robotic movement, I was blown away, because I had initially thought that it was really a woman talking! Looking back on movies like “Blade Runner” and comparing them to movies like “iRobot” definitely makes it that much more exciting to live in this day and age.

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