It scares me • 27 February 2009 • The SnowBlog

It scares me


TED Talks are cool. Brainy folk give twenty minute talks on all sorts of subjects: art, science, the future, coral. You can fetch videos of them direct or you can ask iTunes to maintain a stock of them. One of the talks showed a four-legged robot walking across rough terrain, snow and ice. It's called Big Dog and it scares me. The way it moves is unsettling. It stumbles and then finds its feet. And the buzzing noise it emits makes it seem much more frightening. It is more frightening than things that Hollywood designs to be frightening. And yet, when someone gives it a violent kick - to demonstrate that it can right itself - I felt empathy, and momentary disgust toward the person kicking it. But it's just a motorised platform, and a very cool one at that. Conclusion: the future is going to be strange. Prepare yourselves. 
I would just like to make the point that BoingBoing posted something about Big Dog at 11: 07, whereas I called your attention to it at 10:49. So, for once, I wasn't nicking ideas straight off BoingBoing. Though they clearly want you to think I am, what with their suspicious timing, but that footage has been around for a little while. So there.


The SnowBlog is one of the oldest publishing blogs, started in 2003, and it's been through various content management systems over the years. A 2005 techno-blunder meant we lost the early years, but the archives you're reading now go all the way back to 2005.

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