Ed Driscoll

Beyond the Uncanny Valley of the Unicorn Riders

Charles Blow of the New York Times is surprised that President Obama is almost — but not quite lifelike, in much the same way that an increasing number of New York Times articles are almost, but not quite accurate. As Blow writes:


In 1970, the Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori coined the phrase “uncanny valley.” In the field of robotics, and increasingly in computer animation, it refers to the theory that people feel good about robots — up to a point. When they start to look almost real, but not quite, we experience an eerie and unsettling sense of revulsion.

* * * * *

But one person I never thought would fall into this valley was Barack Obama, the charismatic candidate who electrified the electorate in 2008 and whom many saw as the fulfillment of the dream of the even-more-electrifying Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Yet here Obama is, down in the valley, struggling to connect with the American people and failing, increasingly coming across as dispassionate to some and outright revolting to others.

As the Professor would say, rube.

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