online: 14 july 2017
modified: 2, 14 july 2017

2 july 2017 uncanny control

...about to walk in the woods when i caught sight of someone in a field with hands aloft... as if taking a photograph with a digital camera... but when i got nearer i saw that he was not holding a camera but the control box of a model helicopter... that he could move the helicopter a few centimetres in any direction (or stop in midair) in a manner that seems to me uncanny... so precise and so lacking in visible instruction... almost supernatural...

...why (i wondered) do the movements of full size aircraft not also seem uncanny... or the movements of birds... or of insects (for instance the butterfly i saw on the pavement) ?... is it just that i am unused to model helicopters... or is it that rigidly geometric control is itself a bit uncanny... but we have got used to it in weapons, vehicles, machines of many kinds... and quite soon the hovering and precise motions of model helicopters may seem quite natural...

...i wonder if the mechanical actions of humans are in fact supernatural... whereas our more animal actions are natural... ? (such questions pervade this writing!)


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