03 June 2014

Placebo Sleep Photo Addendum

I had a hard time coming up with an addendum to last Friday’s blog post, Placebo Sleep. Walking didn’t generate any super ideas (see: Walking for Creativity) so I started searching photos online.

I began with perception and almost went with optical illusions.

Stare at the circles and they appear to pulsate. One of many
optical illusions developed by Prof. Akiyoshi Kitaoka.
It didn’t take long to remember that I’d already included similar illusions in an earlier photo addendum, Spotting Mistakes Addendum. I strive for originality.

I came across an air-guitar photo that I thought was great but decided it was a stretch to tag it perception--at least the perception covered by the research--unless you could convince passersby to reach for one.

Free air guitar. (multiple websites)
I scanned through placebos and placebo effects and found lots of pills, sugar, graphs and diagrams. I thought I had something with the power of suggestion if I focused on advertising. That was disappointing. 

Then I switched to fake machines, trying to come up with something like the one the investigators said could determine the participants’ previous night’s REMs. There wasn’t much there besides a wide variety of perpetual motion machines (e.g., www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/museum/unwork.htm) and the fake chess-playing machine, operated by a hidden chess master, which was used to fool Napoleon and many others from 1770 to the 1820s. 

A reconstruction of the Mechanical Turk
aka Automaton Chess Player), a fake
chess-playing machine. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Turk)
I considered older exercise machines, which looked cool but probably shouldn’t be labeled fake.

Mechanotherapy exercise equipment invented in the late 1800s by Gustav Zander. (www.theultraviolet.com/wordpress/2014/02/how-to-workout-without-ever-having-to-actually-workout/)
Then I arrived at machine art forms, such as a flash drive (aka thumb drive).
Steampunk-style computer flash drive. (multiple websites)
And I found what I thought was an excellent fake machine, though I doubt it would have fooled the undergraduates.

Hannah Pearson’s “Make Believe Machine.” (hannahpearsonart.wordpress.com/)
With that I stopped, having run out of time, and I went for a walk to think about the next blog topic.

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