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.
(www.ritsumei.ac.jp/~akitaoka/index-e.html)
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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