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Semiformalishmaybe

Our Own Meadow

It would be rather neat to make a computer mapping application that would perform spatial distortions to provide a worldview more like our inner representations of things - things of high importance, in our mental maps, tend to be larger than things of no importance to us - the area of CMU campus, for example, is larger than the area across forbes of equal depth, and drawing a map of the city creates a fisheye-like distortion around various places. It's not a perfect fisheye - it's hierarchial. Making an app that did justice to the way we think of these things would be a fascinating adventure, although perhaps it would not be that great to use that map too much - our brain already provides that lens, and doubling its power is unlikely to be good for our sense of geography.

The uncanny valley is a well-known effect. I recently noticed that it is not substantially different, from a subjective standpoint, from seeing someone who looks a lot like someone one knows/knew. Seeing what's almost a familiar face with a few things off evokes a pinch of that same horror of wrongness of a mannequin.

Comments

(1) look up Barbara Tversky's work

(2) some people have made logarithmic maps of the world starting from their house.