Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Genuine People Personalities

Humans have a tendency to see patterns where there aren't any. It goes back to our hunter-gatherer days. If you think a sound might be something rustling in the woods, it's better to assume it's real than to be eaten by a tiger.

There's a similar phenomenon in anthropomorphism. People assign personalities to almost anything. An owner of a Roomba will probably be willing to tell you about how their Roomba feels, and how it's "special". Most Roombas have a name, like you would give to a pet or a human.

When people hear about this tendency to assign personalities to things that have none, they smugly smile to themselves, sure that, "I'm not that silly." I look at it the other way. If humans are known to create imaginary personalities, then the most reasonable assumption is that people and animals don't actually have a personality, and we are merely projecting this facade onto what is essentially a robot made of meat.

Now playing: Lynyrd Skynyrd - Sweet Home Alabama
via FoxyTunes


Anonymous said...

that seems a bit to simplistic to me. the fact that our frontal lob does what no other animal (to our knowledge) can do, "predict the future," is more then sheer processing power of a meat robot. i would be impressed if we can make a robot that understands causality.

simply because we give personality to objects doesn't mean that there is no such thing as personality. it just means people feel comfortable doing so.

if you invest time into something you are likely to grow attached to it. don't tell you you never were attached to a stuffed animal when you were a kid!

~signed~ the only person who regularly posts here.

Anonymous said...

also, do you think you have a personality? can you project personality onto yourself?

i think there is an easy way to assume real from projected personality.