Saturday, January 23, 2010

Uncanny Valley of Fiction?

This silly piece of fiction about Airline Pilots Behaving Badly showed up in a Google alert. I read it without context, at first thinking its author was trying to pass it off as a real cockpit experience. I started into it with squinty-eyes and a frown that my profession was represented this badly, and then with a different frown as I tried to find a decade when the details would have made any sense.

It doesn't take many details to realize that it is pure, and not very well-researched fiction. A drinks cart doesn't fit in a cockpit, and pilot seats do not adjust that way. The more inaccurate it became, the more I forgave it, until I got to the last line and burst out laughing, allowing me to retroactively enjoy the whole thing.

Funny that. It seems that if something is completely inaccurate, I can relax and enjoy it, but if it's close enough that it could be supposed to be real, then it's uncomfortable. The principle known as Uncanny Valley in animation applies to fiction as well? Or is that just me?

Oops, I just started blogging and I haven't done my sim yet. That's chronic, by the way. Whenever I feel like blogging I realize I haven't done my sim yet, so do I sim? No, I don't feel like simming when I feel like blogging. So instead I surf the Internet. When I feel like simming I sim, but when I'm done simming it's too late to blog, so I don't. I'm now only two days ahead of the proper date when it comes to writing up blog posts. But I'm practically current on the entire Cheezeburger Network. I'll have to come up with a new rule.


Sarah said...

I don't think it's just you. Any depiction in movies or TV of something I know a lot about that is close to right, but just .. wrong .. bugs me. Unless, of course, it is supposed to be funny, like Airplane!.

It's like a special case of the the uncanny valley. The valley is keeping me from really wanting to see that new movie with the titanic blue aliens.

Michael5000 said...

I think the gig was kind of up at "Captain Lance von Hollycock." If there was any remaining credibility, "Transatlantic flight 12B" finished it off.