History Main / TheAestheticsOfTechnology

16th Jul '17 5:43:55 PM nombretomado
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* On the topic of aviation, though, it ''has'' been a trend for military aircraft to look sleeker and more advanced as technology progresses, which is perhaps part of the reason why people expect more advanced technology to look 'advanced'. Start with the flimsy biplanes of UsefulNotes/WW1, and continue through the propeller-powered fighters and bombers of WW2, the early Korean War-era jets, the first supersonic jets, the Vietnam era fighters, the '4th-generation' fighters, and the relatively recent arrival of stealth designs. It does indeed look at least partially as if there has been a general trend towards sleeker, more advanced looking designs over time.

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* On the topic of aviation, though, it ''has'' been a trend for military aircraft to look sleeker and more advanced as technology progresses, which is perhaps part of the reason why people expect more advanced technology to look 'advanced'. Start with the flimsy biplanes of UsefulNotes/WW1, and continue through the propeller-powered fighters and bombers of WW2, [=WW2=], the early Korean War-era jets, the first supersonic jets, the Vietnam era fighters, the '4th-generation' fighters, and the relatively recent arrival of stealth designs. It does indeed look at least partially as if there has been a general trend towards sleeker, more advanced looking designs over time.
8th Jul '17 6:10:48 AM MarqFJA
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Obviously, there is a bit of strangeness here: a 1950s computer, with all its tubes, light bulbs and BillionsOfButtons, ''looks'' vastly more technological and complicated than the plain [=MacBook=], even though the [[EverythingIsAnIpodInTheFuture MacBook]] may have literally ''millions'' of times more processing power than the old 1950s computer. This fallacy generally overlooks that one hallmark of advancing technology is the "comfort factor" we design in: something new and marvelous may well look all techno-, with exposed wires and flashing lights, but as technology advances ''even farther'', this techno-miracle will be refined until it can be given a form factor that doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. After all, it takes much more technological innovation to create the minimalist wallet-sized cellphones of today than to build a WorldWarII army field phone. In addition, there is the factor of Moore's Law and similar concepts for memory storage, circuit size, and energy efficiency: as integrated circuits become increasingly compact, electronics tend to shrink. Compare a nearly room-sized computer to the smaller, simpler Apple II, then compare that to today's smart phones with orders of magnitude more processing power!

Design aesthetics also change over time, totally independent of technology. In the 1950s, people thought that flares and tail fins looked futuristic. But we have just reached the [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture impossibly far-off AD 2017]], and very few things have tail fins, aside from actual fish, airplanes, and the Batmobile.[[note]]Even the Batmobile [[Film/TheDarkKnightSaga recently got rid of 'em.]][[/note]] Ironically, things like flares and tail fins now [[{{Zeerust}} look decidedly retro]]: recent models of the Ford Thunderbird have fins to keep the ''vintage'' '50s feel[[note]]...or would, if they had fins. They're shaped more like bars of soap[[/note]].

In general, as the "future" becomes the present for us folks in the real world, the miracles and advances tend to look not-quite so flashy as people in the past imagined them. Even if they change our lives enormously, they tend to do it in such a subtle way that you might not even notice by looking. The newest Boeing 747's look nearly identical to ones built in the 1970s but they're far more advanced inside. Some modern family cars are quicker than vintage sports cars, but they don't ''[[RedOnesGoFaster look]]'' as fast. A 2009 Dodge Challenger features all sorts of electronic pizazz such as cruise control, traction controls, computer-controlled engine, side airbags, GPS, voice recognition and whatnot, but outside it looks like a modernized 1970 Challenger. Your modern office building using modern building techniques might not need flying buttresses to hold it up, and it may indeed look a little different from the office buildings of a hundred years ago (it might even be a modern construction built behind a 19th century façade!), but it's not an organic-looking chrome spire seven miles tall with pneumatic tubes instead of elevators. We could probably build them that way, but we don't, because that's neither practical nor what our design aesthetics call for... well, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burj_Khalifa outside of Dubai,]] anyway.

In rare cases, some design choices ''do'' age well, which can make them appear more modern now than when they were first produced. Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey is an excellent example: in utilizing the minimalistic AsceticAesthetic design fad of the 1960's as the primary design aesthetic, it inadvertently matches today's vision that EverythingIsAnIPodInTheFuture in numerous instances, such as Hal's interfaces being a simple red lens and speaker on a plain surface, rather than a complex panel covered in buttons, switches, and blinking lights, and his core is oddly similar to modern plug-in server rack layouts. Likewise, the original ''[[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries Star Trek's]]'' sets are generally much sleeker and more minimalistic than those of its prequel series ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise,'' but at the time ''Enterprise'' was on, viewers complained that the prequel series looked ''more'' advanced, because minimalism was out of fashion at the time.
20th Jun '17 2:51:30 PM Yalsaris63
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** Maintenance is also an issue. Power window motors can be much more expensive to repair or replace when they break. And if the rubber seal around the window wears down enough to let moisture inside the door, an electric motor can burn out while a hand-crank mechanism will keep working.

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** Maintenance is also an issue. Power window motors can be much more expensive to repair or replace when they break. And if the rubber seal around the window wears down enough to let moisture inside the door, an electric motor can burn out while a hand-crank mechanism will keep working. This becomes more of an issue in vehicular accidents, especially if the car lays on its side or the roof. Survival options become limited if the car's windows do not utilize a hand-cranked mechanism; thus, the notion that newer technology is better than the old becomes disputable, as here, newer technology can be ''a liability'' if not taken into proper account.
14th Jun '17 12:17:18 AM jormis29
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* In ''{{Exalted}}'', it is mentioned that the Solars built Artifacts to be both functional and beautiful. When the Dragon-Blooded took over, they couldn't do both, so they decided to just go with the functional. Turns out, they couldn't do that quite as well either...

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* In ''{{Exalted}}'', ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'', it is mentioned that the Solars built Artifacts to be both functional and beautiful. When the Dragon-Blooded took over, they couldn't do both, so they decided to just go with the functional. Turns out, they couldn't do that quite as well either...
5th Jun '17 11:56:53 AM Smeagol17
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In rare cases, some design choices ''do'' age well, which can make them appear more modern now than when they were first produced. Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey is an excellent example: in utilizing the minimalistic AsceticAesthetic design fad of the 1960's as the primary design aesthetic, it inadvertently matches today's vision that EverythingIsAnIPodInTheFuture in numerous instances, such as Hal's interfaces being a simple red lens and speaker on a plain surface, rather than a complex panel covered in buttons, switches, and blinking lights, and his core is oddly similar to modern plug-in server rack layouts. Likewise, the original ''[[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries Star Trek's]]'' sets are generally much sleeker and more minimalistic than those of its prequel series ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise,'' bhtut at the time ''Enterprise'' was on, viewers complained that the prequel series looked ''more'' advanced, because minimalism was out of fashion at the time.

to:

In rare cases, some design choices ''do'' age well, which can make them appear more modern now than when they were first produced. Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey is an excellent example: in utilizing the minimalistic AsceticAesthetic design fad of the 1960's as the primary design aesthetic, it inadvertently matches today's vision that EverythingIsAnIPodInTheFuture in numerous instances, such as Hal's interfaces being a simple red lens and speaker on a plain surface, rather than a complex panel covered in buttons, switches, and blinking lights, and his core is oddly similar to modern plug-in server rack layouts. Likewise, the original ''[[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries Star Trek's]]'' sets are generally much sleeker and more minimalistic than those of its prequel series ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise,'' bhtut but at the time ''Enterprise'' was on, viewers complained that the prequel series looked ''more'' advanced, because minimalism was out of fashion at the time.
5th Jun '17 11:54:58 AM Smeagol17
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Design aesthetics also change over time, totally independent of technology. In the 1950s, people thought that flares and tail fins looked futuristic. But we have just reached the [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture impossibly far-off AD 2016]], and very few things have tail fins, aside from actual fish, airplanes, and the Batmobile.[[note]]Even the Batmobile [[Film/TheDarkKnightSaga recently got rid of 'em.]][[/note]] Ironically, things like flares and tail fins now [[{{Zeerust}} look decidedly retro]]: recent models of the Ford Thunderbird have fins to keep the ''vintage'' '50s feel[[note]]...or would, if they had fins. They're shaped more like bars of soap[[/note]].

to:

Design aesthetics also change over time, totally independent of technology. In the 1950s, people thought that flares and tail fins looked futuristic. But we have just reached the [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture impossibly far-off AD 2016]], 2017]], and very few things have tail fins, aside from actual fish, airplanes, and the Batmobile.[[note]]Even the Batmobile [[Film/TheDarkKnightSaga recently got rid of 'em.]][[/note]] Ironically, things like flares and tail fins now [[{{Zeerust}} look decidedly retro]]: recent models of the Ford Thunderbird have fins to keep the ''vintage'' '50s feel[[note]]...or would, if they had fins. They're shaped more like bars of soap[[/note]].
15th May '17 9:07:33 PM karstovich2
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* The comedy actor and closet engineer Robbie Coltrane noted in a book on engines that public trust of propeller and jet planes has almost swapped since the 1950s. "People used to be scared of jet planes because they couldn't see the propeller going round. I was in a turbo-prop recently and this woman sitting beside me said 'Look at the propeller going round, it's really scary isn't it!' Obviously the once-alien jet engine has proven itself over time, and the prop has come to be viewed as old-fashioned and unreliable -- even if it's a ''modern'' propeller design.

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* The comedy actor Actor and closet engineer Robbie Coltrane Creator/RobbieColtrane noted in a book on engines that public trust of propeller and jet planes has almost swapped since the 1950s. "People used to be scared of jet planes because they couldn't see the propeller going round. I was in a turbo-prop recently and this woman sitting beside me said 'Look at the propeller going round, it's really scary isn't it!' Obviously the once-alien jet engine has proven itself over time, and the prop has come to be viewed as old-fashioned and unreliable -- even if it's a ''modern'' propeller design.
14th May '17 7:44:29 PM HelloLamppost
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In rare cases, some design choices ''do'' age well, which can make them appear more modern now than when they were first produced. Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey is an excellent example: in utilizing the minimalistic AsceticAesthetic design fad of the 1960's as the primary design aesthetic, it inadvertently matches today's vision that EverythingIsAnIPodInTheFuture in numerous instances, such as Hal's interfaces being a simple red lens and speaker on a plain surface, rather than a complex panel covered in buttons, switches, and blinking lights, and his core is oddly similar to modern plug-in server rack layouts. Likewise, the original ''[[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries Star Trek's]]'' sets are generally much sleeker and more minimalistic than those of its prequel series ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise,'' but at the time ''Enterprise'' was on, viewers complained that the prequel series looked ''more'' advanced, because minimalism was out of fashion at the time.

to:

In rare cases, some design choices ''do'' age well, which can make them appear more modern now than when they were first produced. Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey is an excellent example: in utilizing the minimalistic AsceticAesthetic design fad of the 1960's as the primary design aesthetic, it inadvertently matches today's vision that EverythingIsAnIPodInTheFuture in numerous instances, such as Hal's interfaces being a simple red lens and speaker on a plain surface, rather than a complex panel covered in buttons, switches, and blinking lights, and his core is oddly similar to modern plug-in server rack layouts. Likewise, the original ''[[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries Star Trek's]]'' sets are generally much sleeker and more minimalistic than those of its prequel series ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise,'' but bhtut at the time ''Enterprise'' was on, viewers complained that the prequel series looked ''more'' advanced, because minimalism was out of fashion at the time.
14th May '17 6:59:28 PM HelloLamppost
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For reasons that ought to be obvious, this fallacy is largely absent among fans of SteamPunk. See also ShinyLookingSpaceships, UsedFuture, ExcessiveSteamSyndrome, EverythingIsAnIPodInTheFuture and HighTechHexagons. See also CosmeticallyAdvancedPrequel.

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For reasons that ought to be obvious, this fallacy is largely absent among fans of SteamPunk. See also ShinyLookingSpaceships, UsedFuture, ExcessiveSteamSyndrome, EverythingIsAnIPodInTheFuture and HighTechHexagons. See also CosmeticallyAdvancedPrequel. Compare to TechnologyMarchesOn, which has to do with the substance and capabilities of technology, rather than what it looks like.
14th May '17 6:58:01 PM HelloLamppost
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In rare cases, some design choices ''do'' age well, which can make them appear more modern now than when they were first produced. Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey is an excellent example: in utilizing the minimalistic AsceticAesthetic design fad of the 1960's as the primary design aesthetic, it inadvertently matches today's vision that EverythingIsAnIPodInTheFuture in numerous instances, such as Hal's interfaces being a simple red lens and speaker on a plain surface, rather than a complex panel covered in buttons, switches, and blinking lights, and his core is oddly similar to modern plug-in server rack layouts.

to:

In rare cases, some design choices ''do'' age well, which can make them appear more modern now than when they were first produced. Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey is an excellent example: in utilizing the minimalistic AsceticAesthetic design fad of the 1960's as the primary design aesthetic, it inadvertently matches today's vision that EverythingIsAnIPodInTheFuture in numerous instances, such as Hal's interfaces being a simple red lens and speaker on a plain surface, rather than a complex panel covered in buttons, switches, and blinking lights, and his core is oddly similar to modern plug-in server rack layouts.
layouts. Likewise, the original ''[[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries Star Trek's]]'' sets are generally much sleeker and more minimalistic than those of its prequel series ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise,'' but at the time ''Enterprise'' was on, viewers complained that the prequel series looked ''more'' advanced, because minimalism was out of fashion at the time.
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