History Main / TheAestheticsOfTechnology

6th Feb '16 2:27:46 AM eroock
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no bolding for trope titles
The '''Aesthetics of Technology''' is a manifestation of TheCoconutEffect dictating that if something ''looks'' more advanced according to the viewer's own personal standard, it ''is'' more advanced.
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The '''Aesthetics Aesthetics of Technology''' Technology is a manifestation of TheCoconutEffect dictating that if something ''looks'' more advanced according to the viewer's own personal standard, it ''is'' more advanced.
7th Dec '15 12:13:56 AM Yalsaris63
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There is also a critical reliability issue with spaceflight computing - hardware has to be as reliable as possible, even if that means using very old equipment. If a brand-new processor that's currently on its way to Pluto turns out to be flawed, the replacement options are limited. Similarly, software used in space needs to be reliable, robust, and as simple as possible. Ask an astronaut if he wants to see a desktop-computer-style driver conflict error on his navigation computer.
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** There is also a critical reliability issue with spaceflight computing - hardware has to be as reliable as possible, even if that means using very old equipment. If a brand-new processor that's currently on its way to Pluto turns out to be flawed, the replacement options are limited. Similarly, software used in space needs to be reliable, robust, and as simple as possible. Ask an astronaut if he wants to see a desktop-computer-style driver conflict error on his navigation computer.
30th Nov '15 10:56:01 AM Masterweaver
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Added DiffLines:
* ''VideoGame/{{Overwatch}}'' uses technology to subtly unify a cast of twenty-one characters who are diverse in both appearance and culture. Every last one of them has some form of wearable tech--the samurai archer has sleek metallic boots that fit his otherwise traditional outfit, the two wastelanders both have tech clearly scavenged from somewhere similar to the rest of the cast's outfits... These also serve to provide a visual explanation for most of the character's unique abilities.
8th Nov '15 7:22:54 PM nombretomado
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* The ''RevelationSpace'' universe created by Alastair Reynolds {{hand wave}}s this problem with the Melding Plague which attacks nanotechnology, forcing society to revert to more primitive forms of computer interface.
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* The ''RevelationSpace'' ''Literature/RevelationSpace'' universe created by Alastair Reynolds {{hand wave}}s this problem with the Melding Plague which attacks nanotechnology, forcing society to revert to more primitive forms of computer interface.
8th Nov '15 11:21:40 AM nombretomado
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** The [=M12=] Light Reconnaissance Vehicle, better known as the Warthog or the [[RedVsBlue Puma]], doesn't look like it should be used in 2552, but has seemingly unpoppable tires. In canon, the Warthog doesn't need gasoline. It actually runs on water.
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** The [=M12=] Light Reconnaissance Vehicle, better known as the Warthog or the [[RedVsBlue [[Machinima/RedVsBlue Puma]], doesn't look like it should be used in 2552, but has seemingly unpoppable tires. In canon, the Warthog doesn't need gasoline. It actually runs on water.
11th Oct '15 7:11:28 PM WillKeaton
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* Something of an actual subversion with the SR-71 Blackbird. It was made in 1964. It looks futuristic [[http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/Gallery/Photo/SR-71/Large/EC95-43075-2.jpg even by modern standards]]. It still holds the record as the fastest piloted air breathing jet-engine aircraft. The problem with this "subversion" is that the USAF never desired a faster aircraft, one not really being necessary, and since only the USAF has the budget to fund a faster aircraft, we don't know what aircraft engineers could produce using more modern techniques. We know that they thought it was better to ''bring it out of retirement'' in the 90s than to design something new, with its operating costs as approximately a hundred thousand dollars an ''hour''
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* Something of an actual subversion with the SR-71 Blackbird. It was made in 1964. It looks futuristic [[http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/Gallery/Photo/SR-71/Large/EC95-43075-2.jpg even by modern standards]]. standards.]] It still holds the record as the fastest piloted air breathing jet-engine aircraft. The problem with this "subversion" is that the USAF never desired a faster aircraft, one not really being necessary, and since only the USAF has the budget to fund a faster aircraft, we don't know what aircraft engineers could produce using more modern techniques. We know that they thought it was better to ''bring it out of retirement'' in the 90s than to design something new, with its operating costs as approximately a hundred thousand dollars an ''hour''

* This expectation led to a ''Website/NotAlwaysRight'' [[http://notalwaysright.com/all-in-wonder/2547 entry]].
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* This expectation led to a ''Website/NotAlwaysRight'' [[http://notalwaysright.com/all-in-wonder/2547 entry]].entry.]]
11th Oct '15 7:10:16 PM WillKeaton
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*** The Europeans have a vague notion of converting the Automated Transfer Vehicle--an unmanned resupply craft--into a manned capsule. This would entail changing the shape of the thing from a cylinder to a cone. It's unclear where this plan is going, especially now that the ATV is to become the basis for [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_Service_Module Orion's service module]].
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*** The Europeans have a vague notion of converting the Automated Transfer Vehicle--an unmanned resupply craft--into a manned capsule. This would entail changing the shape of the thing from a cylinder to a cone. It's unclear where this plan is going, especially now that the ATV is to become the basis for [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_Service_Module Orion's service module]].module.]]

** The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontiac_Trans_Sport Pontiac Trans Sport]]. First marketed in 1990, in its default all-white colour scheme it would not have looked out of place in a 1970's science-fiction program.
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** The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontiac_Trans_Sport Pontiac Trans Sport]]. Sport.]] First marketed in 1990, in its default all-white colour scheme it would not have looked out of place in a 1970's science-fiction program.

* [[http://www.motorstown.com/images/gmc-scenicruiser-02.jpg Futuristic buses]] from [[TheFifties the 1950s]] laid great emphasis on "aero" shapes, shiny aircraft-inspired outer panels, large panoramic windows. Modern buses are aerodynamically cleaner, with better interior space and larger glass areas, and look like a [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fb/Setra_S_315_UL_100_3602.jpg high-tech brick]].
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* [[http://www.motorstown.com/images/gmc-scenicruiser-02.jpg Futuristic buses]] from [[TheFifties the 1950s]] laid great emphasis on "aero" shapes, shiny aircraft-inspired outer panels, large panoramic windows. Modern buses are aerodynamically cleaner, with better interior space and larger glass areas, and look like a [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fb/Setra_S_315_UL_100_3602.jpg high-tech brick]].brick.]]
11th Oct '15 7:08:55 PM WillKeaton
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** A British company is having some success working on an SSTO spaceplane which ''might'' [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skylon_%28spacecraft%29 actually work this time]]. It plays this trope pretty straight.
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** A British company is having some success working on an SSTO spaceplane which ''might'' [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skylon_%28spacecraft%29 actually work this time]]. time.]] It plays this trope pretty straight.
11th Oct '15 7:07:18 PM WillKeaton
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** Inverted and played straight among Earth ships. The [[http://www.starshipmodeler.com/b5/cc_breheny_06a.JPG Hyperion-class cruiser]] looks more advanced than the [[http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b50/liffrea/b5_omega2.jpg Omega-class destroyer]], but the Omega is in fact the ''replacement'' of the Hyperion and has superior firepower and speed and simulates gravity with its rotating section. Then we have the [[http://roleplaying.diraven.net/babylon5/starships/images/Earth_Warlock.jpg Warlock-class destroyer]], who looks more advanced than the Omega and is in fact its replacement, featuring improved armour, weapons and actual ArtificialGravity, eliminating the need for the rotating section.
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** Inverted and played straight among Earth ships. The [[http://www.starshipmodeler.com/b5/cc_breheny_06a.JPG Hyperion-class cruiser]] looks more advanced than the [[http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b50/liffrea/b5_omega2.jpg Omega-class destroyer]], destroyer,]] but the Omega is in fact the ''replacement'' of the Hyperion and has superior firepower and speed and simulates gravity with its rotating section. Then we have the [[http://roleplaying.diraven.net/babylon5/starships/images/Earth_Warlock.jpg Warlock-class destroyer]], destroyer,]] who looks more advanced than the Omega and is in fact its replacement, featuring improved armour, weapons and actual ArtificialGravity, eliminating the need for the rotating section.
11th Oct '15 7:05:05 PM WillKeaton
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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 fašade!), 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).
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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 fašade!), 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). anyway.
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