Sunday, August 7, 2011

Fun with symmetry

So after the discussion in the comments yesterday about symmetry, I was playing around with a site called PicHacks where you can upload a photo and get back left-symmetrical and right-symmetrical versions. It's hard to find a completely front-facing photo and to get it to split exactly down the center, but one photo came pretty close -- the right-side image looked pretty much like me but with a slightly wider nose (leading me to believe the line of symmetry was slightly off-center), but the left-side image is quite eerie:


I look like an Icelandic version of Sissy Spacek, no?


Or, according to my friend Kate, a gelfling:


9 comments:

  1. What's funny and fascinating about that first photo is that the two sides are so identical--for obvious reasons--that it's creepy. Wow. Less like Sissy Spacek (though I see that) than a lovely manufactured alien who has come to drain our minds.

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  2. I suspect that it would be good to make people _more_ symmetrical without making them _perfectly_ symmetrical, lest they go all uncanny valley ...

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  3. If this was Facebook, I would click "like" on this last point.

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  4. I was thinking, Sissy Spacek kind of already is in the uncanny valley. She creeps me out. Even her name is space-age.

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  5. When I saw the photo of you, the first thing that went through my mind was "Smilla's Sense of Snow," although I've never read the book or seen the movie.

    In this part of the country (Minnesota and surrounding region), people who like like Icelandic space aliens etc. are commonplace. Someone who looks like this photo of you wouldn't stand out in a crowd. (By any chance do you go into psychic trances or have conversations with spirits from beyond?)

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  6. If you're ever in New York and looking to achieve the opposite effect of PicHacks, I recommend going to the Pink Pony, a cafe that has a mirror in its bathroom that shows you "what you really look like," unlike a real mirror, which (obviously) gives you your "mirror image." Leigh Stein took us there on Friday and we all spent like, 5 minutes in there just staring at our faces because seeing yourself the "right" way looks so bizarrely wrong. We all thought we looked "worse" and more asymmetrical than we'd previously believed. It was disorienting and fun-yet-disturbing.

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  7. Ooh, creepy. I've also heard that the reason people think they look ugly in photos/videos is because they're used to seeing themselves from the same angle all the time, face forward, in the mirror.

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