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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Break From Politics: The Writer Automaton

(with thanks to FreeThinke, who emailed me the link below)

Video of the only surviving, working automaton, 240 years old.

The clockwork was created by Pierre Jaquet-Droz.


  1. What is truly amazing is that the antique doll functions in a fashion even more complicated than a modern day plotter

  2. I can not imagine the skill or the patients it took to create such a marvel.

  3. This is a take-a-break-from-politics blog post.

    Please refrain from posting political material to this thread.

    Thank you.

  4. Amazing, isn't it?

    This reminded me of an article about 19th Century GIFs

    1. Looks like Variations on the Kaleidoscope Principle.

      Busby Berkeley did it with real live girls all dressed alike photographed from above. Some of the old girls who appeared as cogs in the machinery of his mechanistic choreography later reported that working for him was pure torture, because he cared nothing for them as human beings -- only for the image they helped produce.

      What in Heaven's name is a GIF? If you only knew how hateful it is to see the endless parade of INITIALS and ACRONYMS people fling about today -- as though, only a MORON wouldn't know they stood for -- you and all the other young moderns would do us poor readers the courtesy of spelling it out out -- at least ONCE -- before you go into your dissertations in Techspeak.

      Nothing personal -- it's just that some of us who actually READ the comments like to know what others are talking about without having to "hit the books" in order to find out.

  5. What I found significant about this besides the sheer beauty of its inner workings and the seemingly incredible amounts of creative intelligence, great care, fine craftsmanship, patience and devotion it must have taken to produce is the utter lack of usefulness the piece displays. Like all works of Art it exists solely because its unique properties amount to a celebration of the application of Intelligence and aesthetic awareness.

    Art for Art's sake!

    The Great Thing that makes human beings unique among all other life forms in God's Creation. The Thing that draws us closer to God than any other aspect of our complex nature as a species.

  6. The eyes on that thing are creepy, but otherwise amazing to watch.

    Right Truth

    1. What a curious reaction! Perhaps you've seen too many reruns of "Chuckie," and have developed an aversion to dolls? ;-)

      Many people dislike dolls including me. I think deep down we have a fear they may come to life in the middle of the night and wreak havoc in our lives -- something like that.

      I remember seeing one made of corn husks in a child's nursery under the exposed rafters at a restored historic home from the 1600's. It sat perched atop a beautiful handmade antique chest of drawers and stared down at me -- I thought malevolently. It gave me nightmares for many weeks. I was just 4 at the time -- a very impressionable age.

      Do you think The Writing Boy may be possessed by an evil spirit?

  7. That is awesome. I wonder if people will start being able to recreate some of this kind of work with 3D printing?

    1. There is always a genius lurking somewhere who will be able to produce anything human beings are capable of imagining.

      That, of course, is possibly our biggest problem, because genius in and of itself is divorced from morality.

      Without the liberating restraints of the Christ Consciousness human intelligence is capable of infinite evil.

  8. Have you seen Hugo, AOW? It's beautifully made. I think the man featured in the article below had input into the movie.



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