Saturday, June 16, 2012

Power of appearances - Peacocks and Pandas

Somebody once told me the only survival adaptations pandas have evolved is their cuteness. They eat hard to digest, scarce low nutrient food, move and breed slowly and are distinct and highly visible to predators. They have only survived because people find them cute.

Studying the appearance and optic manipulation performed to achieve the colours opens up a huge arena in the study of wave propagation. Peacocks achieve their iridiscent plumage through structural colouration. The quality of the colouration reveals a lot regarding the refinement of the genetic processes which create it.
Beauty is said to be in the eye of the beholder, it more like beauty is in the sensor and the heuristics attached to the sensor. With proper training you will find X-rays of ribcages and hyaenas beautiful (of course after you have spent a few years studying the subject for say a PhD). Beauty is often associated with a halo effect and positive attributes are lumped onto those who pass our physical beauty filter.

Rampant use of cosmetics has messed up our facial feature filters somewhat, soon we will be judging people by their bone structure (this happens a bit already among athletes), heat distribution or UV images. All the better for cyborg like optical implants or AR Goggles. I will keep performing full wave EM simulations in head and keep seeing things in Gigahertz range. With the anthropic principle in effect and metallic content of the known universe increasing due to fusion and the cosmic background being in this range, it might come in handy one day.

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