By experimenting with robots and children scientists have made a surprising discovery:
Working with a group of 18-month-old toddlers and a metallic robot, a team of scientists from the University of Washington (UW) recently determined that it is not only what something looks like, but how it moves and interacts with others that give even inanimate objects social significance. In fact, they say these characteristics give lifeless objects meaning to all humans regardless of age.
This, of course, will come as little surprise to anyone who has watched a baseball player cursing out his bat. One assumes that an element of unpredictability is important to attributing humanity to the inanimate.
A quick scan of my memory reveals that I usually treat non-living things like humans when they’re refusing to do what I want. The inhuman appearance of soda machines, televisions or hammers has never prevented me from shouting “MOTHERFUCKER!” at them.
Mainly, I find it interesting that these scientists can experiment on 18 month old children but if when I tried to do that, the wife took my cleavers away for a whole month.