The control panels in this Russian nuclear power plant look like something out of the 60s, but it was built in the 1990s. Why so little computer interface? It's probably a budgetary issue, but, at Fast Company Design, John Pavlus wonders whether there's a bigger lesson we can learn.
But what about all those clunky, straight-outta-Star-Trek knobs and lights -- what if they're a safety feature, too?
Well, here's the thing, as Christopher Mims at Technology Review brilliantly points out: touch is a powerful, powerful thing. And not the sterile, featureless version that passes for "touch" on your iPad. I'm talking about the physical, primal, ultra-high-res sensorium that you experience from interacting with everyday objects in the real world. Our brains and hands evolved they way they did for a reason, and virtual displays and interfaces simply don't "click" with the kind of infomation-processing we've evolved to do so well. Deep, spatial sense-memory—"colored THING in THAT location that feels like THIS and STAYS there"—is how our savannah-dwelling ancestors navigated their environment and avoided getting killed, and it's still true today.
There's more photos of the power plant at Fast Company Design.
Photos taken by Ilya Varlamov
Via Mark Changizi!
When Zoe Stavri woke up with a yeast infection, she had a strange and intriguing idea: what about adding some of her vaginal candida to sourdough starter?
Nick Sousanis, who delivered his doctoral dissertation in comic book form, has a new comic in the current Nature magazine, explaining the last 25 years’ worth of climate talks, as a primer in advance of the Paris climate talks next week.
Randall “XKCD” Munroe’s Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words arrives in stores today: it combines technical diagrams and wordplay in pure display of everything that makes XKCD brilliant and wonderful in every way.
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