A Humane Turtle


Selective Sensibility

Cloaca – University Professor Edition

It was just an ordinary quirky day at work today. When it was time to have lunch, one of my colleagues looked at me apathetically, asking me if it was really necessary for him to leave his beloved computer and analytical state of mind, just to go and have food. My instincts told me that it probably was.

But his question also reminded me of a TED talk I’d seen recently, one of the highest ranked TED talks, in fact: Sir Ken Robinson’s take on the education system. At some point in his talk, he describes university professors as a form of life where the body’s sole purpose is to transport the brain. All its other features and functionalities are reduced to the necessary minimum.

On the other side, there was this art installation a friend told me about, Cloaca. Here, researchers from different disciplines pulled together to create a machine that did one thing very well: mimic the human digestive system. A machine version of the truly minimalistic human, producing nothing but shit.

So I thought, why not combine the two? We could create the installation ‘Cloaca – University Professor Edition’. You’d still feed it with food, it would still produce excrements, but in addition, it would also create scientific papers. Like this one, for example (via SCIgen).