Nanotechnology and phenotype

It is rather strange how technology continues to meet science fiction and exceed it. It is possible to take a single cell from a person's body and generate a complete organ for transplant from that cell in about two weeks. It is also possible with nanotechnology to have whatever physical appearance that one wants. I was watching Ultraviolet the other day and I thought that it was a neat special effect that people in the movie could change their hair color, length and texture by thought and in fact this is quite possible with some existing technology and personally I think that might be a real funny thing to try out. I once bought some contacts, (even though they had no correction) to change my eye color from blue to brown and green just to see if people would notice. Strangely, people would treat me differently based on which contacts I wore on a given day. I guess what I mean is that people tend to be very superficial about how they judge others. I actually thought is was quite funny as I could switch my appearance to be liked by different groups and they never caught on to the fact that their opinions of me changed from day to day.


Jessica said...

That is QUITE fascinating. I would love to hear more about how you felt wearing the contacts, and how it affected others' interactions with you, with specifics to color.

I wonder if the fact that people don't typically change their eye color affects how little people are aware that it makes a difference. For example, many people change their hair color, and will admit that they prefer certain colors. That will definitely cause a change in behavior (in themselves and others toward them), even if the person is aware of it and tries to consciously ignore that characteristic. It is more acceptible because in many cases, hair color is a choice. So it is an action, and an expression of preference. Thus, open to judgment.

Since eye color is typically not a choice (as I don't think colored contacts are nearly as prevalent as dye jobs), it shouldn't be a used as something to make a value judgment. I think that fact in itself is why people may not be conscious about it, and their change in behavior arises from a deeper level.

My personal fascination is that growing up, I thought I was ugly, and in a large part due to the fact that I have brown eyes. The standard of beauty for a white female in this country was (and probably still is) blue eyes. As I began to see brunette models with brown eyes splash the slick pages, I found little solace as I am not a brunette, either. Fortunately, I grew up :)

Paul Mohr said...

Yes people are very superficial and not just about eye color and hair color but numerous other things that have nothing to do with the character or worth of a person. The hardest thing to judge about a person is their true character and the fact that people select on characteristics that can be manipulated by current medical technique continues to amaze me. I think if one selects their friends, associates and partners on the basis of a superficial trait, then you get what you ask for. I guess if you are happy with that it doesn't matter. I have blue eyes but if you look at the link in my latest post you will see that it is due to a mutation which causes a particular gene to be inactive. I think I got more positive attention with green eyes but I didn't make any scientific study of it as after while it wasn't fun anymore. I grew up in farm country and women never wore makeup and you could find them out driving a tractor as often as not and I never judged them on superficial traits, and in fact I still don't. I actually see modifying superficial appearance as a way to conceal a lack of something inside. I am not sure that whatever mechanism in the mind that is active with such a thing is inherently biological in origin. It is quite possible that the acceptance of a specific characteristic as positive may in fact be a result of advertising and has no real basis. Sex is used so much to sell things and one of the things that sells is an appearance of sexual availability. And that also explains why I moderate comments, it is not to exclude anybody's negative opinions of me or the site but to keep people from posting links to "pron". I think it would be interesting to see how people rate faces that are generated by the morphing software that is on my video post. I have a morphing package that I just got and I think I will try it out.
I will post some images from that here.

Jessica said...

(Please see comment the comment I put on Love and Life Revisited post. Sorry - I meant to put that here...)

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