Part 3: Beasts on the beach?

The room was dark. You walked in to the kitchen, turned on the lights and saw few cockroaches on the floor… As soon as the lights are turned on, they immediately flee, start zigzagging at a crazy speed but in a meaningless pattern.

What could be the purpose of life of a fish, cockroach or lizard?

  • Find food, keep searching if you couldn’t,
  • Find a sweetie , reproduce if you find one,
  • Run away if anyone tries to eat you.

Well, what could be the divine purpose of life of a fish, cockroach or lizard?

Theo Jansen is a Dutch artist trained in physics. He built creatures from plastic pipes that move by the wind.  He called his creatures ‘beach beasts’.

Official website I recommend you to review.

When the creatures produced by Theo Jansen from PVC light pipes start to move by the force of the wind, it gives the impression of ‘moving, living creatures’. He creates skeletons that can walk, in his own words. However, they are different from a simple mechanical structure. They realize the obstacles that they encounter and change direction thanks to a simple mechanism in their body. In order to maximize the benefits of the wind, the creatures change their direction and try to move in the direction they can use the wind more effectively. Don’t be mistaken by my “working” statement I do not mean a an intelligent being. This is not a conscious movement. The beast is structured in this way …

Most importantly, the creatures on the beach perform these movements  without having a self-administrative mechanism in their bodies. So, the creature has no brain. The creature (actually the mechanism) has only the motive to move. The mechanism changes the direction of the creature when there is an obstacle stopping it, takes position according to the wind and does all the above without a brain. Imagine a plant that can move but not tied to the ground with its roots…

In addition, there is a spring system in the structure of the mechanisms, similar to the mainsprings of old watches. When the wind blows, it loads the mainspring. When the wind stops, the creature uses the energy accumulated in the mainspring. Just like living things store fat. In other words, it moves when there is wind, but if there is no wind, it can move without wind as much as the energy loaded in to the mainspring.

Creatures also sense water with a mechanism. It changes its direction when it detects the water.

None of the creatures have an electrical / electronic structure.

Theo Jansen shares the small size of the creatures (as per below pictures) at his internet site, in his own words, the DNA codes of the structures. You can buy the codes and produce them on a 3D printer.

In short, Theo Jansen emails you the information codes (like the DNA of a being) of a creature with a fractal pattern which the creature moves by using the wind as energy source, senses and walks around the obstacles, has a structure based on the principal to maximize the efficiency but does not have a brain which manages these acrions, posseses energy storage capability, capable of sensing different obstacles such as water or rock. You send this DNA code to a 3D printer and this creature comes out of the printer. You let the creature which you assembled yourself to the wind and it moves and moves and moves until it decays.

Other than reproduction skills, are Theo Jansen’s ‘beasts on the beach’ any different from fish, cockroach or lizard? So, does a fish, cockroach or lizard have any purpose in life? And what is your purpose for existence?

Continue Reading…

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