When are look-alikes alike, eh?

[ by Charles Cameron — a questiom for Cath Styles and Emily Steiner ]

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It’s my proposal here that look-alikes are in the eyes of the beholder, perhaps more so than other forms of likeness.

Consider:

19th century Firefighters looked like Darth Vader and C3PO. pic.twitter.com/lmkC3bFi08

— History in Moments (@historyinmoment) September 30, 2016

Do they look like Darth Vader and C3PO to you, frankly — or more like each other?

**

One really does have to wonder how medieval monastics got hold of copies of Winnie the Pooh:

honey-bear-02-600

and:

honey-bear-01-600

With a double hat-tip to the immensely followable twitter feed of PiersatPenn

**

And what about this?

Racism in the 1930s vs. today pic.twitter.com/TkvGiol3AO

— Nick Srnicek (@n_srnck) September 29, 2016

It probably takes some historical knowledge to appreciate the similarities here — the comparison is not entirely visual.

**

Are mathematically or verbally juxtaposable similarities equally subject to human comparative bias?

3 comments on this post.
  1. Grurray:

    I was reading awhile back that the female android in the 1920 film Metropolis – the one on which Lucas supposedly based C3PO’s appearance – had her appearance based on Egyptian statues. Perhaps this one of a priestess named Meresamun: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7025/6593538411_97fe7a861d_b.jpg
    which if you stare at it long enough might remind you of that bronze smoke mask. You could also almost imagine the features of the black one as the long face and head dress of an Egyptian burial mask.

  2. Grurray:

    So then that makes me wonder- well is there a visual antecedent for the overcrowded ship?
    There is a lot of striking artwork of the Battle of Lepanto
    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/1c/7d/76/1c7d7666d4f8959e767d0381449f25d6.jpg
    with ships overflowing with various slaves and fighters. I suppose that could also be another stretch of the visual imagination, but not as much contextually.

  3. Charles Cameron:

    Hi Grurray:

    An excellent DoubleQuote!