Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Symbolism and the Modernized world

Thank god for this symbol:

I used to think "What the heck does that have to do with power? What am I buying here, some strange masonic machine?"

But now I realize. It doesn't matter. Sure, there's an interesting history to it (You can start here) What matters is that the symbol is the same everywhere. And it is.

What a wonder of modern life that is. What a relief to the traveler. It's the same if I buy a Camera in Kabul or a Computer in Kitanakano. I could buy a stereo in Shanghi or a TV in Toronto. That would be the symbol. There are other symbols like it that generally have the same meaning. Sleep. Percent. Bright.

The problem (and the negative that brought me to this positive joy) is that not all symbols are the same everywhere, especially when dealing with things that, unlike cameras, are not sold all over the world. Take, for example, the modernized Japanese home we are living in. A lot of things here are operated by button.

Buttons like these:

The Air Conditioner/Heater controls

The toilet controls (my sincere apologies to anyone who didn't want to see that)

The Washing Machine Controls

The bath controls.

And the oven controls.

With the result that, when I am turning on the bath, I'm never quite sure if I'm turning on the water, or heating the tub to a degree that, when I step inside of it, I will be doing the one-legged rain dance for a few hours.

 I don't know whether I'm telling the washing machine to fertilize my clothes or paint them blue.

So here's to standardization.

1 comment:

  1. I seriously want a butt-washing toilet...

    anyway... yeah. standardization rules