In Gould's The Panda's Thumb, there is an essay about Mickey Mouse and his devolution from an adult into a child....

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Disney began Mickey Mouse with adult features, but over time made him more and more like a human baby. The reason for the neotenization of Mickey Mouse, Gould explains, is baby features (big head, big eyes, round everything) trigger an "automatic surge of disarming tenderness." The evolutionary advantage of such feelings for baby features needs no explanation. It is as obvious as the day.


Gould's essay was much on my mind when I came across this car, which is popular in Spain and surely all other parts of Europe...

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It's an egg. And Citroën—the company that designed the car ("Picasso") in my image—is not the only one making eggs out of their cars. Almost every car company operating in Spain (and surely all of Europe) has turned to this design. America is not far behind...
Cars did not begin with this shape; what happened to Mickey Mouse is basically happening to the horseless carriage. But baby features make a whole lot of sense; with this egg thing, the sense is not so apparent. Eggs are hardly safe—they need to be handled with care, their shells are thin, they break easily. Also, the stuff in an egg is unformed, unconscious, mindless matter. So, why the egg shape for something that should instead inspire safety, strength, protection from accidents? My guess is it has to do with how we see Utopia.


There are two types of history. History that is progressive and looks in the visible to find the invisible new, the higher level, the next stage, the revolution. The other history sees history as moving toward a resolution of two things that parted—for Hegel, the split is spirit and matter. Because the end reunites what has been broken, it is a return to the initial and unified stage. Indeed, the beginning of the universe is sometimes called "the cosmic egg," and until recently, until the growing acceptance of the reality of dark energy (the universe expanding into nothingness), scientists imagined the end as a grand contraction—the universe re-collapsing into the cosmic egg.


During the Renaissance, some inventors saw in machines the potential to end the curse of Eden—our banishment from wholeness and happiness (the blank pages of history). This reading of technology has never really left us. The promise of the future, the event on the horizon, the singularity is nothing more than the reinstitution of all that was before the fallen land of time. And all that was before time had the shape of an egg.