Usually, It’s Not So Obvious

So, they’ve got this show on Discovery in which they have a set of hip scientists whose job it is is to build working prototypes of something in two weeks, called, appropriately enough, Prototype This. I’ve seen a few episodes and they do things like build robot ways of delivering pizzas or a waterslide that’s just a big circle or a six legged all-terrain vehicle.

Yesterday, I saw this episode where they built robots that would box each other.

And here’s how it went. These cute, sweet, male scientists had a task–built robots that would fight each other. So, they went to a gym to get “data” on how actual boxers box. And they met with a golden glove boxer who was a woman, who fought one of them and kicked his ass.  Not even in a beat-down way, just in the way that you’re going to kick someone’s ass when you have more talent and skill than they do at something.

And so the very sweet, charming, quirky male scientist told her that he would challenge her to a rematch and beat her when it was robots boxing.

Which he did.

Because the robots were hooked up to each of them, to monitor their moves, and her moves were so complex that she was overloading her computer with data that they hadn’t even begun to design their robots to replicate. Like their robots could accommodate punches and body turns, but it couldn’t accommodate a punch and a turn at the same time or something. In other words, it ended up being weighted in favor of the crappy boxer who had designed it, because it was too slow to really capture the speed and skill of the real boxer.

And yet, when he “won,” they treated it like a real victory, like it’s any surprise that the guy who designs something that he tests and that is programmed to respond to his movements is going to win over the girl he just straps into the machine and says, “Do what you always do”?

Like I said, I’d watched the show a few times, but it wasn’t until that moment that I realized I was watching a show that only featured men.

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3 thoughts on “Usually, It’s Not So Obvious

  1. I haven’t seen it in a long time (and only maybe two episodes) but I’m pretty sure they did have a woman scientist on their team in at least one episode (earthquake-proof houses I think)

  2. I used to watch that show … but it just got plain out idiotic to watch as they made exceptions to the rules and did things that just plain out annoyed me.

    “Let’s make this bomb proof.”

    “OK”

    time passes …

    “We can’t do it … so let’s just make an itty-bitty bomb with lots of flash and smoke ….just for the show … and we’ll jump around and cheer, pretending we set up a bomb and our thing survived.”

    It has long since been removed from my Tivo queue.

    I recall the boxing episode, and yes … it was not a fair fight as it was weighed heavily on the “stars” of the show.

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