Second Life, Mouse

Biology is Fun!

Sorry for the lack of posts, all, Got stumped on deciding what to write about.

Anywho, take the two images made by the fine NoWhereIncoming: (Non-sexual anatomical nudity, click to embiggen)
Image Hosted by

Image Hosted by

Just found them quite interesting from a furgronomical point of view. Would it be in the interest of this group to promote works like this, or should it be kept to a more... biological-oriented group? PErsonally, I found the images within to be quite well done from an anatomical point of view, but perhaos someone more... vested in anatomical study could offer a counter-opinion.

Also, if anyone wants to discuss theoretical biology in the comments or a seperate post, feel free as well.
  • Current Music
    Koji Kondo, Toru Minegishi, Asuka Ota - Midna's Lament
Second Life, Mouse

Open Thread: What to do now?

*Whistles* OK people, team huddle!

Now that I am the new guy in charge, I am curios as to what you wish me to do with this group. If needed, I can most likely commit to doing an article a month, BUT I'm not sure if I want to do that if no one will read the articles at all, or if I am the only one to put up discussions.

Therefore, I wish to ask the following questions:

1. Where should I promote this group at?

2. Is there any rules here that need changing?

3. Should I allow people to advertise their fiction writing here that has an exceptional focus on furgronomics?
  • Current Music
    Metallica - Master of Puppets
UserPic 3

My Exit

I'm leaving online journaling for a while, possibly a very long while. I'm handing the reins off to thelistener.

Make of this group what you will.
UserPic 3

Some Considerations...

Ergonomics is about designing an element that bridges two realms: environment and user. Specifically, definitions of ergonomics range from the cold scientific study of the efficiency of people in the workplace [Online Etymology Dictionary], to the warmer technology concerned with the design, manufacture, and arrangement of products and environments to be safe, healthy, and comfortable for human beings [American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy].

The largest considerations future, or virtual, ergonomics can, and will, face consist of the broad, almost limitless, range of phenotypes a user could adopt. Furgonomics can be seen as a subset of, or a specialization of, these much larger considerations, but only in so far as to what falls under the definition of a fur. To consider this topic in pure isolation we need only select a specific phenotype and then cater all equipment needs to this model. This, however, would be as fruitless as selecting any particular man, large or thin, tall or short, and doing the same across the board. For effective furgonomics then, just as in effective ergonomics, what needs to occur is a recognition of patterns of phenotypes, much like architectural patterns, or software design patterns.

The external factor to all of this, and truly the qualifying factor (for without one no effort would be fruitless as previously described) is the environment of the user, and it is here that I believe we must take note. We can discuss furgonomics in a purely virtual environment, where the setting may be on another planet with different gravity, or in a society where impossible technologies exist, and all is well and good despite the fact that the environment itself can be warped to whatever means necessary. However, there are even more subtle differences than are readily apparent, for we could talk of Earth and current technology, even possible future technology, but are we discussing a world where furries have existed for all time? Is it an environment where individuals can or cannot change their phenotype? For instance, is it a near two, three, or four decades into the future where we may manipulate our bodies like drawings or computer code? Or in a transition period between now and a world of phenomic freedom?

At first, it seems we might not consider such questions, but each post here has suggested that we automatically take into account in our thinking how certain goals might be achieved. All technology works in a circular fashion, through its impact on the environment and the environment's reciprocation. When we speculate that a company could do this, or that an economy or institution might be affected in a particular way, we are considering the impact furgonomics has on the environment and the likewise equal impact the environment has on furgonomics.

Have it be given that phenomic freedom has been established, that being the right to choose one's own shape, as that right has not been explored in the medical community (out of the scope of this discussion, but as of now, outside of sex change operations, all other desires are quickly categorized under a dysmorphic disorder by the respected establishment). As of now, super-industrialization is taking foot in several countries globally, and, for lack of a better term, the focused end-points of global-super-industrialization (that being the main economic superpowers of the world) have been established. In the (post-)super-industrialitized world, as one could argue we are living in now, there is economic conflict between companies that take advantage of the inevitable and constant increase of cultural and market diversification successfully, and the desire to prevent further diversification via marketing methods meant to enhance conformity (borrowed from cults and politics). In the end, diverse production succeeds surface marketing attempts towards conformity, and in this we find a constant technological push for customizable on-demand production.

As a side note, this conflict is ironic, in the colloquial sense, considering the fear many critics attempted to raise about mass cultural conformity, and stale orwellian or huxley-esque societies to be brought about through mass-production technology and publishing. However, we may prove the critics right if corporate marketing ever leverages particular networking technologies as those technologies became ever more ingrained into the functions of our lives.

To examine the target subject of our designs, the first thing we notice is the apex in lifestyle transience: the transience of our own physical identities. Much of our identity is wrapped up into our physical selves, despite our notions otherwise. With the possible ability to change the style or even function of our bodies, the transience of all of our daily utilities increases. What used to work as a chair, keyboard, even cup may not be compatible with a new phenotype, and thus, would need to be replaced. This gives rise to not only concerns about construction, but to production, and even to waste (though that is out of the scope of this post). What's interesting to note is that replaceable utility items, common everyday use and throwaway items, are fairly recent inventions of the last century complete with their own transition period. One instance of this powerful psychological notion's introduction into the public psyche was when Mattel announced that young girls could gain a trade-in allowance for their old Barbie dolls towards a purchase of an upgrade. What disturbed the public the most, amusingly, is the invention of intentional obsolescence.

This transience is important to note when considering furgonomics, assuming that individuals can change their phenome, for then we can frame the question: what is a manufacturer going to do? Although I can't remember the term for it at the moment, perhaps we might look towards three (and of course more) solutions: sculpting with nanotechnology (microtechnology?), complete custom on-demand manufacturing, or 'snap-together' constructivist technology; (a possibly interesting offshoot of the art movement?)

Sculpting with nanotechnology is something we haven't touched upon. I've only briefly been exposed to the technology and haven't had much time to investigate, but this is how I understand it to work. You build a three-dimensional model in a computer program, then you output that three-dimensional model to a piece of hardware that takes a substance that can be put together into a composite, or one that can be microscopically 'chiseled', through a group of LASER like components. It is akin to a super-prototyping machine for various mechanical parts, but obviously in this sense we are talking about much larger and more enduring (or not?) pieces of hardware.

thelistener wrote "A company can, say, produce clothes that are MEANT for rodents and only rodents." This is what I also mean when I write of custom on-demand manufacturing. In the major publishing industry it used to be that you had to run limited prints of a particular publication to make production cheaper (sometimes this is still the case, particularly in smaller industries such as niche comics this is still the case), however new technology emerged that has enabled some players in the industry to meet publication demands 'on-demand'. What this means is that a publisher can have an array of publications in various forms ready (most likely electronic) to print, and when one is ordered it is printed on demand for delivery. This is most often accomplished in reality with a marriage between the two methods, but none-the-less it can also be done with CD production (although online delivery is quickly surpassing actual production). A large clothing brand or company owning several brands could easily employ the same type of technology with clothes (if not already implemented) particularly since many various clothes' partial assembly are outsourced to large seamstress farms.

thelistener wrote "Medicine would most likely be species specific, or at least family specific." With genetic manipulation (or simply assuming that genetics would HAVE to be different) then yes, I would have to agree with this completely. We are seeing the dawn of medicinal technologies catered to specific individuals today even if at the most basic level we are only experiencing a constant diversification of medicine aimed towards ever more diverse needs and requirements. Nanotechnology and biotechnology (often overlapping) combined with increased understanding of our own physiology are fueling this trend into the future. An interesting discussion one day might go over what medicinal needs might need to be met by post-human furries and how those needs might be met.

thelistener wrote "... generalization tailored to end user customization ..." This is what I also mean when I talk about 'snap-together' constructivist technology, in fact I got 'snap-together' from his mention of clothes. What if we didn't just snap together clothes, but general hardware? Chairs could be designed in such a fashion that they were made mostly out of component parts that could snap together, and be adjusted in terms of size/measurement? When something doesn't work or was incompatible it might be easily adapted via other components or a reconfiguration of existing components. A modern example of reconfiguration is the computer, desktop or server, particularly a server.

Thus, a shop for furries, or even for anyone in the future might look more like a shop from SecondLife than a shop we see today with loads of materials on the racks. In this shop of the 'future', or virtual shop otherwise, prototypes of clothes might be tried on, then custom ordered, or even possibly fabricated on demand right on the spot. The same could become of life's other numerous utilities. Perhaps we might view holograms of items and peruse a selection much like we might view a selection of album's on an Apple computer in a store, then order that particular configuration for which the parts would then be brought out for purchase.

We haven't even touched upon possible complications, or perhaps opportunities, coming from food products. Would different species or phenotypes desire or taste foods differently? Would there be certain food products catered to certain furries? (And in keep in mind that furries will most likely not comprise the majority of post-human forms... but they might who knows?)

This discussion doesn't even take into account the social aspects of the existence of furries, such as furry culture between actual furs. We talked about sports, and inter-species play, but we haven't necessarily touched upon all the aspects of culture that furry physical identity could affect. However, I don't even know if furgonomics would cover such a topic (I don't think it would or should, but perhaps we can segment it off as furry sociology? Buzzword invention anyone?)

Anyways... there's some thoughts from me.
Second Life, Mouse

Of Specialization

As our previous topic discussion previously touched on, there was the topic of equipment specialization. What exactly does that mean?

Well, with a world that is populated by a large amount of sentient species, there is going to be an even larger variation of body builds than is seen on Earth. From the smallest mouse to the largest wolf or scalie, there becomes a lot more COMMON variation in size and tail types. What is a manufacturer going to do?

One route is indeed specialization. A company can, say, produce clothes that are MEANT for rodents and only rodents. These shirts would perfectly match their limb proportions, as well as have a tailhole for their jeans that is small enough that they could perhaps go without tail skirts, while another company can make jeans and shirts with a liner that feels great over scale, and has a large tailhole. Medicine would most likely be species specific, or at least family specific. (EX: Rodents, Canine, Feline, Reptile, etc...) . Chairs can get away with being generalized, but there'd be a large market for species specific furniture. Heck, the thing that would require the most specialization is shoes. Rodents have a vastly different foot structure than dogs do, than do reptiles do.

But there is another route to take, and that is generalization tailored to end user customization. What if jeans came with string tracing over the tailhole like a shoe, and the end user trimmed the string laces and knotted it to fit to their tail size? Or how about shirts, where sleeve length can be trimmed?
  • Current Music
    John Williams - Grievous Speaks To Lord Sidious
Second Life, Mouse

Sporting Furs

Games aren't just for Reindeer, you know.

Take a game like football, American style in this case. This sport requires a lot of gear, such as padding, helmets, and jerseys. Jerseys would be largely the same as those meant for humans save a tailhole with a strap backed with snaps for security, but what about the padding and helmets?

Personal Football Equipment primarily consists of a helmet, shoulder pads, hip pads, knee pads, and cleats. Let's start with the easiest to adapt, and work our way upwards.

Shoulder pads would remain virtually the same due to anthro's upper bodies being practically identical to humans. Hip pads would need a slight revamping to accomidate the tail. Extra padding would be added to the side of the hip. with extra caution to make sure tails do not get pinched on the padding, as any pressure point could result in a sprained or broken tail joint.

Cleats, I'd imagine, would be a necessary part of the game. Even with the aid of claws, traction would be quite limited on a worn field, and practically nil on artificial turf. Also, Linemen's feet would risk getting clawed up by fellow linemen if they went barefoot. (As an aside, in my Rps, I use a plantigrade stance for furs, feeling that digitigrade stances put too much stress on the tendons in the heel, but that's an WHOLE 'nother argument, and a whole new post).

And now, the helmets. If there one problem that may cause complications with helmets, its EARS. For reference, I'll use this art by Kacey (SFW). For the muzzles, face masks can easially be wrapped around, as well as the chinstrap. Ears, however, vary distinctly from species to species. With smaller eared species like the feline pictured, simply not having as much padding in the ear area will work. But what about the poor Kangaroo? There's a few options available. Either his poor ears would get crammed into that helmet, which will vary in comfort depending on species to species. How about simply cutting a hole so that the ears hang out of the helmets? This seems like a good solution, but long-eared linemen would have lots of problems with getting crushed ears. I'd imagine that both solutions would work, with linemen requiring the first solutions, and other positions would get their preference. Can you come up with a better solution?

Now, these are just suggestions. If any of you have differing opinions, PLEASE feel free to comment! I would be honored to debate these things with you.
  • Current Music
    Johnny Cash - Folsom Prison Blues
UserPic 3

Dead or Alive

This doesn't have to be a dead community people, there are LOTS and LOTS of questions to ask only limited by our imaginations.

I mean... just think of the socioeconomic ramifications of furgonomics alone...

But we don't have to start there. School desks? Computers? Keyboards?

And what kind of furs? Big ones, small ones? What would they look like in an anatomically realistic setting?

There are still people JOINING this community, and we can't strike up a conversation?

Size of things

It is well-known that some species are quite different sizes. For instance, the fennec and red fox are close relatives, but yet the fennec is one foot tall and the red fox is quite taller. This prevents a problem with things like spacesuits, because any kind of clothing must be fitted to almost the exact size of a fur, which in a diversified society of furries can create a problem. How would a solution to said problem be made?