The Null Device

The Unborn Baby Jesus M&M

Somebody in Chandler, Arizona opened a packet of M&Ms, and found one where the logo had somehow been smudged into "a likeness of Jesus with a crown on his head" (though looks more like a foetus). Proclaiming it to have been a life-changing event, they then put the piece of candy on eBay where, to date, it has amassed 89 bids and exceeded US$3,000, and still has more than a week to go. Which is more proof that there are parts of America where the Enlightenment never happened and people, with quite a bit of money, who still live in the Middle Ages.

Something to think about: what would be a concise definition of the set of possible images which sufficiently devout/superstitious people will consider "Jesus-like", or for that matter, Virgin Mary-like? Could one devise an algorithm for evaluating the Jesus-ness of blobs of colour?

There are 6 comments on "The Unborn Baby Jesus M&M":

Posted by: Steff http:// Sun Jan 9 22:59:24 2005

This is turning into a giant Rohrschacht test of the American population. Rohrschacht meets Ebay. Not just psychotics, even "normal" people will happily succumb to the productive energy of the self-fulfilling cycle of expectation and "fortuitious", nay, miraculous discovery. Last hope: a nation suffering from ergotism. Hear ye, great believers: thou shalt not cease the reversal of modern freedoms at the medieval stage. Go forth and embrace the troglodyte way of life and thou shalt be rewarded with divine bliss.

Posted by: billy http:// Sun Jan 9 23:09:57 2005

only in america!

Posted by: Steff http:// Sun Jan 9 23:45:15 2005

I've been thinking. The obvious hoax would be to flog a heap of fresh faeces (photoshopped to the likeness of jc) on ebay. More subtle, though, might be to insinuate a miracle appearance of JC in Pasolini's 120 Days of Sodom. That would see the zealots racing to get that film on DVD and have an "out of body" experience when viewing it.

Posted by: acb Mon Jan 10 00:06:02 2005

I was thinking more in terms of computer art. If there was an algorithm to find the "Jesus quotient" of an image, i.e., the likelihood that a True Believer will see it to be the likeness of Jesus, one could do all sorts of fun things with it. Write scripts to trawl Google image search/LiveJournal/Yahoo News/other sources of images for images with a high enough JQ, or use rendering techniques, randomness and genetic algorithms to generate algorithmic Jesii, or more.

Posted by: umberdodo http:// Mon Jan 10 10:54:15 2005

It's simple. ALL ambiguous blobs of color and shape are the virgin mary or jesus trying to show you that they are real.


Posted by: mark Mon Jan 10 17:23:58 2005

That link doesn't work anymore. I guess the M&M was pulled.