A recent post addressed the Barcadi bat and the challenge it offers to Smith’s ethics (http://www.ethicsoffashion.com/bacardi-bat-adam-smith-stumped/). The puzzle: How can a brand succeed when the logo is an animal that provokes fear (in most Westeners certainly, and likely many others, too)?
Smith will be much happier learning that the military have an interest in a new generation of drones modeled on bats. See the fascinating video in the center of this article (http://www.newsweek.com/us-military-wants-bat-drones-lasers-because-life-apparently-black-mirror-772827). The value tones of the bat cohere well with the value tones of a weapon.
Max Scheler would also be happy because the basic insight behind this new drone is to mimic a bat rather than use aircraft design. Scheler argues that the capacity for sympathy — the ability to share a whole range of emotions — relies on a prior communication, what he calls identification. Pantomime is the root of identification. We cognize the values or disvalues of objects and actions through emotional cognition and this sort of sympathetic cognition stems from mimicry. One can have sympathy with what one can mimic: we have little sympathy with snakes because it is hard for us to mimic them but we venerate horses because we can play them easily.
Lately, I’ve posted about Lacan and the use of psychoanalysis in understanding fashion. Lacan is extraordinarily interesting but is his metaphysics of the person right? Recently, I argued that Scheler would not think so (http://www.ethicsoffashion.com/life-alienation-pantomime-lacan-scheler-right/). Bat drones point again to the centrality of pantomime in our lives.