Emirates Airlines offers an example backing up the brilliant study of French theorist, Roger Caillois, “Mimicry and Legendary Psychasthenia.” His short but tremendously interesting essay is here: http://www.generation-online.org/p/fpcaillois.htm.
Caillois (1913-1978) offers a novel theory for the mimicry common throughout nature. Instead of thinking of it in Darwinian terms, e.g. prey disguising itself like its predator so as to increase its chance of survival, Caillois suggests something more psychological and twisted. A hint of the psychology in play is found at Emirates Airlines.
Emirates has long been a world leader in luxury air travel and is now offering individual first class cabins (http://www.businessinsider.com/emirates-mercedes-benz-first-class-luxury-suites-dubai-airshow-boeing-777-2017-11). They look fantastic! However, the cabins are in rows of three across the plane, meaning that one cabin has no window. In a case of astonishing mimicry, faux windows are included on the middle cabin with a live feed from cameras mounted on the exterior of the plane to capture and project exactly what can be seen in real time by those passengers who do have the exterior berths.
Caillois argues that mimicry stems from the need to be symmetrical with one’s surroundings. Echoes of Shaftesbury, symmetry is basic. It is not, straightforwardly, healthy, however. Personality depends on distinction and distance from space and others (see Kolnai’s account of dignity and privilege V&R Chapter 7). Mimicry is, for Caillois, a coming into identity with space, a becoming obscure. It is a case of abnormal vanity, as Scheler pits it (V&R Chapter 1, para. 8): a departure from the dignity of the person though strict identification with the beauty and ornament of others.
Here’s the man himself: