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The Michael Jackson Scale of Technological Advancement

A quick and easy way to gauge how far into the future we are
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I recently saw an online retrospective of Michael Jackson's appearance. It was grotesque and strangely compelling. The man is addicted to plastic surgery, and plastic surgery is not up to the task: he went from being a normal looking african-american man in 1984 to being a horrendously ugly middle-aged white womal in 1999.

But something struck me -- he looks slightly better now than 3 years ago! Advancement in computer science, in materials sceince, in anatomical and physiological understanding -- in short, advancement in technology -- has caused advancement in the field of plastic surgery to the point when each additional surgery now makes the former King of Pop look better rather than worse.

The trend can only continue, and through it we can guage our progress as a civilization: set up a sort of Michael-Jackson-only AmIHotOrNot, with pictures from throughout his career, and add new pictures as they become available. Assign an arbtrary unit of technological advancement -- say, the Jackson, abbreviated J -- and scale it to the difference between his current rating and his rating as of 3 years ago. If there is difference of 3 J between a picture taken now and one taken in 1999, and by 2018 a difference of 36 J between a then-current picture (in which, I expect, Jackson will look like a highly attractive 20-year-old) and one taken today, we can say technology has advanced at an average rate of 2 J per year (double its current rate) and celebrate in the streets.

Tlogmer, Sep 27 2002

As above, but on the BBC news pages. http://news.bbc.co....showbiz/2481467.stm
I couldn't get at Nick's link because our firewall software blocked it out. It apparently falls into the category of 'Tasteless', which kind of says it all really. [DrBob, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

The Picture of Dorian Grey http://www.csupomon...ion/fictionL-Z.html
Wouldn't like to see HIS etchings ... [8th of 7, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

(?) The Onion http://www.theonion...infograph_3905.html
[DrCurry, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Michael Jackson Doll http://www.halfbake...el_20Jackson_20doll
What he said ^ [DesertFox, Oct 04 2004]

Vitiligo http://www.zebracorn.com/vitiligo.htm
Depigmentation said to affect 40-50 million people, among them Michael Jackson [jutta, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

The History of Michael Jackson's Face http://anomalies-un...ed.com/Jackson.html
Not for the faint of heart. The last one looks like he's trying out for Helena Bonham Carter's part in Planet of the Apes II. [Nick@Nite, Oct 21 2004]

[link]






       If Michael is still looking better to you in the morning, when the ‘J’ effect should've worn off -- get a second opinion.
reensure, Sep 27 2002
  

       In addition to Moore's Law, that the number of transistors fit onto a single chip would double every 18 months, one could have Michael's Law, predicting the width of his nose.
FarmerJohn, Sep 27 2002
  

       "he looks slightly better now than 3 years ago!"

CGI & Photoshop have also advanced during that time period...unless you've seen him in person, who really knows what's been doctored. Heh.
iuvare, Sep 28 2002
  

       The reason he looks better now than 3 years ago, is that aesthetic standards are falling faster than he can keep up with. On the bright side, by 2038 or so he will be safely back in the womb.
pfperry, Sep 28 2002
  

       I've just seen a new picture of him.   

       I take it back.   

       All of it.   

       Dear sweet god.
Tlogmer, Nov 15 2002
  

       What could have been for Mike Jackson..... All he had to do was act naturally.
ty6, Nov 16 2002
  

       Indeed. It puzzles me so. Why?
bristolz, Nov 16 2002
  

       A deceptively simple question, maybe unanswerable, surely from an armchair physcology point of view. Volumes could be written as to why, and probably will be some day, as a serious case study. I wonder if we (fans, media, sideline observers, sycophants) have something to do with it, all that focused attention, from such an early age, has to scramble things up a bit.
ty6, Nov 16 2002
  

       Next time I make a road trip to my folks place, (once in 3 years - yoiks) I'll find an art book which has a portrait of a dead guy (pre-death) - this particular photo is striking in similarity to what The Carved One was striving for, I reckoned upon seeing the pic for the first time some years ago. And no, it's not a pharoah or a king.
thumbwax, Nov 16 2002
  

       Thing's really can only get worse for michael. i mean he went from being the "king of pop" to being the biggest joke ever. that has to be making it even worse for him.
notme, Nov 16 2002
  

       Oh. That's sad.
bristolz, Nov 16 2002
  

       Do you think Micheal has ever woken up, looked in the mirror, and thought to himself "hmmm I really screwed up"
Gulherme, Nov 17 2002
  

       Yes, I ha - I mean, of course, it's a possibility he has.
thumbwax, Nov 17 2002
  

       I think that's part of the problem, 'Ol Mike spent a little to much time looking at his own image. Read a thing once where he wanted to look like Steve Canyon, of the old comic pages.
ty6, Nov 17 2002
  

       I wonder what the portrait in his attic looks like ?
8th of 7, Nov 18 2002
  

       I'm probably wrong about this, but didn't he inherit an illness from the paternal side of his family that causes the gradual lightening of his skin? In which case, it's only his nose we can really laugh at him for.
Detly, May 06 2004
  

       [detly] you're right, actually. I'm not sure what the disease is called or how it really works, but michael originally got the surgery to turn white simply to stop the unsightly blemishes (at least that's what i've heard, who knows with all the rumors these days).   

       Of course, we all know, give someone an inch, they'll take the whole yard or whatever.   

       But yes, you are right.
we_dont_eat_them, Feb 08 2007
  

       Micheal Jackson has truly offered himself as a human guinea pig to the alter of the plastic surgery sciences. He took one after another for the team so that girls can look hotter as an end result. Way to go MJ! (not to mention the realistic looking robots that will be made possible in the future by the wonders of plastic surgery) lol!
quantum_flux, Feb 09 2007
  
      
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