- Jul 2022
I want to start with a game. Okay? And to win this game, all you have to do is see the reality that's in front of you as it really is, all right? So we have two panels here, of colored dots. And one of those dots is the same in the two panels. And you have to tell me which one. Now, I narrowed it down to the gray one, the green one, and, say, the orange one. 00:00:41 So by a show of hands, we'll start with the easiest one. Show of hands: how many people think it's the gray one? Really? Okay. How many people think it's the green one? And how many people think it's the orange one? Pretty even split. Let's find out what the reality is. Here is the orange one. (Laughter) Here is the green one. And here is the gray one. 00:01:16 (Laughter) So for all of you who saw that, you're complete realists. All right? (Laughter) So this is pretty amazing, isn't it? Because nearly every living system has evolved the ability to detect light in one way or another. So for us, seeing color is one of the simplest things the brain does. And yet, even at this most fundamental level, 00:01:40 context is everything. What I'm going to talk about is not that context is everything, but why context is everything. Because it's answering that question that tells us not only why we see what we do, but who we are as individuals, and who we are as a society.
- Title: Optical illusions show how we see
- Author: Beau Lotto
- Date: 8 Oct, 2009
The opening title is very pith:
No one is an outside observer of nature, each of us is defined by our ecology.
We need to unpack the full depth of this sentence.
Seeing is believing. This is more true than we think.Our eyes trick us into seeing the same color as different ones depending on the context. Think about the philosophical implications of this simple finding. What does this tell us about "objective reality"? Colors that we would compare as different in one circumstance are the same in another.
Evolution helps us do this for survival.