Friday, April 27, 2012

Perception Part 2

I'm afraid I'm going to jump off with a Douglas Adams quote once again. "Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mind-bogglingly big it is..." So how do we take it all in? How will we ever perceive it all? We certainly have far greater tools today than we did even 20 years ago, but even with Google Mars you don't get to physically walk around an alien planet yet, so we really have a long way to go on that front. But as we join forces with other adventurers, scientists, engineers, and the like hopefully we will widen our scope large enough to piece together a more complete picture of this seemingly infinite universe.

We can't rely on just one perspective if we want to understand what's really going on. The clip below  illustrates this. It humbles me. Every time I watch it I tell myself I won't get tricked again but I always do. Thanks Steve Kriske for tweeting me this link.

It can be jarring to look at the world through new perspectives. There are so many things I personally take for granted, like letters don't have colors, and chocolate tastes a little nutty. But if you have Synesthesia, and your brain cross wires the senses, you may think my perception is way off. You may say, no the letter p is orange and chocolate tastes like shameful secrets. Imagine plugging your consciousness into a brain like that for just a moment, would you ever be able to eat a Snickers in public after that without remembering the time you broke your mother's favorite watch and buried it in the back yard?

Fully understanding another's perception seems utterly impossible unless you are telepathic or Spock. I have a hard time summarizing  my 29 years of back story in just a few words even though 70% of it was me sleeping. I believe others have a similar challenge with this. So we use shortcuts and abstractions to help us relate our perceptions, but sometimes those shortcuts don't get us to the right place and we have a disconnect. If I were to say, I like movies like Son In Law, for example you might assume from that statement that I couldn't possibly have gone to film school, but you would be wrong in that assumption.

And I could then attempt to explain my seemingly irrational taste in movies, but it would require a bit more work and patience among both parties. Sometimes I get lazy or just plain fed up trying to explain myself and I have to throw my hands in the air and accept the possibility that some people in this world may not ever like Pauly Shore. It might just be easier to relate by saying, I have Synethesia and his movies somehow cross wire right into the pleasure sensors of my brain. But I don't. So for now, just know I have my reasons and if you don't like In the Army Now I'll respectfully pick another movie to watch if you ever come by on movie night. Then I will cry myself to sleep that night knowing you will probably never experience true happiness.

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