Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Checkerboard Illusion - Life?

I have immense trouble wrapping my brain around this one, but it's absolutely true.

In the graphic below, the squares represented by "A" and "B" are exactly the same color.

(click the image for a larger version)

Impossible to believe? I thought so too, even after reading all the proofs found here.

To help you see it, I've clipped out the squares and placed them side - by side.

And if you compare the two shades in Photoshop you see they have the exact same RGB values - 120,120,120. Amazing.

But that hints at something deeper to me, how our perceptions of reality are shaded by things around us. How we can cling desparately and loyally to a sports team even when the star players are in and out of jail, the coach is in a gambling ring, or the owner is a gangster. Our preconcieved notions and the intensity of the glare around them blind us to the fact that it's not really what we see. Only by removing the context and shading our eyes from the sun do we see the reality.

It happens every day here in America, whether it's politics, race relations, economics, human rights, popular culture, whatever. Some of us are so influenced and dazzled by the glare or shadow around an issue we can't see it for what it is. Remove it from the glare or shadow, and what's left behind is truth.

I bet you reading this can think of many, many examples in today's world where this is true. I bet it's especially easy when it's an issue you oppose or don't agree with. Don't

How do we escape the influences on what we see and do? There's not an easy answer, but I think each of us can come up with them on our own by recognizing that the truths we embrace and cling to so precariously sometimes are actually surrounded by such interference we don't realize just what it is we're believing in. Don't be afraid to ignore the clutter, cut through the white noise and look - really look at what you believe. See if they match. If they don't, you might need to make a bit of a reassessment.

Sometimes Photoshop helps :)

No comments:

Post a Comment