View Full Version here: : Reality Check
19-08-2011, 05:36 PM
So, we think we're living in reality whenever we go by intuition and trust our perceptions, eh ? Check this out …
This Video Illusion Will Destroy Your Brain (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2011/08/17/this-video-illusion-will-destroy-your-brain/)
Plait goes on to make the point:
Ok .. so I'm convinced ... but the message (for me), is to take on everything science makes available, in order to not be drawn into believing the illusion.
For me, excluding any area of legitimate science, only results in not being able to see through some of the illusions.
Interesting snippet, eh ?
19-08-2011, 06:29 PM
There was a very interesting BBC reports about perception of colors. The eye is capable of separating millions of colors and captures the right information but the brain interprets it in a different way and make you see want it wants you to see. The topic was about illusions and 'magic' tricks designed to alter sense of reality. That's why it always makes chuckle when I hear people commenting too red, too green, etc.. in pictures when most of the time if you actually use the color picker in PS and put the color sampled on top of a white background it might turn orange or even blue. :)
19-08-2011, 06:58 PM
WHAT a con, notice the lighting difference between the 2 positions?.
To extrapolate that to "We humans are convinced that we see the world as it really is, but that’s complete rubbish" is trite,arrogant BS and utterly meaningless.
19-08-2011, 07:02 PM
Nothing like seeing red through a bottle of southo hey? :lol:
19-08-2011, 07:24 PM
All of that is intellectual BS too. Viewing colours in pictures invokes a scene that conveys a meaning that I think overall is the same for everyone based on a lifetime of conditioning. A "nice" landscape looks like a nice landscape to everyone, because everyone learns what a nice landscape looks like, regardless how the colours are actually represented in yr brain. Perception of colours in isolation in a totally different context doesnt indicate anything of the variation of perception between ppl. We would all see them as "odd" in a similar way. Thats a neat party trick that with a bit of thought would make everyone say "doh", not be a reason to think we are all perpetually decieved of reality, whatever that means.
19-08-2011, 07:25 PM
The disk in the middle is the same colour as the surrounding light squares - and the bottom right swatch. Contrast. The darker square is the shadow. Interesting human factors problem.
19-08-2011, 07:29 PM
That is very interesting.
I was thinking about how difficult it is to define reality;)..apart from our personal filters etc..but we see so little (relative to the information out there) in the first place..the visable spectrum is only part of a greater strip of information we never process (well we can get more than most animals with equipment)...
AND here it is clear our brains can be fooled very easily.
19-08-2011, 07:33 PM
The brain is fooled when it takes in a drawing ..it is 2d but the brain sees 3d...
19-08-2011, 07:37 PM
What does that mean?. Why "fooled". The brain sees a 2d drawing, knows its 2d, imagines the subject in 3d and alls fine. Why "fooled".
19-08-2011, 07:48 PM
Hi Fred..why "fooled"?... maybe too harse or too stupid a comment to draw attention to the fact the brain can process a 2d image such that the brain is enabled to visualise the subject of the 2d drawing..
19-08-2011, 07:57 PM
Well maybe BS to you but all major advertising companies sank millions of dollars in researching colors, shapes and other things that will influence people watching their commercials on TV. If a person's brain can be tricked with such simple things as colors, you can do that with sounds, shapes, words, motion... anything. So yes, although it can be a neat party trick it does 'deceive reality' as you say.
19-08-2011, 08:17 PM
Yes, but the only deception is the add. It doesnt change the reality of the subject as we would see it live. The whole point of an add is to attempt to squew reality, thats a totally different issue, it doesnt change whatsoever the percieved reality of the subject without the add. ............Well, I guess adverse preconditioning can change perception of the reality of a subject, ill give you that.
19-08-2011, 08:49 PM
An illusionist can fool you..
The old coin trick..and many others.
19-08-2011, 08:59 PM
Here's the video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6NJK-pvx80&feature=related)that was posted a while ago.
20-08-2011, 12:17 AM
How do you know that science isn't an illusion as well??. If our minds are so pliable and we shouldn't believe what we see (or even sense with any of our senses), then does anything we think or create have any more cogency than a whole lot of smoke and mirrors??. How can you even trust anything and what does that really say about us...as a species.
We are, therefore, all a mob of self delusion, fantasy prone beings. Nothing is real. I'm not even typing this. You don't exist. This physical reality is a fake. Science can't tell us anything different because it is a part of the illusion. It's not even very good at helping us clarify our delusion because it can't even answer some of the more important, yet simple questions of existence. Which makes it even more deluded because we're conning ourselves into thinking we have the answers, or will have them given enough time.
See where this existentialist, philosophical circular argument is heading.
You don't know what is real and what isn't. Nothing you have can tell you that. Nothing that is tied to this illusion, at least. And even then, how do you know that what you perceive isn't another illusion??.
What determines reality. What determines the truth. What allows you to perceive reality and truth through experience.
I'll let you figure that one out for yourselves:)
20-08-2011, 06:21 AM
A simpler explanation is that we are not perfect and illusion is a product of imperfect perceptions. Having said that, illusion is also used by animals and the military for camouflage. The mistake is believing that we can be perfect, or perhaps, humiliated that we are not.
If we perceived absolute detail, that is every shade presented itself with acuity, the world would be a stranger reality yet, and possibly a jumble, less coherent than our present perceptions create.
The moth could not hide itself from the bird. The tiger would starve, robbed of its cover. Good would not prevail against evil. There would be no place to hide when the need arose.
There are distinct advantages of illusion that permit survival. We do not see things clearly, as through ground glass and that is just as well in some cases. However, our senses can be trained to spot the difference.
20-08-2011, 07:20 AM
Don't like the example eh Fred ? That's Ok ..I have no particular attachment to the example ..there are plenty of others able to make the point .. which is the real issue. :)
That you didn't see the irony behind these comments and then went on to the following one, is heartening though … :) ...
… all valid perspectives, but ya gotta live with yourself (and us), man !
… And a terrific answer from Rowland, anyway …
I don't think there can possibly be any right or wrong answers to this .. but anything which serves as a pause between our intuitions/perceptions and the establishment of reality in our minds, surely brings us closer to reality!?!
Science is the best thing I know of, which can do that.
(Mathematics, more specifically).
My new signature then is a reminder for me about how to distance myself from the misperceptions inherent in Science.
The true illusion comes from beliefs … and opinion.
20-08-2011, 09:52 AM
I think the true illusion comes from perception. A machine will collect true data. We don't. We have far too complicated and refined senses to remain objective. That's what makes us adaptable. Can't replace millions of years of evolution. That's a big baggage. It's a matter of opinion. ;)
20-08-2011, 10:23 AM
Maybe it goes all the way 'up the (protocol) stack', at each level with the eye/optic nerve at the lower levels and religion/politics at the top level ?
That BBC doco you posted looks like a good one too, Mark .. thanks for that .. I hadn't seen it before .. but what's to say the bees can't also smell the honey ? How do bees navigate at night ? :)
PS: QUOTE (from Wiki): .. interesting !
PPS: It seems there are 'odor plume advocates' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bee_learning_and_communication#Odor _plume), also. :lol: :)
20-08-2011, 10:51 AM
Well all I'm saying is we can't trust our senses. The 'hardware' in our eyes might be accurate to the 16th million shade of color and our optic nerves flawlessly transmit the correct data to our brain but the 'decoding' part of the brain is flawed by too many variables.
To illustrate my point see the picture attached. The straight middle band is a solid color across the whole surface. Even with me telling you that I bet you'll still have a problem believing it because your brain is assessing it in context. So it takes into account other variables which are the gradient in the top and bottom bands as a reference and obviously will compensate so you see a gradient in the middle also.
In the same line of thinking when you read this message your brain register patterns. It doesn't analyse words letters at a time.
If there is such a strong discrepancy between what our eyes see and what our brain 'sees' who's to say the same doesn't happen with our other senses and can't be exploited?
20-08-2011, 11:19 AM
I try to always see an alternative to the proposition being presented as a given and trust no one, my self included.
AND even when somewhat convinced the propostion is reality I leave open the possibility some fundamental fact has been twisted by perception.
Building a reality with all the information that is available is difficult and even with an absolute reliance on science it can be difficult to fit it all together....using only good stuff;)
But the blessing of science is it can give us a more certain grasp on reality.
20-08-2011, 11:35 AM
Sure Mark .. I agree with what you say … interestingly we had another discussion on this in this thread. (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?p=685603&highlight=fovea#post685603) Bert mentioned that the so-called "Golden Rectangle" (from Euclid's Elements) was pleasing to the eye because the fovea has a similar shape. (I wasn't so sure that this, alone, would make it 'pleasing', however).
It certainly is a fascinating topic, and my view on it all is that I think our perceptions extend through many parts of the 'stack of understanding' … from intuition, all the way up to intellectualism. I read an article the other day which was about how our minds alter memories, also and this is a key influencing factor as well.
I'm sure Alex achieved mastery over all this stuff in his prior professional life, also. ;)
Intuition is fine for avoiding that wild bear about to eat ya .. but when it comes to analysing astronomical images for the purpose of distinguishing physical behaviours, it just isn't particularly well-suited (and this might very well be deemed to be a very un-natural pursuit).
20-08-2011, 02:50 PM
It is far more daunting than even this simple example. A search for optical illusions would give you far more examples.
Jack Pettigrew is analysing this with scientific rigour. His site is here.
Have a look here first for a few 'illusions'.
We have evolved as creatures that had to make split second decisions for our survival. It does not matter if the predator was brown or green as long as you saw it in time to not get eaten.
Synthesis is an obvious proof where the sensory inputs are completely misinterpreted. Vincent Van Gogh had this gift or affliction.
The illusion I find the scariest of all is that people think that the stock exchange and 'managed investments' are real. They are not. It is one big Ponzi scheme to enrich the insiders.
Another area of interest is the so called psychics that use cold reading and other standard methodology to part you from your money. Organised religions fall into this same category.
20-08-2011, 04:30 PM
This Pettigrew guy seems pretty serious about animal characteristics and what it means for humans !
As an aside, the top ten finalist illusions for the 2011 7th Annual "Illusions of the Year Contest" is here. (http://illusioncontest.neuralcorrelate.com/cat/top-10-finalists/2011/) They're well worth a squizz !
They're all pretty neat, but the "Grouping by Contrast" one, which one second prize is simply awesome. (Mind you, the first one is a corker as well !)
20-08-2011, 06:03 PM
This dancer silhouette in one of Bert's links, where you see the girl spinning one way or the other reminded me of another effect you get when you work on 3D CAD softwares. In the old days (pre windows, DOS days) you spent hours meshing models and building triangular faces by joining isolated vertices anti-clockwise. Realtime shading didn't exist yet. That was called rendering back then and took a few hours to do :lol:. Anyway every now and then you'd loose your perception of what was in front of or in the back of the plane you were currently working on. When this happened the trick was to check your monitor looking in a mirror and your brain would snap back into gear. We all had small mirrors on our desk for that purpose.
20-08-2011, 08:57 PM
Exactly it is all about left and right brain dominance of visual perception. Please read Jack's papers.
21-08-2011, 08:24 AM
Ahhh .. the amazing paradoxes of 'consensual' science …
… Not according to this guy …
Study debunks myth about popular optical illusion (update). (http://www.physorg.com/news/2010-12-debunks-myth-popular-optical-illusion.html)
He says it also effects the perception bias of the Necker Cube illusion.
His paper is here. (http://i-perception.perceptionweb.com/fulltext/i01/i0408.pdf)
21-08-2011, 10:48 AM
I would like to know how figments of my imagination are able to talk to each other and discuss this topic in this forum. Which i also imagined up.
21-08-2011, 10:50 AM
When you find out, let us know how you went about it, eh ?
21-08-2011, 11:04 AM
I think the matrix has got into your heads too deep and you all need to take the blue pill!!:lol::lol:
22-08-2011, 12:05 PM
A very doubtful bit of work from someone who does not know what he is doing. I can get twenty Collingwood supporters to say they only see the world in black and white.
How do you explain the periodical reversing of all these 'illusions'? Check out the rotating spheres where there is no illumination or depth cue. Jack is a member of the Royal Society or FRS so he is no lightweight.
By the way the period between reversals is observer dependant. It is not about left/right hemisphere dominace but an oscillation where each is dominant in turn. This can be modulated by external magnetic fields!
22-08-2011, 01:01 PM
Bert, fortunately my life doesn't seem to be immediately threatened by adopting one view over the other, so I'll choose to stand in a 'don't care' mode.
If pressed, as it stands at the moment, I think I'd be likely to go with your convincing arguments in favour of Jack Pettigrew's explanation .. but only if pressed.
But notice how easy it is to take sides, eh ?
And my original point was that:
Both authors speak of several different illusions and as it comes down to the causes behind how we perceive visual messages, I can see a lot of very good reasons to remain in "don't care", and "soak it all up", modes.
So, keeping true to that statement, I'll attempt to keep both perspectives in mind, and run like hell next time I see a rotating object !
22-08-2011, 02:07 PM
We are back to science being counterintuitive.
Have a look at this bloke's vids on utube.
I have not made up my mind yet but it sounds very much like hand waving science.
22-08-2011, 04:06 PM
Hmm .. I don't know about our bodies appearing as an 'embryonic snake-like' object in the 4th dimension. :question: We all move in the other three dimensions as time passes, so the pictorial representation of our bodies still needs to include some kind of representation in the other three dimensions, as time passes. The more time that passes, the more blurring of this so-called 'embryonic snake'.
I'm not so sure about the 'paths' or 'branches', being as a result of choices we make, either. This would seem to suggest a second sub-dimension for time alone (??).
Anyway, my initial motivations for this thread (if you're wondering), although admittedly somewhat obscure, was for me to research a line of enquiry I currently have going which asserts that we seem to be continually seeking order in everything we see around us .. even in the face of overwhelming evidence (in terms of quantity of examples) that the universe consists of both order and disorder, even from within the same system (sampled at different times).
The 'Nuggets' thread, got me thinking about entropy and systems. Our brains (and in this case our visual perception 'system'), seem to have a dominating bias towards constructing order from the patterns we see, (and even the explanations for them), and yet, is still prone to compiling those patterns in ambiguous ways, even to the extent of flipping them around randomly in time. The ambiguity gives us the real experience of disorder .. which results in a conundrum for us (or so it seems).
What to make of all this ?? .. I'm not sure … or brains are clearly the result of disordered processes, and yet we spend most of our time in orderly pursuits .. always striving to increase the orderliness of things around us !
22-08-2011, 04:19 PM
The human brain like all others will change itself to it's environment. It is called brain plasticity. We cannot be disconnected from our environment or history of experiences. Without memory we do not exist. Yet this memory is built from inputs that are quite problematical and a memory far from perfect.
When you are born it takes all your efforts to eat burp **** and piss. At the end of your life you barely achieve this without help!
What happens in between these two end states is up to you.
22-08-2011, 05:09 PM
So, by the same reasoning, our immediate environment is also a function of internal and external causes. There is no such thing as isolation of either the human 'system' … or of the environment for which humans are well suited. Both display ordered and disordered behaviours (at varying levels).
Sometimes I wonder why are we so focused on predictions ..
22-08-2011, 10:00 PM
Right now I see Craig and Bert spinning around but I can't make up my mind if it's going clockwise or anti-clockwise :question: :P
23-08-2011, 06:39 AM
Craig there is no doubt that we live the consequences of our choices. It's not a matter of anything other than the exercise of will. Poor choices lead to poor outcomes. I think the delusion is believing that we can act without impunity. However we choose, we affect others besides ourselves.
Our senses are merely limited, whereas the orderly pursuits of our mind is where we really sit in terms of who and what we are. The body is a vehicle for something much greater indeed, us! I!
23-08-2011, 10:59 AM
One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike - and yet it is the most precious thing we have.'
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