Here we are again…Loose Blogging…. for further thoughts on this weeks topics click any of these: : Delirious, Maria/Gaelikaa, OCD writer, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, Rohit, The Old Fossil, Will Knott, Grannymar,

Perception? Surely our perceptions are the result of our observations? The results of using our senses? Of course there is the fallacy  of observation which ought to be taken into account.
Why the fallacy of observation? It’s simply that what I might call my observation is not the same as yours. An example of this is the rainbow. You and I stand looking at a rainbow. Our perception might be that we are observing the same rainbow. But, as my father was fond of telling me, we are not looking at the same rainbow. Indeed I’m not observing the same rainbow that I saw ten seconds ago. or even one second ago.
Why is this? It’s simple really. As far as you and I not seeing the same rainbow goes it is because our eyes cannot occupy the same space simultaneously and thus what I see is not the same as what you see. Your eyes will detect completely different rays of light to the ones that my particular electromagnetic radiation (390 to 750 nm wavelengths) detectors  will sense. It’s that simple. As for my viewing (perceiving) different rainbows from second to second. It’s easy to explain. The raindrops that refract the light from the sun are all moving in space. Different drops different light, different rainbows.

Apply these principles to any observation and we can see that it is not possible to actually make an observation. Well that is how the argument goes.

But of course we have a perception that it is possible to observe phenomena. Which means, of course, that we do in fact observe things…. we must because we are subject to perceptions as a  result of our observations.

Now, I’m confused by all of this so I think I’ll stick to my initial perception that I can show you the rainbow which I saw just now and the Devil take any other idea.

How do they expect to observe the Higgs Boson? Those scientists obviously have a perception of what they are looking for…….

Did I lose you? Never mind, it really doesn’t matter. Just enjoy the beauty of the next rainbow you see and remember that you will be pointing out a different one when you share the experience with another person.


16 Responses to “Perception…”

  1. Nick Says:

    Well, of course my perception of your post (and photo) will also be quite different from your other visitors, as it’s filtered through my own personal perspectives and biases. To me, the rainbow seems faint and pastel-coloured and ethereal, but others won’t see it that way at all. And how many people will notice the chimney, the door, the cable and the plastic bag?

    • magpie11 Says:

      You didn’t notice the pole?
      he cable is almost a family trade mark…my father often managed to get the washing line in his pictures. It’s the cable from a Short-wave aerial installation.

      One thing though: Everyone will see the same rainbow this time!

  2. Grannymar Says:

    @Nick – Fists up! That is a green woven plastic sack providing protection for a tender shrub from the frost!

    Do I win the Smarties?

    • magpie11 Says:

      No! It’s a green plastic carrier that was used for putting waste coffee grounds in for use in the war on slugs!

  3. Delirious Says:

    As far as I see, we can’t rely solely upon observation because we might not be observant enough! We might be missing pieces of the whole view, and might make rash judgments.

  4. bitchontheblog Says:

    Only yesterday I, deliriously happy, picked up my new prescription glasses. My vision once more representing more accurately what you may call ‘reality’. Your finer points of optics not withstanding.

    Let’s just say that I wish there were 20/20 vision on how we perceive each other. Impossible. Our view distorted by the length of our psychological lens, our outlook on life. Some more intuitive, more observant than others, better able at putting pixels together accurately, kindly, generously. Little blinkers blocking their (in)sight.


    • magpie11 Says:

      I too visited the optician yesterday. A pleasant half hour spent discussing this and that. After all we have known each other for many years. One thing we talked about was the pain of running on sand dunes.
      I also had my sense of humour massaged. According to his receptionists I have a mischievous face. Me? Mischievous?

      You are absolutely right: Our perceptions are only too often informed by our psychology. Oh boy! Don’t we know it?

  5. The Old Fossil Says:

    If you are interested in the Higgs Boson, you might be fascinated by the book, “Lucifer’s Legacy.”

    As for the differing perception of your eyes and mine, don’t forget that even your two eyes are seperated spacially, thus unable to perceive alike. Indeed, somewhat like the asymmetry of Lucifer’s Legacy, it is this prohibition that allows the perception of depth.

  6. padmum Says:

    I didn’t know that one rainbow could yield so many perceptions. For me a rainbow is beautiful..arching across the horizon…I don’t even see the colours as I would in a sunrise or sunset.

    Lovely post–and I learned something about vision.

    • magpie11 Says:

      I don’t know about rainbows in other parts of the world but here there is often a special quality in the light that creates the bow. That quality does not always produce the colours, nor is that at quality always present in the light producing a rainbow.

      It is hard to describe that quality of light.

  7. Rummuser Says:

    Profound and very much in keeping with the philosophical aspects of perception. Is that a side that I did not know about?

  8. magpie11 Says:

    I have just done a Wiki-Up on perception…interesting.

    (Wiki-Up? Wikipedia look up. Nothing to do with the temporary, round dwelling of the Apache Indians of the American Southwest)

  9. ocdwriter Says:

    In any given time I might have given up saying too much science talk for one post. But I actually stuck on and got what you were trying to say. But I come from the background where I would rather enjoy the rainbow as a mystical event than a scientific one 🙂

  10. magpie11 Says:

    Not really much science there. I mean to say I didn’t even mention critical angles and total internal reflection nor refraction of different wave lengths at the boundary between substances of different refractive indices

    Science does not preclude appreciation of the beautiful or indeed thee mystical.
    One of the most sensible ideas within our National Curriculum was the expectation that we teachers should instil a feeling of awe and wonder in our pupils. Never mind the fact that awe and wonder cannot be “measured” and was submerged by the “measurable” aspects of the curriculum.
    I was always interested that the artistic student societies at College were maintained by science students as were the science based societies.

  11. magpie11 Says:

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