In low light we see only black and white.

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Berkeley Mike, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. Theo Sulphate

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    How is our vision imp^H^H^H affected by our sensations, memories, and other factors, exactly? Please explain.
     
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    Berkeley Mike

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    Okay...consider that within our brain what portion of the "patterns" exist when we are born? Are these features largly constructions, a narrative if you will, that are created to interact with imaging.
     
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    Berkeley Mike

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    Or, because they can deal with a much more coarse, unwashed, and uncooked diet, it doesn't matter. No peanut butt or gluten allergies.
     
  4. Theo Sulphate

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    Not to go off-topic, but patterns (or, more accurately, "mechanisms") do exist in our brain at birth. Linguists Noam Chomsky and Steven Pinker have shown that very young children, prior to speech, already have developed linguistic constructs which they could not have derived by listening to their parents' or others' speech.

    This shouldn't be surprising. How does a newly born spider know how to construct a web? Even I don't know how I would construct a web if I were suddenly transformed into a spider.
     
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    Berkeley Mike

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    We have visual programming upon birth. We accumulate experience and believe that we create memories. A recent study suggest that memories might just be a reconstruction based upon an emotional response. That explains why memory is so unreliable; police not relying on descriptions, the Rashomon effect...

    That said, for brain efficiencies, it anticipates the future with ideas that are predisposed to understand things a certain way. It is easier to understand this with ideas. We go into a situation with a set of ideas and expectations. When they are met it is easy-peasy. When they are not met we have to work to make adjustments, sometimes work very hard. It can take us a while to abandon our preconceptions so we can understand a new paradigm. Some folks simply get stuck.

    In a similar way this effects how we see. Consider an expectation of a sight (my long-haired brunette girlfriend arriving at the airport) and what happens when it is not matched (she cut her hair short?!). I did nt recognize her until she came right up to me and spoke. We get into a small turmoil. We adjust of course but there is still that adjustment. How we see (or don't see), what we want to see, effects what we do see through projection onto the experience.
     
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    Berkeley Mike

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    EXCELLENT!
    Not off-topic at all. Your post reveals the predisposition I have been talking about. It is in most animals. Thanks for helping me clarify. I guess I was thinking in geometric and cultural terms concerning patterns.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  7. Theo Sulphate

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    OK, good, now I understand what you meant. Thanks.
     
  8. Arklatexian

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    I can only answer this for myself, artsy-fartsy or not. If I have a problem seeing a subject as a black and white image, I view the scene through a viewing filter which, I agree, you must learn how to use. When I view the finished B&W print, I am viewing, primarily information which can convey emotion. Color gets in the way of all that as far as I am concerned. As to evolution, I would think rods came first. There are other critters on this earth which only see monochromatically even today. Your family dog may be one. So I think you might be drawing a false conclusion from your supposition...........Regards!
     
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    Berkeley Mike

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    First off, nothing is concluded. As I said, photographers love to get to conclusion. By analogy, consider all that goes into exposure; factors understood and considered as well as one can and we conclude with and exposure...What I have tried to supply are benchmarks and suggestions of understanding to induce thinking and participation to address something of a suspicion I have about fundamental organic processes that embrace B&W.

    I don't think we are disagreeing here.
     
  10. jtk

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    I'm not comfortable connecting Chomsky's famous, faintly race-flavored linguistic theory with discussion about geometric shapes (thinking here of Koiti Motagawa's fraudulent Japanese "research" into visual shapes) and habits that many of us (e.g. me) use when printing photographs (Zone System tends to teach us to produce B&W prints with at least tastes of whitest white and blackest black, which may be less appropriate with color prints).

    It seems a stretch to connect linguistic theory with common preferences for B&W Vs color prints. Nonetheless, that stretch is amusing.



     
  11. Alan Edward Klein

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    We don't have problems with sculptures that aren't colored, maybe just one shade throughout. So why should we have problems with BW with tones?
     
  12. Theo Sulphate

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    I don't know anything about it being "faintly race-flavored" - nor have I detected such overtones. If it's there, then that's on him. I don't admire Chomsky's politics one bit, but I recognize and respect his knowledge of linguistics. To me, his linguistic theory about a "language instinct" (*) applies to all humans. It would be crazy if it did not.

    Chomsky's point is not about linguistics. The connection is that our brain has inherent capabilities or mechanisms built-in for certain things - things we don't have to learn on our own or be taught. Just like spiders don't have to teach their young how to build a web - it's inherent in being a spider.


    (*) a term and title of a book by Chomsky's colleague, Steven Pinker.
     
  13. jtk

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    Sorry, youve missed his point: Chomsky claims different linguistic groups result in different brains. He claims that idea springs from research but I doubt he's actually done any. He's long on opinion, short on substance.
     
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  15. Vaughn

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    Good point, tho sculpture has added qualities such as volume/space, and texture/surface qualities.
     
  16. Theo Sulphate

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    That claim of his may be total rubbish, I'll grant you that. But as for the brain having innate, knowledge - at least with language - I believe Chomsky and Pinker have made a good argument supporting this theory (*). So, as for imagery, it is not hard for me to accept the premise our human brain may have some "programmed" processing of visual images that exists already at birth.

    (*) especially so in Pinker's book, The Language Instinct
     
  17. Alan Edward Klein

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    I agree. But the point I was making is that we don;t need to see its color to know what we're looking at or to appreciate its beauty. We also know immediately that dark colorless shape in the brush is a lion and start running. Can you imagine if our brains had to wait to see the full lion in all it;s color first before running? It's why we see animals in cloud formations and why caricature portraits work. It's why the rules of photography are not rules but explanations of how our brains work in seeing things and reacting to their messages. By constructing the art to comply with our already designed brains makes a piece of art work or not work.
     
  18. jtk

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    Sea Gull and Chicken brains are very scientifically proven have a little of the sort of processing capability/tendency at birth to which you refer, but that doesn't begin to support theories of color Vs B&W prints because when we print color Vs B&W we usually appeal to viewer standards to which we've been habituated.

    I think viewers "like" black blacks and white whites with B&W prints because they're trained to like them, and don't expect them so much with color.
     
  19. jim10219

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    Pareidolia, or brain matrixing. It's how our brains work. We're "programmed" to infer massive amounts of information from limited input. Another great example is the blind spot in our vision that we don't notice. Our brains know there's supposed to be something there, even if it's not fed any information. So it fills in the missing information with what it thinks is supposed to be there. We see stuff, usually quite accurately, even when there is nothing to see.

    Another interesting philosophical twist on this is, we don't all see colors the same way. There are one of two possible green receptors in human eyes, and most people (except for some color blind people and a few woman know to have super chromatic vision) only have one or the other. So there's a biological reason why we may not see color in the same way. Beyond that, our brains are all wired differently, so it's entirely possible that we don't perceive color the same. In other words, my blue might by your red. And we'd never know it, because we don't have the ability to see what's in someone else's brain.

    An example of this lies in the Himba tribe. They don't see the color blue. It's not that they don't possess the ability to see blue, but rather their brains never learned to distinguish blue from green. This makes sense since the color blue is rarely found in nature. The obvious example is the sky, but if you think about it, the sky isn't something. It's nothing. So their minds don't understand the concept of the sky. They simply see it as a void. So their brains never learned to give the sky a name and define it as having a color.

    There's a theory that we can't really distinguish between colors until they are given a name. And usually, colors aren't named until a dye or pigment for that color has been invented. So in theory, if you've never been told of colors before, you may actually just see the world in black and white. Your eyes may still be capable of picking up the different colors, but your brain may not be able to interpret them. I can see how this would work, as I have a much more refined color perception than most of my coworkers. I know this because I have many times fretted over variations in color that most of my coworkers can't see. I can show them two color swatches that look very different to me, but to them, they'll look identical. It's not because their eyes aren't capable of seeing the difference, but rather because I've spent my life as an artist and have obsessed over colors for 40+ years. Unlike them, I'm painted with 100+ different tubes of so-called yellow, each with a unique name. So my brain is more acutely tuned to minor variations. Hansa yellow light and cadmium yellow light are very different to me, but may not be much different to them. Much like how a professional baseball player might be able to see the rotation of a 80 MPH baseball headed towards them, whereas my brain will just see a white blur without stitches.

    Here's a slightly off topic, but fun fact. The color orange was named after the fruit. That's right. People had discovered the fruit before deciding it was a different color from other things and giving the color a unique name. Before getting it's own name, it was called geoluhred, which means yellow-red. Orange wasn't seen as it's own color, but rather a mix of known colors, much like how today we might say something has a "yellowish orange" hue. Without the unique name, our brains simply see it as a variation of what's known, and with that less precise definition, comes a less precise perception. It's kind of like how we see indigo as a type of blue rather than it's own, unique color because we don't often have exposure to the name indigo. Yet if you look at a rainbow, it's there with all of the other primary and secondary colors. It deserves to be held as prominent as the other major colors we all know (yellow, red, blue, green, orange, and violet), but because it doesn't fit well with our western idea of color theory, we tend to just ignore it's importance and consider it a slight variation of blue.
     
  20. Vaughn

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    And then there is magenta!
     
  21. jim10219

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    Or is there?!
     
  22. Vaughn

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    Not in the rainbow...but in the sunset.
     
  23. Theo Sulphate

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  24. Alan Edward Klein

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    What shows as Cyan, I call turquoise. But whatever its' called, it a color everyone sees I believe even if you don;t have a name for it. I suppose, those people call it light blue or Caribbean blue whatever. But it's a spectrum color we all see.
     
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    Berkeley Mike

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    Homer refers to the "blood red sea" in the Odyssey.
     
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    Berkeley Mike

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    Great info.
     
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