Perception

Feb. 17th, 2008 07:11 pm
kajarainbow: (Moon card)
"Eshu is a trickster-god, and plays frequently tempting choices for the purpose of causing maturation. He is a difficult teacher, but a good one. As an example, Eshu was walking down the road one day, wearing a hat that was red on one side and black on the other. Sometime after he departed, the villagers who had seen him began arguing about whether the stranger's hat was black or red. The villagers on one side of the road had only been capable of seeing the black side, and the villagers on the other side had only been capable of seeing the red half. They nearly fought over the argument, until Eshu came back and cleared the mystery, teaching the villagers about how one's perspective can alter a person's perception of reality, and that one can be easily fooled. In other versions of this tale, the two tribes were not stopped short of violence; they actually annihilated each other, and Eshu laughed at the result, saying "Bringing strife is my greatest joy"." - Wikipedia
kajarainbow: (Default)
I have this friend. Now, the thing is, one thing that often annoys me about him? How whenever science finds something that's already obvious to him, he belittles this and wonders why they bothered. They bother because obviousness (or lack of it) is a poor guide to truth. Seriously, I can't even begin to count the numbers of times common sense have been proven absolutely wrong (but to confound things, it's sometimes right, too, heh). I like cold empiricism because looking at things without assumptions, or attempting to, and prodding at them and attempting to record the results as precisely as possible has historically proven a very useful guide to truth.

I've been taking somewhat of an interest in what is often called the "dismal science": economics. It's clock-full with this sort of things, all sorts of things that only make sense if one drops the preconceptions of ones upbringing and look at how the numbers tend to work out. Lots of very complicated issues. And, now, this is the sort of case I'm talking about. Ripple effects, unexpected consequences to even benevolent actions. A non-economics example: giving energy food bars to highly starved people and ending up hurting them because they can't handle the sheer amount of calories in their states. Yet another: everyone lending lots of something to a charity, burdening them with the costs of managing particular supplies way in excess of what they need. Like too much X and not enough Y.

I no longer trust good intentions as enough in themselves. I've increasingly come to see careful examination of action-and-consequence as an important, even crucial part of morality. Not that I would consider people evil for simply being mistaken, heh. It takes willful wrongness to earn that,, and I wouldn't toss the word out lightly. But this is why people who stick to rigid closed-mindedness bother and even alarm me: in my eyes, they lack an important part of morality. Evaluation, consideration, then decision.

I'm still trying to work out what I think about this whole economics thing. I've also learned some things from psychology and from anthropology, though I'm still a dabbler at best in all those fields. In many ways, I live to learn.
kajarainbow: (Default)
I can feel vibrations most people don't. Not can't but don't, I have come to conclude. If someone walks by my room loudly, I can feel it from my perch on my bed. I can feel thumps from the other end of the house (a medium-small house, mind). When I lie in my bed, I'm often keenly aware of little shifts in the bed or whatever the heck it is. This doesn't help me get to sleep, particularly when I'm so easily startled by vibrations.

I've been thinking about why I seem so much more sensitive to this than other people. Let me put this way: the brain has only so much resources. And, okay, let me compare the ability to feel vibrations to hearing.

Feeling and hearing both sense vibrations, which is what sounds are after all.
Feeling can sense only a limited range of vibrations and nearly none that hearing cannot. Hearing can sense most of those and many, many more.
Feeling gives you a limited amount of information about the nature of a sound. Hearing gives more.
When you regularly live in a world of silence, and you don't feel most vibrations, the ones that you do startle you much more since it breaks the "quiet". It makes matters worse that you can only guess so much from how the vibration feels.

In short, the ability to feel vibration gives very little that the sense of hearing does not give better. I think this is why most people don't have that sensitive a sense of vibration. Their brains do not really concentrate on it, since concentrating on hearing instead of devoting focus-resources to both is much more efficient.

...This post really brings out my frustrations with my deafness.

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kajarainbow

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