Wednesday, 3 February 2016

gaffer and key grip

When signalling the start of a footrace, a starter gun is used (as opposed to a chequered flag) because the auditory cue reaches the brain, gathered from a relative paucity of non-intuitive evidence that with more invasive investigations reveal how disjointed reality is mediated by our senses. Though it’s nothing that one could easily access and would probably terribly frightening to try, our perceptions are only glancing and we carry in our minds a composite map of our immediate surroundings that merely regularly monitored for updates.
Although visually we imagine a sweeping continuity of our environment, our eyes, like a stage-hand, are more akin to the panicked flagellations of insect antennae, constantly seeking out corrections and in the absent of new input, blinders are put in place. Up to seven minutes in each hour (routine hours, though, I suppose and not when one is visiting the Grand Bazaar for the first time and is overwhelmed with impressions) we are effectively blind as our eyes dart around in search of changes—sort of like the commercial breaks in television programmes. Our separate senses, the intent to pull the trigger, the report, the puff of smoke and the recoil from above, are shuttled to our brains at different speeds so while there’s as much as a half second’s lag-time among them, they all are received as coordinated and consequent. I wonder if this mental trick of synchronicity that we can’t easily step out of could explain the dissonance between the relatable Newtonian physics and the baffling quantum reality underlying it. Vision can be assailed to an extent but the other senses present a real quandary. I suppose one could appreciate the drift in the illusion of animation, but it always struck me as rather amazing that our eyes are filled with veins and capillaries that are in our field of vision but don’t see because they don’t affect our internal maps.