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The Path is Short the Way is Wide

(Alternate title: Mine Eyes Deceive Me)

For the thousandth time the Daily Paul has led me to discover something new about myself and the world around me, and it all started with music.

I love music of all types, periods and genres. When the Classical Music Thread appeared I was happy to participate. So I posted an animated video of an Eric Satie song. Then, wanting to play along, I tipped my laptop on its side and discovered that my entire worldview has been incorrect, probably since the day I was born.

What happened is that my computer screen transformed from a near square to a long rectangle. It now appeared longer than it was wide. When I righted the computer the screen returned to its original 'proper' shape. Or did it? I removed my glasses and tried it again but the illusion persisted.

I experimented with objects around me: Sure enough, tall, narrow books became squat and squarish when tipped on their sides. My cigarette lighter gained in girth and lost in length. All my cereal bowls revealed themselves to be slight ovals.

Setting out later that day I felt slightly safer knowing that the road ahead of me wasn't quite as long as it appeared to my eyes, and indeed it was slightly wider than how I saw it.

The next morning I awoke with this thought still in my mind. It occured to me that maybe this illusion, this deception might be a fault in just one of my eyes. So I closed the left one and looked at a picture hanging on the wall, first with head on pillow and then with head tilted horizontally. Same effect. I closed my right eye and tried it again but was immediately distracted by the fact that the same picture now appeared a deeper shade of blue. Closing one eye then the other the colors shifted back and forth. With both eyes open everything blended together.

Then I glanced at the clock on the wall and noticed that the second hand lingered for a while before moving forward. I glanced away for a moment and when I looked again the same thing happened. No big deal, I thought. This is nothing more than the 'saccade effect', which is when your eyes move and your brain automatically overwrites the previous brief moment of your memory, causing us all to live an average of 40 minutes every day in the past.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed by all these discoveries of how my own brain deceives me constantly, I shut my eyes and noticed that for the briefest moment between light and darkness there was nothing. My eyes neither saw nor didn't see - there was a noticeable microsecond of 'nothing'. Is this what the blind 'see' all the time I wondered?

I started thinking about other people and whether or not they saw the world as taller and narrower than it actually 'is', the world bluer or redder than it actually 'is', the world slightly later than it actually 'is', the world darker than it actually 'is'. Do I see the world as it actually 'is'?

Through all these self-experiments I was forced to conclude that in fact I don't see the world as it actually is - not by a long shot. Could this disagreement between what my eyes see and what is actually there explain some of the small differences of opinion between myself and the people close to me? Why some people see some things as hard when I see them as easy? Why some people see some things as fair when I see them as unfair? When I see some things as obvious and others see them as obviously wrong?

Shaking these nagging thoughts from my beleagured mind I reached for a cup of coffee and noticed that it took a brief moment between when I touched the cup and when I felt the heat. Turning around I noticed the sound of the brewing shift ever so slightly. Oh brother, here we go again...



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my left eye sees dark and my right sees light.

Which is right?

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

OK......No mystery here

I would say stop taking whatever medication you are on or go see a doctor. If you are seeing things out of proportion then there is a problem with your eyes or the signals to your optical nerve.

We have things called tape measures that can actually tell us how wide things are compared to height. If those proportions are not what you are seeing then you really should go find someone to help. I understand there are optical illusions, and we can train our focus in certain ways depending on living conditions and situations, but you should always be able to recover.

As for delayed reactions and "limbo" stuff, it is a matter of signal. While the electrical signals and impulses that our brain operates are extremely fast, they are not instantaneous. And again, if you are touching something warm, but it takes several seconds for you to feel it, there is definitely a problem with your nerve receptors. Some of the other vision anomalies, might be a matter of the liquid lens of your eyes. I too can "turn back time" - because I have astigmatism in both eyes. If I stare at a clock hand it can appear to move backwards. I also have a couple "floaters" in each eye which give me colored reflections after I close my eyes.

I'm sure each instance of your observations are explained somehow through biochemistry or anatomical structures. Sorry to be a realist.

"In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."--Mark Twain

Thank you for your concern, however...

all the things I mentioned are completely normal and happen to everybody. Watch the saccade video to understand why the first second on a clock will always take longer than every one following it. When you touch something warm it always takes about a second for your brain to get the heat signal, but you will pull your hand away instantly as a reflex if it is dangerously hot - this I learned when I was 8 from the Charlie Brown 'Cyclopedia.

The illusion of my vision being slightly skewed has no affect on my day-to-day activities, I can use a tape measure just fine. I'm an ace pool-shooter. Time moves faster the more gravity there is - this is why clocks move more slowly in space than on earth, and why identical twins who grow up separated - one at a high altitude and the other at low altitude, will age at different rates. This is simple quantum physics. Look it up it's a fact.

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

Just an observation

Just because gravity or gravitational forces effect the working mechanisms of a time keeping apparatus doesn't mean that time itself is effected by gravity.

If I put a magnet on my watch and it stops it doesn't mean that magnetism stops time.

Gravity warps spacetime.

Einstein's observation.

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

Umm....

There are no clocks in space.

"In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."--Mark Twain

Atomic clocks, like the one on the space station.

There are also clocks on some of the communications satellites. Also Buzz Aldrin dropped his watch on the moon and didn't get it back till 30 years later. It was off by 14 seconds - an incredible deviation in space-time.

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

So? And now you are being ridiculous.

So what? Even if true what does that have to do with seeing things differently on Earth? Or claiming to see warps in time/gravity?

But to bring some reality to you, it was actually Neil Armstrong's watch left on the lunar module. And no, it has never been returned so you are lying. And, they were mechanical, so you are making the claim that one winding of a watch lasted 39 years? Why even make battery-powered watches if one winding can last decades?

Your twin analogy is true in theory (never actually observed). But, the difference in aging would be so tiny, maybe a day over 80 years, there would be no way to observe biological differences.

You are sounding even more silly now.

"In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."--Mark Twain

Sometimes I wish I could

Sometimes I wish I could experience the world without all of the baggage of my other experiences.

Just your screen name alone says your are attached to the

past.

Whoa - let go, dude! Your past is there whether you decide to think of it or not. What would you say to this:

Go up to a perfect stranger. Now ask them to think about the worst thing that ever happened to them in the past. They'll probably look at you like you're nuts.

Now relate that to yourself. Why would you ever do that to yourself? Why would you even try?

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

Hehe maybe I stated that a

Hehe maybe I stated that a bit too overdramatically.

I was trying to say I wish I could live more in the now and experience experience in its pure form. We routinely depend on past experiences and "knowledge" to explain what it is we are experiencing which then prevents us from seeing things as they are.

Dont worry im perfectly happy :)

Hehe maybe I stated that a

Hehe maybe I stated that a bit too overdramatically.

I was trying to say I wish I could live more in the now and experience experience in its pure form. We routinely depend on past experiences and "knowledge" to explain what it is we are experiencing which then prevents us from seeing things as they are.

Dont worry im perfectly happy :)

Who's to say your senses 'deceived' you?

Perhaps they are expanding! I'm reminded of a story from Michael Talbot's book, 'the Holographic Universe'...his parents once hired a hypnotist to entertain at a dinner party. A man was given a hypnotic suggestion that his daughter (who was present) was invisible to him. Seemingly she was to him once he was brought out of trance. The hypnotist though took it all a quantum leap further by holding his pocket watch in the small of the daughter's back, out of sight from her dad but since she was 'invisible' he would theoretically be able to see through her which is what the author claims he did, even reading the fine inscription on the back of the watch. Reality is likely way more unstable and fluid than we realize. Hopefully if we can find ways to expand our senses, we will experience much greater depth of reality.

The case you describe was most likely stage magic deception.

but it could also be described through increased perception via sensory acuity, graphology, and other factors.

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

If we can find a way to

If we can find a way to transcend our senses...

Very well done

thank you for sharing your observations with us.

No one in the world sees things exactly the same because we are not exactly the same, our experiences, our perspectives are as varied as the stars in the sky.

Rather than argue how the sky looks we should celebrate our existence and let the warmth of our glow be received, so eons from now our purpose would have been fulfilled, to love one another.

Peace

"We can see with our eyes, hear with our ears and feel with our touch, but we understand with our hearts."

Thanks for the kind words. Have you noticed any of the ways

your senses deceive you?

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

All the time.

I lost a baby once, a few weeks into my recovery I was sitting watching the tv when I moved my head to the right HALF the tv disappeared. Whooa! I thought this is freaky, like a Sci-fi movie.
When I moved my head half the room disappeared. I was told to call my eye doctor he had me come because he thought I tore a retina in my eye.
I went in and he told me it was due to stress.

I realized that my own eyes can deceive me so I take my view as well as the view of others with suspicion.

I now take all the information in but I do not form the picture but let the picture form for me.

In other words, opinions are a dime a dozen. I live my life in such a way that when I leave, I leave with few regrets.

"We can see with our eyes, hear with our ears and feel with our touch, but we understand with our hearts."

I'm very sorry to hear that.

The 'blind spot' in our eyes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_spot_%28vision%29 is proof enough that we don't see everything that is before us and we never can.

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

New title - does it work?

???

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.