20.5.04

What's wrong with this picture?

NPR reports that scientists at the California Institute of Technology have developed a visual illusion that they believe will help explain how human brains make sense of the world.

Those wags at ATC probably had this in mind when they budgeted Kevin Kling's commentary on public transportation in Minneapolis. Kling's essay is brilliant in a dozen different way, bust-a-gut funny, and reminds me a lot of riding the night tram. But anyway ...

... [M]ost motorcycle accidents happen because people driving cars say they don't see [the motorcycle]. The study concluded that most people who do not have a motorcycle or a relative or a close friend with a motorcycle simply do not see them. This theory seems to hold true for people who've lost touch with those in need. They just don't see them. Or maybe it's like the time I opened up a Mexican jumping bean. There are just some things you do not want to know.


So going back to Caltech and the 'binding problem' (if you haven't tried the experiment yet, you should): The human brain tricks itself to make sense of the world around it. This usually works. But there are times when the world doesn't make sense and you need to put aside what you think you know, take a step back and look at it all again.

Now read that again.

Which is why Prague Daily Monitor subscribers didn't get today's issue until sometime around noon today. My fault. Bryn's on vacation and -- wouldn't you know -- his plane had barely left the tarmac before I'm totally hosing the entire operation. The mistake I was making -- repeatedly -- was so moronic that I won't dwell on it here, but it was akin to not having the computer plugged in. But I reached Doug and he saved my ass, but not before I had stared at the screen for a couple hours watching all the red dots fall.

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