Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Still pictures

In a recent program on BBC4, The Genius of Photography, Jon Snow said he thought memory had to be in the form of still photos rather than moving film and I'd agree. The reason for this is simple - movement blurs vision. You cannot see what is truly in front of you unless you stop yourself and look (confront it). People who are frightened are continually on the run - that is, life is just a continuous blur to them, so they never see it for what it is. It takes courage to make a stand and discover the truth, rather than join the panic that parts us from our 'senses'.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Autistic people have a problem with sequencing, which is why data processing eludes them (I could never see the sense of gears for instance - why not just an accelerator?). This is why words confuse them as they have to work out the order and meaning from that, to make sense of the message. This is also why vision is more important to them i.e. instant, whole communication - not charades (guessing games).

VS Ramachandran and 'Ingrid', sounds like someone watching a film and catching each frame individually, rather than as a smooth flow of seeming continuity (Hand cranked projectors of old and the strobe effect of silent movies - new films don't have this problem as they are faster, so you can censor out gaps). It's similar to when you're ill or suffering from the effects of alcohol - you can't scan across a vista but get image drag instead. By the way because this is the way we see, doesn't mean that, that is the way the world is in fact: Things move or stay still but it is us that creates stills of life, not life that necessarily creates still pictures of itself, from moving or seemingly still objects.


Anthony Peake said...

Interesting that quite by chance I am re-reading the book 'Eye And Brain' by Richard Gregory. This is a really fascinating book. It explains in detail the process by which we see and, lo and behold, the layman may believe that what we see is what is really out there but the experts clearly acknowledge that this is simply not the case. For example Gregory states quite specifically that neurologists simply do not know why we do not perceive the 'blind spot'. Gregory is particularly puzzled by the fact that we still do not see it even when we have one eye closed. i would argue that the reason for this is that vision is mostly construct of the brain, not the eye.

paigetheoracle said...

Good book - I read that too, some years back.