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Private Color Perception - Page 2

post #16 of 22
As someone with deutanopoly color deficiency I've explained my color vision weakness this exact way. I tell people that you may see green one way and someone else a completely different way, but that it is equally distinct for you and that other person. But, for me I need it to be x-times more vibrant for me to differentiate green. Whereas, for blue and yellow I see them just as vibrantly as anyone else, but I may be seeing them completely differently, just as everyone else may.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbelragazzo View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holdfast View Post

My post directly addresses that precise idea. That's why we have developed a consensus model of reality whereby we can all agree what blue is, regardless of what we actually perceive as blue. That's the only reason my reality is not totally different to your reality. In theory/isolation, it really IS (pace Gattopardo above, and indeed, Wittgenstein wink.gif ). In practice/culture, we agree on a model that maps our perceptions to equivalent phenomena. We wouldn't even agree on what blue is without that shared concept (?delusion). It's not a new idea (it's just a perceptual spin on "what is truth" and idealism generally), though we are increasingly able to practically identify mechanisms and illustrations for our individual perceptual differences.

I blogged about this issue a week or so ago, when asking the question "what does Coke taste of"? We all perceive the taste of Coke differently/individually, but we also all agree to call it Coke. It's another example of this consensual model of reality that isn't just based on our perceptions, but on how we compare our perceptions to others. That lets us "calibrate" our terminology to mean the same thing, regardless of what we actually perceive neurochemically. If you think about it, given genetic variation and synaptic plasticity, it would be staggeringly, staggeringly UNlikely for us all to perceive a given physical phenomenon in the same way. We just agree on how to describe it.

And even then, not always, when the differences become increasingly marginal. For instance, there's a tribe in the (I think) Amazon that literally can see more shades of green than the rest of us. Because of this, combined with their relative isolation to the rest of the world, they can describe more greens than us. They have both a perceptual ability that we lack AND a different nomenclature to accompany that difference. If you took someone from that tribe and raised them in OUR culture, without exposure to their own, the chances are very high that while they'd continue to see all those extra differences if you tested them, in practice they'd only call them by the shades that the rest of us can name, as they'd be embedded in our version of reality.

OK, I understand you better now - and thanks for the link to your blog post. We are talking about the same thing. I'd hesitate to say that the Amazonian living in the West would be "embedded in our version of reality" as they CAN still see the different shades of green. They may not realize that others can't see them, but in this case, there would be an obvious way to test whether this is true. With reference to the open of your blog post, I do prefer "the real would drive us mad" to "there is no real". I'm not sure how far you mean to take this "version of reality/positive consensus taste construct", but the fact that we all agree on which things are "blue" is not a social construct in the same way as we agree on which things are "fair". "Blue" has a definite meaning, which is things that reflect light of a certain frequency. "Fair", or its translations in other languages, can mean different things in different societies, and is agreed upon less often by different people even within the same culture. If I were to meet a person who lived in the Amazon for their entire life without contact with Western culture, and told him, "this thing is blue - everything of this color, we call blue", he would know exactly what I mean and call all the same things blue that I would call blue. If I told him, for instance, "I entered the lottery and won, so now I am very rich and get to spend a lot of money. It's fair, because everybody who entered had the same chance of winning." He might have no idea what I mean and think that it couldn't possibly be fair for one person to end up with so much money and everyone else so little, and if he learned the meaning of the word, we might call very different things "fair".

 

I think it's quite dangerous to say that "blue has a definite meaning, which is things that reflect light of a certain frequency" and thus to give that definition a veneer of absolutism/objectivity. It's still a very subjective/relative definition of colour, dependent on a number of subsidiary concepts about the model of the universe we inhabit, ranging from very fundamental assumptions about light to how we interpret signals we (or our machines) detect. Of course, I'd agree that abstract and moral concepts are more subjective/relative (as they're obviously built on a large number of complex assumptions), but there's no fundamental/objective/"real" reason even quite basic assumptions about the universe hold true.

 

To link that directly to your sentence: "If I were to meet a person who lived in the Amazon for their entire life without contact with Western culture, and told him, "this thing is blue - everything of this color, we call blue", he would know exactly what I mean...", this is because although the Amazon tribe's culture and ours is different in a large number of respects, it still shares some basic fundamental assumptions (e.g. there is a thing called "colour"). These may well be assumptions "hard-wired" into our neurophysiology and therefore common to all human perception, but that does not mean that human perception is truth.

 

Your original point in the thread that different people have different perceptual capabilities only underlines the fallibility of perception as a means of determining universal truth, by creating a real-life example of the subjectivity of a colour. The subjectivity of even the very concept of colour itself is not really that much more of a imaginative stretch. As Tropicalist and Gattopardo have suggested, these issues have been discussed at greater length by folks much brighter (and more verbose) than I, although I do find this sort of thing very interesting.

 

By the way, I can't resist deploying a rare on-topic use of an already-existing meme caption... biggrin.gif

 

35cake.jpg

post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
This thread has become quite philosophical and perhaps past the point that I can convince even myself that I am making a useful contribution to the discussion. However you have all given me much to read and think about, and I wanted to thank you for that before the thread languishes. If I manage to delude myself into believing myself I have something valuable to say after further contemplation, I will come back and post it.
post #19 of 22
Speaking of color perception, this is an interesting exercise in that very thing:

http://www.xrite.com/custom_page.aspx?pageid=77&lang=en

I scored a 7. But I'm also in a career that places a high value on visual perception and am experienced with subtlety in color, shape, etc...
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlaneurNYC View Post

Speaking of color perception, this is an interesting exercise in that very thing:
http://www.xrite.com/custom_page.aspx?pageid=77&lang=en
I scored a 7. But I'm also in a career that places a high value on visual perception and am experienced with subtlety in color, shape, etc...

Cool stuff. I got a 19, so you win worship.gif
post #21 of 22
12 for me with tired eyes and in a dark room.
post #22 of 22
124. But, I know I am need 120 times the vibrancy of green to see it as well as normal color vision. I'm only 0.04 SD from the mean on the B-Y axis. Not the most stressful color deficiency test I've ever taken, but that was reasonably difficult.
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