Enigma 1118: 2001 – A specious oddity - From New Scientist #2274, 20th January 2001 George is planning to celebrate the new millennium — the real one — by visiting Foula, the most remote of the S...
Monday, March 24, 2008
This is a photo Jim took of the back of my camera after I'd taken a shot of some wet rooftops that were shining brightly yesterday. His new camera has a supermacro mode which worked well - we had to shade everything with a cloth, like the users of really old fashioned cameras, to keep out as much external light as possible. He managed to capture the rainbow moire patterns that I'd noticed had appeared on my screen - they make it much more interesting than the original!
This week Carla's challenge is about "Finding Your Core". Leah mentioned another site, Creative Therapy, and they are on week 2, their catalyst this week is "A place you go to find your center. It can be imaginary or real or anything in between." So centre or core? Real of imaginary? Hmm... tricky one!
What if there really isn't anything in the core? Its all just an illusion showing up in everyday life? Like an interference pattern... That's how I feel today... and its not as negative as you might think! I'm smiling and happy as I think it. Or perhaps I should say the body that writes this has a smile on its face and a twinkle in its eye...
Carla suggests looking at peak moments - but there is no peak beyond now. This moment. All the rest is simply memory and from what I've experienced and what I've read about memories they are rather unreliable!
There was an interesting experiment after 9/11. Some memory researchers got various eyewitnesses to write up their experiences immediately afterwards. Then some time later they went back to them and asked for their accounts again. When compared the two naturally showed inconsistencies but the strange part was, the part the researchers didn't expect, was that the participants said their current versions were the most accurate! (And sorry I don't have a reference, this was on the radio one morning and I'm relying on my memory of it...)
In my own past I used to do what was called "knowledge acquisition" this was where we found out specialist knowledge and then formulated it in a way that a computer could use to make "expert" suggestions, decisions, analysis etc. Many experts were entirely unaware of what their expertise was really based on.
When learning how to do this I was told about the classic case in the development of a system that was intended to tell when a cheese was mature. The expert did this by pressing it and could then tell if the cheese was ready. The system developers made things with which to press the cheese and measure its elasticity, etc. Later it turned out that the expert was unaware that what they were really doing was sniffing the cheese - it wasn't touch that was important at all, except to release the smell!
So this exercise isn't really working for me today...
I'd got to this rather unsatisfactory point when I took a break.
I turned on the radio and the programme was about pubs called "The Black Boy" and the history of it as a name. With lots of theories mostly connected to Charles the Second and not the slave trade as one might expect. The programme ended up in The Black Boy Inn on Whiteladies Road in Bristol so bringing it as close to me as it could!
It certainly illustrated how meanings can be other than they seem and in this case the most likely answer really is a conspiracy theory - that of the royalists drinking a secret toast "to the black boy over the sea". A constructed illusion to deflect suspicion from them.
Looks like I'm going to have to sleep on this one!