Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Empirical Phenomenology

How much time do we spend staring at oblongs? As I'm writing this, I am staring at an oblong - a black border with lights in the middle. When I look at my phone, its the same thing - and in fact, the extent to which the oblong fills my field of view is roughly the same, since I hold the phone closer to me. Do we know what prolonged oblong exposure does to people?

I asked my 17 year old daughter. She said, "but you look at windows, you don't worry about that.." I said, "I never look at windows. I look through them. It's different".

We have amazing technologies for exploring the phenomenology of perception in a way which can be far more precise than anything that was available to phenomenological theorists of the early 20th century. We should be using these technologies. I'm interested in how the synchronic and diachronic aspects of visual perception can be studied using spectographic analysis of visual perception, audio perception and haptics.
Plotting the entropies of the dimensions of experience reveals patterns in their inter-relationships: the graph above looks like a kind of counterpoint to me. This is part of an analysis of one of Vi Hart's videos (this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahXIMUkSXX0). Perception is contrapuntal, and I think the counterpoint is quite explicit in Vi Hart's work. But watching her video is still staring at an oblong...

So if we spend all our time staring at oblongs then we're doing something to the counterpoint of perception. It would be like having a kind of drone going on in the background. Something fixed and insistent upon which any other 'dancing' takes place. If it was a real drone, I think eventually we would get tired of it and want it to change. But we can't seem to escape our oblongs!

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