July 02, 2014 at 05:07PM
"Human perception, Faraday recognized, is not a direct consequence of reality but rather an act of imagination." #readingToday

Human perception, Faraday recognized, is not a direct consequence of reality but rather an act of imagination. Perception requires imagination because the data people encounter in their lives are never complete and always equivocal. For example, most people consider that the greatest evidence of an event one can obtain is to see it with their own eyes, and in a court of law little is held in more esteem than eyewitness testimony. Yet if you asked to display for a court a video of the same quality as the unprocessed data captured on the retina of a human eye, the judge might wonder what you were trying to put over. For one thing, the view will have a blind spot where the optic nerve attaches to the retina. Moreover, the only part of our field of vision with good resolution is a narrow area of about 1 degree of visual angle around the retina's center, an area the width of our thumb as it looks when held at arm's length. Outside that region, resolution drops off sharply. To compensate, we constantly move our eyes to bring the sharper region to bear on different portions of the scene we wish to observe.

The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules our Lives, Leonard Mlodinow´╗┐