I Believe in Green

They will look at you like you are nuts. “Of course we know about the visible light part of the spectrum.” And they will show you how (in their version of it) the spectrum includes all the subtle shades of gray. They will patiently explain to you that you cannot see this mythological, supernatural quality called “color” in the microwave or radio wave regions, so it is illogical to assume such nonsense exists in the visible portion.

To continue reading please see The Works of His Hands

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2 Responses to I Believe in Green

  1. SheilaDeeth says:

    I really enjoyed this analogy. Plus it reminded me of my dad asking me if I really believed I saw blue the same way as he did.

  2. Begs the age old question of evaluating the reality of another’s experience.

    To the extent that a symbol is hardwired into the brain in order to more efficiently represent an otherwise basic but complex sensory process, such as distinguishing a color, it doesn’t seem surprising that one couldn’t define its source. Awareness of the underlying neuronal interactions would be an inefficient use of brain capacity. Hence, the qualia of “green”, a spontaneous symbol that my eyes are being stimulated by EM-radiation at around 540 nm.

    But I can also experience “purple”… and “music”.

    Dostoevsky told of experiencing the qualia of touching God in the seconds before an epileptic seizure. He was only able to describe it to others as a sensation that he would not exchange for any other in his life. I can’t argue that Dostoevsky’s experience was any less Real (with a capital “R”) than my own of “green”… or of “purple”, or “music”. But what does that tell us of the source?

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