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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

On the Proposition that Color Does Not Exist



Color is created by the eyes in conjunction with the brain. Color is the brain’s way of navigating the world by distinguishing between wavelengths of light, which do exist, of different energies. Colors could be infinitely more or greatly less distinguished. Some people, mostly women, see colors most of us cannot. Some people, mostly men, see fewer colors than most of us can see. They break the world up differently. We can understand the color blind, but not the color enhanced. We can’t really see what they see.

The body is not programmed to make sense of what is of no use to it. Few animals distinguish as humans do between music and noise. Dogs ignore vegetables. Cats sit on the backs of statues of wolves. Zebras cannot see painted zebras.

We have always been surrounded by sounds we could not hear, colors we could not see. Machines extended our awareness of these. But what we do not have senses for we can no more imagine than a continent of the blind could imagine light. But doesn’t it make more sense to believe that stuff we cannot perceive is there? Dark matter, infinitely differentiable, but not by us.

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