Beau Lotto - Optical Illusions Show Us How We See

Look at the cube on the right. Is the center piece on the top side of the cube lighter or darker than the center piece on the left side of the cube? Whatever you 'think' is the right answer (and feel free to test for yourself), there is no denying that the top piece looks darker than the side piece. If the light hitting your retina in both cases is exactly the same, however, why do they look not simply different but radically different?

With the exception of a few optical illusions here and there, the average person thinks that one's perception reflects an external reality as it is in itself. The 17th century philosopher George Berkeley, however, demonstrated that the only thing we can ever know directly is our perceptions, and not what those perceptions are about. That's right, good-bye external world... Even the wall you are about to punch so you can refute Berkeley is only known to you as a series of perceptions of color and hardness, soon to be followed by pain :)

Any scientist who invokes Bishop Berkeley's got my attention, and in this truly mind-blowing presentation, Beau Lotto does just that in order to explain why context in visual perception is even more important than the colors that actually hit your eyes.

With the use of simple but fantastic optical illusions, Lotto will mess with your mind to the point you might think you're tripping on acid, and despite all the confusion and cognitive insecurity, by the end you will know a little bit more about how we perceive the world.


I think that Kant would also be pleased :)
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