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Thank you for understanding.

Mon, Oct. 8th, 2007 10:30 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b

Thank you!

Mon, Oct. 8th, 2007 11:28 pm (UTC)
talash

youwelc.

what are your conclusions from this survey? i mean-- каждый охотник желает знать где сидит фазан and i see half of the people wrote this. I'm hardly anything insightful.

Mon, Oct. 8th, 2007 11:56 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b

Less than half, I believe. Which is incredible, since these colors are fed to children as 100% true for everyone. My personal hypothesis is that people who were taught this rhyme (or equivalent) as children will see these colors only, but people who managed to avoid it as children or, for some reason, rejected the authority, will see something entirely individual. See for elaboration: http://mme-n-b.livejournal.com/31364.html

Tue, Oct. 9th, 2007 01:24 am (UTC)
talash

Since these colors are fed to children as 100% true for everyone

Well, they are 100% true because, on a purely physical level these are the only colors that are produced by visible light of a single wavelength within those ranges and this is their order in the spectrum. This doesn't mean that someone may not think he sees some серо-буро-малиновый or whatever but this is as relevant as, for example the fact that some color-blind people won't see the green. Our eyes aren't a precise instrument and neither is our brain objective at interpreting what is seen. Fortunately civilization has developed some better tools than our eyes, which, together with repeated measurements by several independent and unaffiliated entities may help us construct something which is more like objective reality.

Tue, Oct. 9th, 2007 04:30 am (UTC)
mme_n_b

Sorry, but you are deeply wrong. An infinity of colors is produced. We see only a few of them. Some of us see more, some less (I know a person able to distinguish over 40 kinds of green). And - read the link about Aristotle again. There is no such thing as objective reality.

Tue, Oct. 9th, 2007 06:15 am (UTC)
talash

An infinity of colors is produced.

I have never said otherwise, but since, for example "green" is defined as a light whose wavelength is may be anything 490 and 560 nm, we put all of its possible shades under the category of "green." Sure, some people may distinguish more shades and some less but this still doesn't make the previous statement wrong or untrue.

There is no such thing as objective reality.

I have read this and I both agree and disagree with that. I am perfectly ready to accept that different people see things differently, feel differently, experience differently etc. There is, however a certain framework that is common to all people, according to which two times tow is four, well-defined measurements for units of space, time and weight exist and they are common to all people (that is, unless we are going to realms of relativity or quantum mechanics, which i will deliberately keep out of this discussion). Color belongs to both of those realms and while different people may see colors differently, color is nevertheless something that is possible to measure exactly and that measurement, given the proper equipment, should not vary by something beyond negligible among different observers (and did I say we keep quantum mechanics out?). The seven colors that we know of course do not represent all the possible colors and sure, a better representation could be made with 16, 256 or 16 million. Still, the seven basic colors provide a good enough approximation to all the visible colors in the spectrum range. Now, I'm perfectly fine with the fact that someone may view colors differently and possibly see something like brownish magenta in the rainbow, yet i'm sure he'll have a hard time convincing people (even those who are not familiar with каждый охотник) of this as a new standard.That is not to say that this personal view doesn't have a place. It does. It's called "art."

Tue, Oct. 9th, 2007 03:21 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b

1. That's the point. Most people, having been taught to see "green" see only one color - green. And others see shades as diverse as "lime" and "moss". Most people can distinguish these two when not seen in a rainbow, so it's not the ability to distinguish them that matters, but the subconscious willingness to look for them in a specific context.

2. "well-defined measurements for units of space, time and weight exist and they are common to all people " Asch's experiments proved that these measurements, or, at least, our ability to perceive them, depend on authority.
"realms of relativity or quantum mechanics, which i will deliberately keep out of this discussion" Thank you!!!!!

" possibly see something like brownish magenta in the rainbow"
Forget magenta, that's to be expected. Notice the high incidence of independent sightings of black, grey, and white.

"i'm sure he'll have a hard time convincing people (even those who are not familiar with каждый охотник) of this as a new standard"
There is no standard, that's the point. A rainbow is as individual as a Roscharch test ;)

Tue, Oct. 9th, 2007 07:29 pm (UTC)
talash

There are two separate things we're talking about, one of which is the physics of color, the other is its perception. We have, I hope, no argument about the former. As for the latter-- I do, of course, distinguish between the different shades of color that are present in the rainbow. I do not, however, name all these shades when looking at the rainbow. Why? Because they're irrelevant in this context. One of the greatest achievements of humanity is that of standardization and the seven-color model for the rainbow is pretty much a standard, which is based on science. It's not necessarily the best representation there is, but it is something that people can universally agree upon. As for our ability to perceive measurements-- well, yeah, there is a difference in that perception because of psychological reasons, but still, as long as we're keeping within the boundaries of classical physics, even though someone may think he had made an error in those because an authority says differently, it still does not invalidate the measurements themselves-- which, as long as they are carried out properly, within the boundaries of classical science should not vary beyond the negligible error margin between observers. The good thing about this standard and standards in general is that it is not based on perception, but rather on objective measurements and by objective in this context I mean something that does not vary beyond the negligible error margin between observers provided they carry the same measurements. There is, like I had said a place for those different perceptions in art-- it might be very interesting to see someone's picture of a rainbow with accent on brownish-magenta, but it is not something which should be universally used. Because if we want to do some scientific or engineering task which requires the use of color, we better have a model suitable for the task. Thankfully, there is a whole branch of science called "chromatics" which is devoted to just that. Perception of color may vary and if we put on green glasses we'll see the Wizard of Oz as well, but color in itself is something which is scientifically well-defined and objective.

Tue, Oct. 9th, 2007 08:17 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b

"We have, I hope, no argument about the former"
Ix nadezhdy opravdalis' ;) I'm not nearly qualified enough for that type of argument.


"I do, of course, distinguish between the different shades of color that are present in the rainbow."
Are you sure? Do you truly distinguish between lime and moss, or merely know that they ought to be there? When you look at a rainbow casually do you see a distinct lime band and a distinct emerald band, in the same way that you see a distinct blue and a distinct purple?

"seven-color model for the rainbow is pretty much a standard"
China has more population than any other country in the world. Their standard rainbow has five colors and has had five since dim antiquity. Measurements, in this context, are irrelevant, (but, you are correct, reliable) since they'll always give you an infinity of shades. The way this infinity is broken up is a matter of consensus.
The five-color is not a better way to break up infinity than seven-color, although I can make the case for its being better than ten-color. It's just an agreed upon way.
Which brings me back to my point - standards depend on perception, not on measurements, and perception, in turn, depends on pre-set standards. I am trying to take a look at the perceptions of people who have different standards (pre-conceptions) than I do. In a way it's like arguing - even if you are convinced that you're right it's worth while to see different ways of looking at an issue.



Tue, Oct. 9th, 2007 09:23 pm (UTC)
talash

Are you sure? Do you truly distinguish between lime and moss, or merely know that they ought to be there?

I can see that the green gets progressively darker as we go down and so does every other color in the rainbow. I do not, however explicitly look for shades like lime or moss.

China has more population than any other country in the world. Their standard rainbow has five colors and has had five since dim antiquity.

So they have a different standad. I am perfectly fine with the fact that there may be several different standards for something; it's not something out of the ordinary, on the contrary.

standards depend on perception

Standards are usually chosen arbitrarily when they are set. It doesn't really matter whether we will use five, seven or ten colors for our rainbow model, as long as it is universally agreed on. As for your experiment-- I suggest that you ask the same people you did to name the rainbow colors again after a few months. I believe that you're gonna see differences and if after a few months you ask yet again the results will be different this time as well.

Wed, Oct. 10th, 2007 03:10 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b

" gets progressively darker "
Precisely. A gradual change, not a band. Some people see distinct bands. It's this difference that interests me.

" I am perfectly fine with the fact that there may be several different standards for something"
But aren't you curious about the reason?

"Standards are usually chosen arbitrarily when they are set."
They are chosen and consented to for a reason. It's that reason that interests me.

"I believe that you're gonna see differences and if after a few months you ask yet again the results will be different this time as well. "
I am certain of it. The differences will be minor, but they will exist. Less than you think, though, since the question is carefully framed to be not "what do you see" but "what do you believe to be the standard" :)

Wed, Oct. 10th, 2007 05:35 pm (UTC)
talash

A gradual change, not a band. Some people see distinct bands.

I think that this is not necessarily true and that most people do see a gradual progression of colors one into another; however when asked to name up to ten colors, they break and group them into ranges, each of which represents a particular color. I do not, however, have sufficient evidence (or any evidence whatsoever for the matter) to maintain this and might be totally wrong.

They are chosen and consented to for a reason. It's that reason that interests me.

Well, length, for example has been defined in proportion to a ruling monarch's arm. Likewise, the colors of the spectrum have been defined by sir Isaac Newton, who said "this to this range is red and this one's orange." The reason, in this case is that he was there first. Reasons for standards may be diverse, but are usually based on stuff around us, which then evolve with then need for precision. For example, time had once been defined in terms of periods of celestial bodies. Now, the definition of a second goes like this:

"The duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the cesium 132.91 atom."

A really nice example though would be the reason for US railway gauge standard. The US standard railroad gauge is 4 feet 8.5 inches. Why was that gauge used? Because that's the way they built them in England, and English expatriates built the US railroads. Why did the English build them like that? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used. Why did *they* use that gauge then? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing. Okay! Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that's the spacing of the wheel ruts. So who built those old rutted roads? The first long distance roads in Europe (and England) were built by Imperial Rome for their legions. The roads have been used ever since. And the ruts? Roman war chariots first made the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels and wagons. Since the chariots were made for, or by Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. Thus, we have the answer to the original question. The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches derives from the original specification for an Imperial Roman war chariot. Specifications and bureaucracies live forever. So, the next time you are handed a specification and wonder which horse's ass came up with it, you may be exactly right. Because the Imperial Roman war chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the back ends of two war-horses.

Wed, Oct. 10th, 2007 06:15 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b

"I think that this is not necessarily true and that most people do see a gradual progression of colors one into another"
We are already agreed, I think, that most people see an infinity of colors progressing smoothly one into another. I'm more interested in what they believe themselves to see. :)

" the colors of the spectrum have been defined by sir Isaac Newton,"
In China? And Russia?

" Roman war chariots first made the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels and wagons"
I never believed that story, mainly because I do not think that an average road in Britain saw more war chariots than wagons.

Wed, Oct. 10th, 2007 06:46 pm (UTC)
talash

In China? And Russia?

Sir Isaac Newton was the first person to conduct a *scientific* study of color and his model represents the *contiguous* range of colors in the spectrum. Now, is the Chinese model as contiguous? Or, given some shades from the infinity that exist in the range, a *chinese* person would fail to relate them to one of the five colors that are supposed to represent everything?

I'm more interested in what they believe themselves to see. :)

and what are your conclusions about those people who see the rainbow differently?

Wed, Oct. 10th, 2007 08:46 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b

"was the first person to conduct a *scientific* study of color and his model represents the *contiguous* range of colors in the spectrum."
I'm not trying to argue which standard is better. I'm saying that
a) there are plenty of different standards
b) most of them are not Newton's
c) I'm interested in understanding, not comparing them

"and what are your conclusions about those people who see the rainbow differently?"
Not nearly enough data as yet, but there are some things:
a) going to kindergarden does not help
b) having a dislike of authority does
c) being male improves your chances of seeing black and grey
d) being female improves your chances of seeing fine shades of blue and green

Wed, Oct. 10th, 2007 11:39 pm (UTC)
talash

there are plenty of different standards

What people in your responses that do not see the standard colors claim to be seeing cannot be called a standard because they are inconsistent even with their own very selves over time, not to mention with other people-- and a standard that different people do not agree on is an oxymoron. There are plenty of different standards pertaining to color and its representation, such as RGB, HSV and CMYK etc and these are pretty well-defined rigorous mathematical models which can and are used to represent up to and beyond 16 million shades of color, which is about what the human eye can distinguish. As for perception-- well, we have agreed that individual perception of color, as of anything, may vary. Moreover, the colors of each individual rainbow may vary depending on the setting and, like I said, if we wear green glasses, we might as well see the Wizard of Oz pop up, but still.

I'm not trying to argue which standard is better

I am. Because, the Chinese standard set aside, I believe that the standard that we have is better than naming arbitrary colors from the top of the head. I am ready to accept the Chinese or any other standard given that it can be defined with equivalent rigor to what I use. As for naming arbitrary colors from the top of the head in response to the question "what colors are there in a rainbow"-- I perceive it as lack of education. Because, for example, black is, strictly speaking, not a color and particularly in the context of a rainbow it is ridiculous. I am all for pluralism, but that does not mean that some ideas aren't just wrong. I mean, this is equivalent to saying: "some people perceive the world as flat. this has been so since ancient times in many cultures, some of which also maintain that it stands on four elephants on a turtle. we should respect and tolerate this belief and understanding it is very interesting." They are very close to that in the USA (cf: theory of evolution vs intelligent design). So I say-- no, naming a bunch of colors from the top of the head as something representing the rainbow is not equivalent to my standard. It is something usually referred to as "bullshit."

Thu, Oct. 11th, 2007 12:25 am (UTC)
mme_n_b

"What people in your responses that do not see the standard colors claim to be seeing cannot be called a standard because they are inconsistent even with their own very selves over time"
You just made an axiom from a hypothesis. Try to resist the lure.
My guess (based on admittedly insufficient data) that over time the basic make-up of every person's rainbow will be stable with minor changes (e. g. four shades of green rather than five, or slightly different five). This basic make-up is the individual standard, i. e. every person sees a multitude of rainbows, which group themselves into what may be called a platonic idea of this person's rainbow. Individual rainbows, in turn, group themselves into a "group rainbow" (these are the ones which I find particularly interesting). An example of a group rainbow is a national rainbow, we can safely say "the Russian rainbow has seven colors" because on average that's what the Russians see. These, in turn, will group themselves into a true rainbow, and it is possible (but unlikely) that this rainbow will be the Newtonian one.


"There are plenty of different standards pertaining to color and its representation"
I think you may be missing the point. I'm not interested in representing color. That's not what the survey is about. It's about perceiving color.

"we have agreed that individual perception of color, as of anything, may vary. Moreover, the colors of each individual rainbow may vary depending on the setting"
Which kind of ends the argument right there. Here's a game to play: find a large grouping of small multi-colored lights (like a New Year tree). Look at it quickly (no more than 5 seconds) before breakfast. Turn away, and write down on a piece of paper approximately how many lights of each color you saw, or at least the proportions of different colors. Have breakfast. Briefly look at the lights again. Write down the result. Compare. Guess what the result is?


"I'm not trying to argue which standard is better

I am"
Really? With whom?

"As for naming arbitrary colors from the top of the head in response to the question "what colors are there in a rainbow"-- I perceive it as lack of education"
You are wrong. No one is so uneducated that they've never seen a rainbow. Nor (as I mentioned above) is the question "what are the colors of the rainbow", it's carefully framed to be closer to "what colors do you see in the rainbow". See the difference?

" I am all for pluralism, but that does not mean that some ideas aren't just wrong."
It is pointless to say that someone is wrong about their sensory perceptions. Especially if a number of individual somebodies have the same perceptions.

"So I say-- no, naming a bunch of colors from the top of the head as something representing the rainbow is not equivalent to my standard. It is something usually referred to as "bullshit.""
If you want to continue this (or any) conversation with me you will have to do so within my definition of politeness. I, in turn, will attempt to meet yours as soon as you show it to me. This last quoted statement does not fit within my personal definition of politeness. Therefore I will not answer it and, if repeated in this form, will end the conversation.







Thu, Oct. 11th, 2007 09:18 pm (UTC)
pretol: Reality vs Perception

People drew the colors of rainbow in bands before there was Newton (so Newton didn't invent what Chinese didn't, and Chinese didn't have some secret color wheel that was different from everybody else's). Every person will see R(ed),G(reen),B(lue) as the major color groups. It's not a matter of opinion or perception, it's a matter of the fact the the human eye has 3 color sensors and they happen to be RED, GREEN AND BLUE, and human brain automatically calibrates to perceive these as major color bands (if you raise a child under red light, I suppose you can get a child that won't be able to perceive other colors, even if he/she has the sensors). From then on, people will fill in the in-between with whatever vocabulary they have. The list of colors that people will list is either psychologically altered, memory altered, linguistically altered.

Your test (naming rainbow colors) has dual nature. Because you're not asking people to look at a rainbow and name the colors, you're not really asking them WHAT THE SEE, you're asking them what THEY REMEMBER they see, and then (on top of that) you're asking them to use their vocabulary to express this memory. And that is a completely different ballpark.

Colors are well known to be inexpressible (like many things we sense: smell, sound, flavor, etc.). So your test really measures how well people remember what they actually saw, and then how many adjectives they have in their vocabulary to express what they remember. It's an interesting observation. And I think the major part of this argument is the misunderstanding of the word "SEE".

If you put different people (Chinese, Indian, Russians, Africans, Australians, even throw some monkeys in for a good measure), and point to a rainbow, they will all call out same/similar colors if you point to a point on a rainbow, so obviously they'll see the SAME RAINBOW. And they'll perceive it very similarly. Nobody will argue if there's brown in there or not, it either IS brown or it's NOT. The difference will be introduced if you let these people out and ask them what colors they remembered they saw, and some of them will have more adjectives to describe it (like some will say: "Dark Blue" and others will say "Indigo" for the same point on the rainbow). Except for monkeys, monkeys will want bananas after the demonstration, because rainbows are proven to make monkeys hungry.

Thu, Oct. 11th, 2007 09:27 pm (UTC)
talash: Re: Reality vs Perception

+1.

Thu, Oct. 11th, 2007 11:08 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b: Re: Reality vs Perception

"People drew the colors of rainbow in bands before there was Newton"
Don't say it to me, say it to Talash :)

"Every person will see R(ed),G(reen),B(lue) as the major color groups"
Some people (quite a few) see only two of these. Usually Red and Blue. It's genetic.

"you're asking them what THEY REMEMBER they see"
Actually, I'm asking them what they remember usually seeing.


"measures how well people remember what they actually saw, and then how many adjectives they have in their vocabulary to express what they remember"
If a person sees only one band they will not use two adjectives to describe it. If they see a red-type band they will not use a blue-type adjective to describe it. No one sees pink and calls it "indigo and celadon". You can be pretty sure that the number of the bands and their affiliations, for lack of a better word, are accurate.

"And I think the major part of this argument is the misunderstanding of the word "SEE"."
Which is why I keep pushing the words "perceive" and "remember seeing". There's a difference between that and "seeing" itself.

"If you put different people (Chinese, Indian, Russians, Africans, Australians, even throw some monkeys in for a good measure), and point to a rainbow, they will all call out same/similar colors if you point to a point on a rainbow, so obviously they'll see the SAME RAINBOW"
This is a non-argument, since in answering the survey they did the exact opposite. If someone perceives black, and someone else perceives white, pink, and green you cannot say that at any point they perceive the same thing.

"Nobody will argue if there's brown in there or not, it either IS brown or it's NOT"
There is no brown in there. That we already established a dozen posts ago. The thing we're discussing now is that some people _perceive_ brown, even though it's not there.






Thu, Oct. 11th, 2007 11:18 pm (UTC)
talash: Re: Reality vs Perception

"People drew the colors of rainbow in bands before there was Newton"

Don't say it to me, say it to Talash :)

I never said they didn't. If you re-read my post above, what I say is that Newton was the first person to conduct a scientific study of color and his model is based on rigorous measurements, as opposed to earlier models, which are based on perception only.

Thu, Oct. 11th, 2007 11:45 pm (UTC)
talash: Re: Reality vs Perception

This is a non-argument, since in answering the survey they did the exact opposite. If someone perceives black, and someone else perceives white, pink, and green you cannot say that at any point they perceive the same thing.

memory and perception are not the same and your survey is more a test of what people REMEMBER, since there is no rainbow right before them and even if there is a rainbow right before them it is a test for what names of colors are commonly used in their LANGUAGE. also, if there if a dark green which someone sees and thinks of as "black" this does not necessarily mean that he and the man who names the color as "dark green" see differently, but only that they name differently.

Fri, Oct. 12th, 2007 12:18 am (UTC)
pretol: Re: Reality vs Perception

Well, now we're all on the same page, and there's no disagreement. This could turn into a long conversation about explicit vs implicit communication. And we could trace all the way back and find out who misunderstood what, and how this argument came to be... :) Perceive and see are synonymous to me, "see" is "perceive visually"

Without doing a study, I'd say (good assumption) male population knows fewer adjectives for colours than female population (just the nature of guys liking ugly trucks, and girls liking dolls from the early age; girl toys being more colourful than guy toys). And I think there have been enough studies done to show that penises make creatures like different stuff than vaginas by default (mysterious, but appears to be true)

Of course I'm not talking about colour blind folks. They'll see according to their disability. Although it doesn't have to be a disability. I'm sure that if you raise a child under a red light, they'll be disabled and won't be able to see other colors even though they have the sensors to do it (brain has a tendency to connect nervously to stimulating sensors, so even though sensors are there, the brain will learn to ignore the input from the inactive sensors). Similarwise you can argue that Northern people are more sensitive to blue shades and southern people are more sensitive to red shades (probably true to a very small degree).

But as far as your study goes, it has very little to do with the rainbow (if anything at all). It's more of a memory/linguistic test. Like observing people draw, and people will draw the same thing differently. Some people can draw/paint photorealisticly, others symbolically, yet others suck completely :)

And if one puts a character and asks a group of people to draw that character. Some might see sad eyes, beautiful figure, porous skin, happy wrinkles, hump, limp, small nose, kissable lips.... And another guy barely took a glance at the figure and drew a figure stick. Is he wrong? Well depends on the context.... But overall, there maybe some true proportion in the picture, but human body is definitely not a line.

So if all those people want to mark black and white as a part of the spectrum, well it's just plain wrong. There's no black and white (or gray or brown), that means they haven't devoted enough memory space to accurately describe a rainbow. It's only as true as to say that a rainbow is many colors in a circular fashion around an axis of a light source (I don't think most people would think the geometry either). But what defines a rainbow is not that is is "many colors", but that it is a particular sequence of colors (all from 400nm to 800nm, whatever the range is), and measured by our instrument (eyes) with a high enough precision to tell at least a 1000 of them apart, and be able to name at least 20 into our crude languages.

It is also similar to the way a white man says that all chinese people look the same. These are all similar "lack of dedicated memory" scenarios. People can only memorize a particular amount of detail about a subject, and they start by memorizing the most general details to the most complex.

So what your survey seems to measure is the ignorance of the human brain (I'm using "ignorance" with no negative implications, being ignorant is an ability to ignore an uninteresting feature or a feature too complex, so it might need revisiting to memorize)...

I could mumble for pages about my fascinations with human brain.

Fri, Oct. 12th, 2007 12:22 am (UTC)
talash: Re: Reality vs Perception

*standing applause*.

Thu, Oct. 11th, 2007 05:47 am (UTC)
trurle

There is no such thing as objective reality.
No, there is.
Otherwise it would be impossible to build a computer.