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Old 07-05-2013, 03:39 PM   #72
GSWayne
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Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Santa Barbara
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A comment about looking and not seeing. How many of you careful people check twice before pulling out into traffic? How many times did you see something the 2nd time you looked but missed it the 1st time? What that means is that some percentage of the time you can look at something and not see it. If that happens 1% of the time, then if you look twice, you will still miss something .01% of the time. Which means even if you are diligent enough to look twice there will still be some things you miss.

It is really worth reading about human perception. People have the misguided idea that our eyes work like television cameras which record every pixel in the frame. Our vision system is VERY different. It is all feature detection and your brain makes up a story based on a collection of features that it has detected. Lots of optical illusions are based on this. This is part of the reason that humans are terrible eyewitnesses. As others have mentioned, the story your mind generates to describe "what you are seeing" is dependent on lots of things other than just what pattern of photons is striking your retina. It is dependent on your history, experiences, biases, and probably what you had for breakfast.

I totally agree that people need to pay more attention to driving, and the safety of modern cars certainly contributes to that problem, however, I do not agree that everyone can see everything if they just make an effort.
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