Pingo Lingo: So I have been thinking about technology … and invisible gorillas

At some point in this post I wanted you to watch a video demonstrations called simply, “The Monkey Business Illusion.” But instead of risking you scrolling down, playing right away, and missing whatever else I’ve written between here and there, let’s get the video out of the way now. But come back and read what I have written after the video plays.

One of my students brought “The Monkey Business Illusion” video to my attention during a discussion of the materialist philosopher, Democritus. How did we get to talking about gorillas? I’m not certain, but that we were talking about how our perceptions of nature – not just the little things, but the big things too – can be tricked. Until our attention is focused on a particular change or transformation, we do not see it occurring. If we are only looking for the material causes in nature, we will find them, but our perceptions will be limited by our attention span. Just as in the video, we miss not only the altering of little details, but huge events are occurring and we simply miss them – yet they are right there, like the invisible gorilla – mocking us when we discover our foolishness in not noticing changes the first time around.

Now, at almost the same time I was typing up a couple creative writing ideas on the topic of technology when another student came to to tell me about her Dad and an email “faux pas“. Her dad had almost sent an email without spell-checking it and to his chagrin discovered he came close to sending out a message to his staff in which he had a “u” where he should have had “you”. We both agreed that in the “old days” before email/texting, a handwritten or typewritten memo would have never contained such a trivial but monumentally embarrassing typo. But the “u” was there, he had typed it and it bothered him when he saw it – like the invisible gorilla – mocking him.

So, here are the topics I have been thinking about when I put these ideas into collision:

  1. Read and write a response to The Chimney Sweeper
  2. Write a response to any other prompt I have on technology

Whatever topic you write about please take some time to address the following question as well: Is technology making us more perceptive of the world around us or is it just getting in the way of seeing the things that matter most?

Piano Mirror Illusion by Shigeo Fukuda

Piano Mirror Illusion by Shigeo Fukuda

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Original post by Mr. D. Sader

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