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Old 02-28-2015, 12:41 AM
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lisarea lisarea is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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Default Re: Optical illusions

Originally Posted by specious_reasons View Post
I think the thing that is freaking everybody out is that it shows exactly how unreliable and mutable our perception of color is. People want to think that color is an immutable property of an object, not something vaguely defined by the ambient light and context.
There are other color illusions, though, that show that. This one is especially weird in how unambiguous it seems until the colors have flipped on you. Two different people can be looking at the same image on the same device in the same place and see completely different colors, and not even be able to grasp that it could look like anything else.

And then it happens to you. And the color combination you found so implausible before now seems unambiguous. That's what's wigging me out. I understand the general principles behind how it's happening, but visually, I cannot reconcile the white-gold version I see sometimes with the blue-black version I see other times. I did manage to will myself to swap them once as I was looking at it, and I'm probably going to spend a stupid amount of time practicing that now.

And here's an interview with a color vision researcher getting weirded out by it, too, so it's not just ignorance of the phenomenon that's making it seem freaky.

"Now I'm going to spend the rest of my life working on this," he told me. "I thought I was going to cure blindness, but now I guess I'll do this."
Anyways, one trick I tried to switch the colors back to white and gold after I switched was that I went through this thread and watched a bunch of other optical illusions in order to overload my brain. So maybe that'd work the other way too. It's worth trying for those who haven't switched it, because the effect is not subtle at all.

I do love how the internet and much of the rest of the world just ground to a halt to stare at a picture of a dress.
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