What colour?

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Photo by Spiros Kakos from Pexels

What colour were fossil animals? Scientists have evaluated fossil color reconstruction methods and proposed a new study framework that improves and expands current practice. (1)

What a weird era.

Our knowledge gets accumulated in amazing rates.

And yet, we are still here.

Only knowing about us.

Yes, we know about the dinosaurs. But we will never know them the way we would if we lived with them. The only thing we can truly know is that we experience. And the only thing we experience is our self. Funny cosmos. We insist on looking outside. And yet, we can only know the inside. Overwhelmed by thousands and thousands of trivial important things. Whereas we ignore the most important trivial ones.

Look!

Science has discovered another species.

And we don’t even know what color it is…

It sounds inconsequential.

And, thus, the most significant thing we could ever know…

Colour where there is no colour… A cosmos where there is no cosmos…

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Photo by Mike Yakaites from Pexels

Engineers have found that under the right conditions, ordinary clear water droplets on a transparent surface can produce brilliant colors, without the addition of inks or dyes. By tuning size, illumination angle, and curvature, MIT engineers can produce brilliant colors, in patterns they can predict, in otherwise transparent droplets. (1)

Under the right angle, everything changes.

Look at a mountain from the sky and it will look like a tiny dot.

Look at a small chair from up-close and it will look like a mountain.

A colored cosmos. A cosmos in black and white.

At the end, it makes no difference.

Because the cosmos is nothing.

Until you start looking at it…

Open your eye.

Are you afraid of what you want to see?

Colour-blind: A surprisingly common problem… [White-balancing red skies]

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Multiple wildfires have ravaged the western United States in the past month, scattering particles of ash and smoke into the air. On Wednesday, residents across the West, woke up to a dark, bronzed sky that nearly shut out all daylight.

But as people tried to capture the scene, many noticed a strange phenomenon: Certain photographs and videos of the weird orange sky seemed to wash it out, as if to erase the danger. In some cases, the scene seemed to revert to a neutral gray, making it impossible for the people experiencing the problem to document it and share it with others.

The cause of this is interestingly simple and unsettling.

The un-oranged images were caused by one of the most basic features of digital cameras, their ability to infer what color is in an image based on the lighting conditions in which it is taken. Like the people looking up at it, the software never expected the sky to be bathed in orange.

You see, digital photography camera sensors are color-blind – they see only brightness, and engineers had to trick them into reproducing color using algorithms. A process called “white balance” replaced the chemical, color tone of film. But automatic white balance isn’t terribly reliable. Under the blood-red San Francisco sky, white balance did not have a reference against which to calibrate accurately. Because everything was red, the software assumed that the entire scene was generally neutral. (Note that this is not a problem of digital photography alone. The same problems exist for film cameras: Different stocks of film and development processes had their own renditions of color) (source)

Do you see now?

The most certain things in life, are the ones you need to question.

You see colors.

And yet…

Do you see colors?

Related article: Philosophy of colours: Do they exist?

When people started to figure out what was going on, they downloaded apps allowing them to set the white balance on their own.

And the colors were ‘corrected’.
But wait a minute…
How does our eye determine color?

How are you certain that you see what you see?

How do you know that you know what you know?

What if someone else sees something else?

In a cosmos full of red, the algorithms thought everything was grey.

Close your eyes.

In a cosmos full of senses and light, could you see everything black?

Babies categorizing colours…

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Researchers have revealed that infants aged between 5 and 7 months hold the representation of color categories in their brain, even before the acquisition of language. [1] We believe we have evolved and changed. But we are still that baby which tries to “categorize” everything it sees. Babies we still are. Trapped in the bodies of grown-ups… Try to remember what you once “knew”. And you will understand what you can never know.

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