Another Dimension

Cover one eye. How many dimensions can you see with your uncovered eye? Two, right? Okay, now swap eyes. How many dimensions can you see out of your other eye? Still two. Now open both eyes. How many dimensions can you see? Three. But why only three? Shouldn’t we see four? Wait a minute, what’s going on here?

road

Stand in the middle of the street (preferably not a busy one). Notice how the road seems to come to a point in the middle. Now cross your eyes (if you have trouble doing this, just try looking at your nose). When you cross your eyes you should see the exact middle where the two sides of the triangle meet, but you do not. Instead you see an intersection. The two sides seem to cross in the middle. Now as you walk toward the seeming apex the road does not narrow. But why do we perceive it as being triangular? Simple. We cannot see in four dimensions. If we could watching a football game may look something like the following.

That would be pretty trippy, wouldn’t it? Okay, let’s go back out into the street for some more fun. Notice as you approach a yield sign it goes from being a perfectly round to ellipsoid the closer you get. At one point it even seems to disappear completely. But once you get on the other side it “reforms.” Of course we take all of this for granted. We perceive various shapes in this same way everyday of our lives. No need too deeply into it right? No. We need to. If you are on a desktop PC right now and of the tower is at eye level notice how the “face” of it appears perfectly rectangular while the top seems to angle. It seems like you could place a ball atop it and it would roll down this seeming plane. However, when you place the ball on top it just rests in place because the angled plane is only an illusion. A trick. A deception. But we do not take it for granted because it is simply a result of our three-dimensional perspective. No one is demanding that the government do something about the deceitful nature of our own perception because no one really cares. Why should we? Isn’t this how every species perceives objects?

No. Far from.

fly
This guy buzzes by the same yield sign and is able to view it from a multitude of angles all at once, thus raising the question, what is the actual “shape” of the sign. Our knee-jerk reaction is to say it is round, but we have to struggle to see its perfect “roundness.” We actually perceive it more comprehensively as a series of ellipses. Neither us nor the fly possess a “true” perception of the world around us because we perceive it via senses that more often than not deceive us. Every species on this planet is a victim of this deception. Just as time is relative so is space and how we perceive it. A lot of you may think the possibility of a fourth dimension is nothing but bullshit. Well, how do you know? How can you be so sure? Why when you daydream you can “see” images and “hear” sounds while you exist in the real world? Notice how when something jars you from your daydream state it causes alarm. You “jump to” as if you are awakening from a deep slumber. But just moments ago you perceived two different “worlds.” Could our dream states be the fourth dimension? I’ll dig into that at a later time. Right now, just enjoy the following stereograms. At first glance you see nothing, just an odd pattern, but if you look at them just right you will see an object in three dimensions. Question is, does this object actually exist? After you refocus your eyes the object disappears and no matter how hard you look at the pattern you cannot find its outline. Have fun.

stereo1
stereo2
stereo3

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