The question of color

“Challenge for today, my friends. Think about your thinking,” El Juglador mused. “I’m not asking for introspective thought; I’m asking you to actually think about your thinking. What makes you think the way you think? What makes your point of view so different from anyone else’s?”

With this dress debate of late, whether the dress is white and gold or black and blue, an interesting subject has been broached. Do we all see the same way?

Until this debate, I wondered if the color I see as orange could actually be someone else’s green. It was just a random question that I never tried to answer. I figured it didn’t matter.

Now, though, when I came out in the minority with my assertion that the dress is an off-white, I realized colors are truly subjective.

Then teacher (who sees the dress as black and blue), told me about the color blue.

“Unlike black and white, and later red, there is no mention of blue in ancient languages. None. Without a word for the color, did blue even exist before the modern age?”

That’s something to consider. Has everything we know now as gospel-truth always existed?

That’s a paradox that will be your thought for today, if the things we see cannot be proven to be the things the person next to us sees, how valuable is eye-witness testimony? How important is it to see things the same way if what we see cannot be proven to exist?

According to an item currently making its way around the internet, No One Could See The Color Blue Until Modern Times (http://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-blue-and-how-do-we-see-color-2015-2), “in The Odyssey, Homer famously describes the “wine-dark sea.” But why “wine-dark” and not deep blue or green?” (Business Insider. 27 February, 2015.)

“In 1858 a scholar named William Gladstone, who later became the prime minister of Great Britain, noticed that this wasn’t the only strange color description. Though the poet spends page after page describing the intricate details of clothing, armor, weaponry, facial features, animals, and more, his references to color are strange. Iron and sheep are violet; honey is green.” (Business Insider)

Gladstone counted color references in the book and discovered black and white mentions are 200 and 100 respectively. The mention of other colors average less than ten.

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If blue didn’t really exist for our ancestors, I feel truly blessed in this day and age.

Did we live in a black-and-white world only gaining shades of color after the introduction of paint?

I wonder.

It makes me think that maybe we are changing as a society, only being allowed certain codes to the program when we are ready to accept them into our world. I wonder if somebody is holding the color gauges off until we’ve crossed a certain barrier.

Is this life we’re living now just a video game where we constantly work to level-up, gather coins, and save the princess? What if the perceived differences we have in this world are based on arguments as flimsy as the color of a dress?

So, new question: Who invented blue?

Enjoy the paradox, my friends.

The Dragonfly’s Student

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