Friday, February 8, 2008


I'm sure you all have noticed this as well but perception is a major theme throughout the book. I could be wrong because I was kind of out of it on Thursday but much to my surprise I don't think we really talked about perception much when we discussed the quote: "Men are to be viewed as the organs of their century, which operate mainly unconsciously" at the beginning of the book. When i read that quote i think of how over time, people's perceptions change -- over everything. More than we realize, i think. For instance, where as owning an automobile in the early 20th century was considered a luxury, today owning an automobile is almost a necessity. And that doesn't really sound like that big of a deal, but it's hard to imagine living at a time where your best form of transportation would be a horse or a train and everywhere you went would be on a horse or a train. It would suck. It'd be harder to travel -- you couldn't take as much stuff with you as we can in cars of our own, it would be slower -- getting to the mall would be an all day event rather than a 1-2hr. errand. And this is only one aspect. Imagine all of the differences between this century and the last century. Even this decade versus the last decade. Our parents have totally different views of reality than we do. Each of us have totally different realities than each other. We all have different perceptions based on our experiences, which in large part are affected by the times we live in. And our perceptions are all the time evolving (another theme in the book). Day by day we learn and experience new ideas that we unconsciously fit into our view of the world, editing old beliefs and adding new ones.

"But as he lay there puzzling over what the difference could be, fluorescent lights shining down into his eyes, it hit him -- he was seeing it all for the first time from flat on his back, from the perspective of a patient not a visitor who stood upright, and it was all radically different. Not even the same world."

1 comment:

Kyle Caffey said...

We talked about how humans are like organs in the body of history. As history continues to age, the organs evolve. Perception also evolves with humans.