Tuesday, October 09, 2007


I used to really love those Magic Eye books that were all the rage for a while - you'd look hard at a seemingly abstract picture and with some effort a translucent 3D image would appear as if out of nowhere (example). Several years ago, there was even a wonderful exhibition of stereograms in Edinburgh which included spectacular examples requiring the viewer's severest concentration. It gave a curious feeling of intimacy to be seeing something that was otherwise invisible.

Is seeing believing? Have a go at this magical exercise in perceived reality, it took me a good 15 minutes to get my head round it; and although it's a seemingly trivial exercise, the more you note the tone of many of the dozens of comments there, the more you begin to realise what an excellent metaphor it is for types of human behaviour.


SYpHA_69 said...

I could never do those!

steve davies said...

Splendid! She was dancing clockwise for me but now I have her changing direction so quickly I fear she's going to throw up...

John McAndrew said...

Clockwise for me to being with. Interesting. I had to physically jerk or shake my head side to side a few times for the figure to change direction, then found closing an eye and swapping between the two shifted direction, then found simply thinking that it was pivoting on a left leg or a right leg would usually change the direction with ease. So even though I thought from the right side of my brain to begin with, my left side had to come up with multiple "logical" methods that worked for me in order for the direction to shift. What an excellent thing the mind is!

cemenTIMental said...

I was an 'early adopter' of these things... about a year or so before the big craze there was an article about them in New Scientist. A friend and I became slightly obsessed. We managed to find some really rudimentary shareware apps to make them.

The horrible thing is they'll probably be ironically nu-rave popular in a few months... why is the 90's revival happening so soon!?

Mark said...

Very interesting, as soon as I saw it she was spinning clockwise,
couldn't work out how she could be seen as anti-clockwise,
read the left vs right properties, felt dissapointed as I always thought of myself as more 'logical', then looked back at the girl and now no matter what I do I can't get her to spin CLOCKWISE.

An 80year old woman came into my work the other day and noticed that I am left handed, and claimed 'that means I use the right side of my brain', and vise versa for right handed people.

She also said people that use the right side of the brain are more creative types, which I have heard before.

I also added that us left handers are also very sinister. She did not understand me.

Anyway, why exactly does her direction of spin directly conclude which side of the brain you use more?

And a final note, I've stumbled upon this blog after only just discovering Racket is out and promptly ordering a copy.

Mr. Bennett congratulations, you have made it onto my Netvibes homepage.

Viva Whitehouse!