Watch your language

I just received a copy of a very interesting study made by three Universities in the United Kingdom on colour perception.

They found a tribe in Africa with a language limited to three words to describe colours.  One word for the dark colours, one for middle range colours and one for very light colours.

To make a long a story short, in one of these studies, they showed different illustrations with different shades of the same colour to members of that tribe and they immediately identified the two shades that had a slight difference. But, when they showed the same illustration to westerners, who did not have different words to define those shades of green, they could not find the difference or took a long time to notice it. They haven´t got different words to describe those colours, therefore those westerners couldn’t find the difference so easily.

But when the scientist showed an illustration with six green squares and one blue square, westerners immediately pointed at the blue square, but people from that tribe couldn’t find it. They have the same word to describe both colours. For them the concept was the same and as colours are concepts we create in our minds, they could not find the difference. Continue reading

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You have survived

When I was a child I found happy faces everywhere I looked.  Now it is getting more difficult to find them around.  Probably as a child I did not put much attention to other people’s mood, the people I looked at was happier or I was not trained to see a sad or depressed face yet.

“Those were other times” some would answer, “People then had fewer worries, these times are more difficult” is a common response nowadays.

I am not sure how to classify it, but yes, finding happy faces is not as easy for me lately.  Should I move to a different country? Well, not exactly, after travelling a lot I have found all kind of people everywhere, but thanks to the internet now you can talk to people on the other side of the planet in real time and realise that they are not having it easier there either. Continue reading

The rubbish bin

I was searching for a waste container to put some boxes I had in my hand yesterday. Not an easy task by the way, authorities asks us not to drop litter in the street but they do not put rubbish bins so we can comply.  Well the thing is that when I finally found a waste deposit I could see how people had brought all kinds of things and dumped them there.

That made me think that we all have too much mental waste in our heads and sometimes we dump it in the less appropriate place: in the mind of other people. Continue reading