Finding Perception

Clear off a table. If possible, find a needle. Maybe you have some thread with a needle attached to it. Now find a nickel. Finally, find a stack of Post It notes. Place all three on the table and stand directly above it. When you look down at it you have a line, a circle, and a square. All very simple. This is just like a 2 dimensional representation, as if you drew each of them on a piece of paper. Now point the needle at the edge of the table. Bend down to the edge of the table to where your eye level is even with the table. Look at the needle. It is no longer a line, it is a point – a small circle. Now take the Post It note stack and turn it diagonally to the edge of the table. Again, bend down and look at it from the edge of the table. You will see two intersecting lines, creating a wedge, with varying shades depending on the light. Now, look at the nickel from the edge of the table. What do you see? You see a line with varying degrees of shading, but no intersection point like the Post It note stack.

Why is this important? Depending on your point of view:

  • a line can become a point
  • a circle can become a line
  • a square can become something completely new

Take a moment and find out which way you are perceiving things. Try to figure out what ways other people are looking at things.

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