The Mundane Mondays on a Friday ~ Light and Sight
It’s been a while since I’ve updated. Life is fairly tiring, something I think just about anyone that isn’t worth millions of dollars can relate to. But I have some things on my side, mentally I mean, like my utter inability to do something mundane without a weird thought popping into my head.
Take for instance walking from the car at the office parking lot into the building itself. We took about four steps before I thought about how much we take for granted visually. This is likely going to be a mash-up of things I’ve discussed in the past, just think of me as your mental ouroboros. The first thing is the idea of the now, we think of the world as being three parts that we experience or will experience. The past, the present, and the future. Yet in the reality of it we physically live in the present, we observe the past, and the future is a fairly certain inevitability (but there are a few instances where it is not).
Light has a speed, faster than can be mentally earnestly understood, and this means that every piece of information we receive visually is later by a few millionths of a second (at best I’d wager for close things) than what we see. If the planet were to suddenly explode tomorrow at the speed of an atomic bomb you would be dead before you even saw the event. A person standing at ground zero of a nuclear blast will not only not see the explosion, they will likely not hear nor feel it. They will have existed a moment prior and then never again.
We take it for granted, especially when we are driving. Incredible speeds that dwarf anything we did in most of human history and we do so with not only no evolutionary preparations but with eyes, ears, and a brain that all need time. Time is fast, even when something is slow it is rolling right past, we are here and then we are gone. Time is so cruel a mistress that we happily kill it when given the chance.
What about the colors of our world? We think the world is a series of familiar shades, red, greens, blues, all the wonderful lines of the rainbow. But the world is only that way in the spectrum that we see, we call it visible light because that is literally what it is, the only light on the bandwidth that we can see. A remarkable minority of that width, in fact.
Credit to: Wikipedia
This band being special in a few ways, at least as far as I understand it, the width of the band is such that the cones and rods of our eyes can easily catch the passing waves. Radio waves are much too thin, they squirrel right through us and we are none the wiser. Probably for the best, if they were a little thicker they’d be microwaves and they’d fry us. The faraday cage in your microwave not being ultimately all that different from the rods and cones in your eyes, each is just catching the passing light and trying to stop it in its tracks (for different reasons).
Imagine if you were a creature that saw in the ultraviolet wavelength? The insides of every car would be pitch black, every building would contain a mystery for you. Ultraviolet light cannot pass through all types of glass, our choices of manufacturing would be altered dramatically because of this.
I doubt we’ll ever see creatures that see in the Microwave, X-ray, or Gamma wave lengths, merely because I assume that their ancestors would die from the radiation long before they could breed and pass on the genes.
We walk in shadows and we do not even realize it, even in the bright of day we are still within the shadows of vast swaths of the light spectrum. Our atmosphere and magnetosphere both diminishing or blocking big chunks. We should be thankful, I’m sure many are, that these do so. but even if they didn’t I’m sure something would be here, beneath the surface of the earth, a mote munching on the sides of caves.
Seems like a lot I guess, and I did digress somewhere in there, but that was my walk. A mundane activity I’ve done at least 1,000 times already and yet it gives me a moment to think.
Two additional thoughts this brought to my mind: When Astronauts are caught in a solar flare they will see sparkles in their eyes, I’d be both marveled and mortified if I were to experience it. Secondly, it would be fascinating to see like a snake for just a day, or more likely a few minutes, that way if it sucked I could go back to my regularly scheduled programming.
Sorry for the lack of updates, I’ll try to evacuate my brain box a bit more. Also as always take what I say with a grain of salt and a bowl of oatmeal, I try to be as accurate as I can be but sometimes even things I’m certain of are actually incorrect. That’s the wonder of certainty and why I try to keep reading, you’ll eventually come across data you thought you knew and be enriched by the correction.