A Camera Cannot Give Meaning to a Photo

I should have known this – but I had to learn it for myself, the hard way.

I saw something that caught my attention, because it was so bizarre – a railroad rail being used for a electricity pole. It was bent out of shape so badly, it was leaning over the road, the top being shaded by Palm Trees on the other side of the road. But no one, including the Electricity Company, who drove by it every day – had noticed this.

I went to a huge amount of work to take pictures of it with my new digital camera – but then, to my amazement – could hardly see that bent up railroad track, and the wiring it was supposed to support, it in the finished photos. It just vanished!

We were not supposed to see it, so we didn’t. And this makes me wonder how big a problem this is for us overall. It made me think about thinking.

The Human Brain has trained itself to see certain kinds of images – and can see no other. In the same way, it has learned to hear some languages – and cannot hear any other.

We have filtered out most of our sensory inputs – we have to, to keep from having too many of them. But that means we are not aware of most of what our senses are telling us.

If our environment changes very much – we have to forget most of what we have learned, and start over. We don’t have to die out as a species – as most species have done. We just start our learning over – and this might take a thousand years, as it did in the Middle Ages.


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