Friday, April 24, 2009

Idle Ramblings of the UnCaffeinated Kind

A matter of perception: Early morning, pre-caffeine sort of rambling.

If necessity is the mother of invention (Thorstein Veblen), and assumption is the mother of all fuck-ups (Movie Quote: Under Siege 2:Dark Territory), then what do I consider perception?

Is perception solely the sum of our life experiences and knowledge through which we filter our daily input? Or is it something more? Ignoring the obvious answer, can we choose to deliberately alter our perceptions? Perhaps more finely tune our filters?

Consider a segment I’ve worked on recently. An assortment of input received on it included the following descriptive terms: dark, aggressive, graphic, violent, and angry. Please note that yes, I am without a doubt taking these comments out of context for this ramble, and that I also consider all of the above comments compliments of a high order in regard to the piece.

In each instance the perception of the segment was filtered through the reader’s perceptions. What I find interesting is how the varying perceptions of what was written differed from my own. Of course, the beauty here is that there is no right or wrong answer. It’s simply a matter of perception. Obviously my perceptual filters are set to a much different level when it comes to anger, aggression and sexual violence. (We’ll ponder that another day).

Different people. Dissimilar filters. Differing perceptions.

If I may momentarily channel a film character in honor of the upcoming North American Release of the new Star Trek movie - Fascinating.

So now I contemplate with bleary-eyed and uncaffeinated wonder, is this something I should consider when I am writing? Or could it be more of an editing tool? At what point do I attempt to view my writing through a more en masse filtration rather than an individual one? Or even should I? Is it possible for me to re-sensitize myself and alter my perceptions at will? Do I want to?

My life experiences and perceptual filter insist that undoubtedly I will not. But then, I know better than to contemplate such things before coffee.

Sometimes, I even succeed.

***

As a side note here are some interesting words I came across while undertaking caffeination:

Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them. -Epictetus.

Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world. -George Bernard Shaw.

Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world. -Hans Margolius.

We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are. - Anais Nin.

The mice think they are right, but my cat eats them anyways. This is the point, reality is nothing, perception is everything. – Terry Goodkind

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