Perspective: Just the facts


Marcus Aurelius said, “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” Do you think there are concrete facts and truths, or is everything fluid?

Clearly Marcus Aurelius studied opthalmology.  This science tells us that the eye is structured in such a way that what we “see” is actually light refracted upside down through liquid and gel, turned into electric impulses which are then interpreted by our brain.  Or something like that – you just need to consult the Great Oracle Google to find out the technical details.

The other trick that our brain does is fill in the blanks that our eyes have missed, and sorts out what we “see” into something that makes sense to us.  That’s why you are able to read and understand the text above. 

Two people looking at the same object can perceive it very differently, depending on their position relative to the object, and whether or not they need corrective lens.  Without my glasses, everybody I know has a perfect complexion.   I look at my dogs and see beauty and sweetness, another person might look at them and see danger.  Depending on the perspective, both of us are seeing A truth, but not THE truth.

All this the above confirms for me that Mr Aurelius was correct when he asserted that all we see is perception, but what about this business of opinion vs fact? Doesn’t 1 +1 make 2? (I would have thought so, but there are varying notions on this).  Does E never not equal MC2 ? (The answer is yes, this equation only applies to massive particles in their own rest frames – to read more about this, try:

Day follows night follows day, right? (Or is it the other way round – it’s being going on so long, nobody can remember).  Humans are a bipedal species… the earth is flat (oops, no, lately we’ve proved it’s round).  The sky is blue (sometimes). We are born, we live and then we die .   Some facts are irrefutable but more are mutable and some only true until somebody proves they are not. 

… My brain hurts.

NaBloPoMo February 2014 – Picture from PositScienceRoundup


One thought on “Perspective: Just the facts”

  1. There are facts. There is truth. I have made a lot of enemies insisting on those two facts which are the truth. Neither of those facts makes much difference, however. We see what we see, what we expect, what is familiar, what we think makes a pattern and we take all the facts and combine them into something that’s maybe not even close. But it’s OK. That’s what all my enemies don’t understand. Having be raised by a LIAR and growing up unable to distinguish between fantasy and reality, the discovery of facts and truth behind illusion was immensely liberating for me. It really is there. I just might not know. 🙂

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