Tag Archives: perspective

Weekly Photo Challenge: Perspective

This week’s photo challenge is about perspective: post a photo which is not what it seems to be. Make sure you share what the photo actually is of in its caption!

For those who are looking for an extra bit of challenge, show us two photos, each one showing a different angle or interpretation of the same subject.

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My front garden, or what was left of it after the rain one “summer” day a couple of years ago.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Perspective

Perspective: Optimist vs Pessimist

Are you an optimist, pessimist, realist, or opportunistDo you think you are more of an optimist or a pessimist?

Hmm.. checking the Oxford English Dictionary definition of optimism, I found this:

  • hopefulness and confidence about the future or the success of something:
  • the doctrine, especially as set forth by Leibniz, that this world is the best of all possible worlds.
  • the belief that good must ultimately prevail over evil in the universe.

and this is what it has to say about pessimism:

  • a tendency to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen:
  • a belief that this world is as bad as it could be or that evil will ultimately prevail over good

I always hope for success and a good future, but reality dictates that you can only be confident about succeeding if you have prepared the way first.  In order to plan for success, you need to be aware of the possibility of failure, and you have to be able to imagine the worst that might happen and figure out what steps are needed to help you avoid it.  If you don’t study for that exam, or practice that move, you’d have to a genius or a natural virtuoso or an idiot savant to be confident of success.  Never forget, hope doesn’t pay the rent.

I don’t believe that this world is the best of all possible worlds, nor do I believe that it is as bad as it could be.  We have only one world to measure, so how the heck are we supposed to judge one way or the other?

Concepts of good and evil are very subjective, so scratch the good prevailing over evil or vice versa.

So where does that leave me?  Neither an optimist nor a pessimist. I grew out of applying labels to myself a very long time ago, so that’s fine by me.

NaBloPoMo February 2014Roundup – Picture from Humor Gags

Perspective: What changed?

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What life event most changed your perspective of the world?

Fortunately (or unfortunately) for me, I have never experienced one single event that changed my perspective of the world. I can imagine that a catastrophic accident or illness that robbed me of one of my senses, or affected my mobility could have this effect, but it would be disingenuous of me to discuss this when I am sure there are others out there who have been through something like this.

My general viewpoint has always been to take nothing at face value.  This began in childhood with long conversations with my dad where he encouraged me to question him about every single topic I could think of.  Which led to a lifetime of wanting to know the who?, what?, how?, where?, why?, when?, what’s it made of?  what if it wasn’t there? what if there was more of it or less of it? and what if?, and is there an alternative?  about anything that came to my attention.  I believe that this has served me well when it came to dealing with any reversals, and kept me grounded when I triumphed.

For me, and many other people, it’s the overall event that is called a life that has shaped my world view, e.g. all the building blocks – growing up, leaving school, first boyfriend, first time a peer died, loss of a parent, job changes and so on that inform my perceptions.  While my preferences have changed these days, for example, I would far rather be snug at home with my feet on one of the dogs on a Friday night than out on the town, the world around me is still fascinating, full of answers waiting for questions, just like it was when I interrogated dad.

NaBloPoMo February 2014 –  Picture: The False Mirror, Renee Magritte, from reneemagritte.orgRoundup

Perspective: Just the facts

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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: http://www.physicsforums.com)

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

Perspective: It’s all relative

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What has had more influence on your life perspective: your upbringing or your experiences?

Now that is an odd question.  Is being raised not an experience?  Between birth and age five, children absorb enormous amounts of information, far more than an adult can.  Most of that information comes from the adults around us, e.g. those who bring us up.

Whether or not you agree with the perspective of those adults later in life, early learning informs the way you think.  Depending on how you view this, I was either fortunate or unfortunate enough to have a mother and father who were diametrically opposite to each other, one was tight-laced and somewhat unimaginative, the other was easy-going and thoughtful.  One demanded constant conformity to ideals of behaviour, the other encouraged reading, observation and informed decision making.

So I learned early on that two people with the same interests at heart (raising their child well) could approach the very same thing from entirely different perspectives.  If that taught me anything, it was never to accept just one point of view without first examining whether any other perspective is equally, more, or less valid than the first.

NaBloPoMo February 2014 – “Relativity” MS Escher 1953 from MS Escher.comRoundup