Say what you see

Posted by on Feb 12, 2007 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Ok. Time for new game.

Hopefully a game that you might enjoy.

It’s all about the things you don’t see as you walk around your modern urban environment.

It struck me recently how little we notice. Or at least that’s how it is for me.

It’s not just that I’m in a world of my own (yes, I know…), I think it’s also that my alert-systems (what they call pre-attentive consciousness) are set in a limited physical zone: other folk.

So I’m walking down Tottenham Court Road, lost in my own world but scanning for what other folk will do (and being a human herd creature, I’m v good at this). And at scanning the visual and sonic space in which I’m most likely to find other people: the pavement and across the road and shops I pass…

What I don’t see is this:

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At best I see this (cheated so you can see what it is):

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And further on down the road, as it got darker, I spotted this one hundred feet above the pavement I have trod at least 3 times in the last week already (which very nearly caused me to bump into a passerby:)

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Now if you’re an architect or similar, this kind of stuff may be too obvious for words but for me – a self-confessed fan of buildings of all sorts – it struck me forcibly how much of our energy is taken up with a world that consists of other people.

So here’s the game:

What have you seen recently on a habitual route to work etc that you’ve never noticed before (because you’ve been on other-people-watch but must have always been there?

Have fun

2 Comments

  1. phil teer
    February 13, 2007

    This is a game that could help you live longer!
    Walking past a bookshop last year I noticed a book called Why Life Speeds Up As You Get Older.
    http://www.cambridge.org/us/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=0521691990
    One big premise in it is that repetition makes time fly. The first time we take a journey we notice loads of new stuff and the journey seems to take a while. When we do the same journey everyday, we notice less and the journey passes faster. SO, looking for things you don’t normally notice will slow time down and you wll feel like your days are longer.

  2. Mark Earls
    February 13, 2007

    Top stuff, Phil.
    Somehow I knew there was a reason for my bumping into folk on the street…I’m trying to become immortal…?!?