Not my normal post, but something I thought of while driving to check out Castle Hill today. Thus… it goes here.
I saw a hawk on the side of the road today, and it started me thinking about how we perceive the world. When I look around, I generally see things in the realm that I can affect, and can affect me – for example, I always look at doorways and streets while walking down the road. I rarely look at the tops of buildings however, since they don’t really affect how I am going to walk. I don’t really expect that someone will commando-jump down from the roof to steal my wallet, but someone may very well walk out a doorway and accidentally bump into me. I look at the ground before my feet to make sure I don’t trip, and I look ahead to plan out my route. When looking around, I even look at machinery to dissect how it works, and look at traffic patterns of both cars and people in order to decide where I should walk.
I do not, however, look at the paths between tree-tops. I don’t analyse the air currents in the area, and I don’t look for thermals of warm air lifting off the pavement. Nor do I search around the landscape I backpack through for spots where small animals might be hiding. A hawk undoubtedly does this though; its next meal depends on it. It relies on thermals to lift it up higher into the air, and the paths between trees form the hawks highways.
Its an obvious thing, when you think about it, but what about less extreme examples? How much differently does my neighbor view the world from the way I see it? I doubt that many of the people I hang out with will look at a building and mentally go over its HVAC system, but what do they see? What sort of cool tidbits about the world do people see, but don’t talk about or even consciously notice? I mean… I’m sure a soldier realizes that they scan an environment for ambush points, and a boxer judges a persons stance, but do architects mentally disassemble houses? Do carpenters go through how they would build a chair when they see it?