Point To Ponder #4 Life – what are we missing??


Many of the more senior viewers of this blog may remember the days of Black and White television, long before computer screens were ever a ‘thing’!
Generally all programs (and adverts) were shown on a small (by today’s standards) sized screen of a cathode ray tube contained in a nice wooden box or, if you were posh, a piece of specialised furniture. 🙂

Your imagination had to supply all the colours as it only came standard with just various shades of grey being displayed.

Yet in spite of the restrictive limitations of size, colouration and the fact it was being displayed by a single beam of electrons hitting a phosphorescent screen in 2 dimensions, most people were able to suspend disbelief long enough to actually be able to identify with the characters being portrayed on their little TV’s and could get involved enough to the point of genuine emotional reactions to the antics of those ‘people’ whose stories we followed as they moved about ‘inside the box’. 😉

You got a pretty accurate idea of what was meant to be going on in the lives of the characters the actors playing them wanted you to get, as if this was a view of normal reality that you the viewer could relate to on a personal level.

When you begin to think about the differences between what was happening on the box in your living room or bedroom and the ‘real’ life it was intending to show you, this is actually something quite amazing and could be of importance to fully appreciate in our lives.

Differences such as the fact that several quite important features of normal life have been dramatically restricted. For example: the number of physical dimensions we live in have been reduced by 2/3rds – from 3D to 2D.
Secondly, as previously noted the colour range has been reduced from the rainbow to just one – Greyscale. And thirdly, but rarely noticed and yet could have enormous potential if it was a real world phenomenon, motion of all kinds has been converted from analog to discrete (or digital in today’s parlance!)

Huh? What was that last bit? All motion is digitised? discrete??

All that you see on a screen as movement is actually just a still picture – a photograph! No Movement at all!! It’s Fake moves!

The illusion of movement is created by taking 24 pictures every second and displaying them for about 1/25th of a second in a continuous stream. Actually it is worse than that because each picture was divided up into around 3-400 horizontal lines and each one was projected onto the phosphor screen one after the other in each 1/25th of a second!

Our brains could not physically see this process as it was happening too fast for our eyes to follow and it was fooled into thinking we saw ‘life-like’ motion and actions on the 2D screen – and we threw in an extra dimension of depth to make things seem like we were watching them in 3D just for good measure.

How clever is our brain?? 🙂

So if what we actually watched was a largely colourless, rapidly flashed set of still pictures that had been sliced horizontally 3-400 times and displayed on to a 2 Dimensional screen at rates of roughly 10,000 times every second – how did we manage to think this was ANYTHING like reality??

How did we like and even feel like we ‘knew’ the characters in the shows and films we watched and in many cases loved?

If this was all we needed to ‘see’ reality, how much of our current actual reality are we missing every second of our lives and what, if anything is going to be the cumulative result? Just how much more of life could we actually take on board and what difference would it make to us if we saw and retained everything we could possibly see?



  1. WOW, Love! This took me on quite the trip – and I began reading thinking you were taking me in a completely different direction from where I ended up. Great post!

    I am old enough to dimly recall the transition from b/w to color TV’s, btw – primarily because Walt Disney created a very clever program where a character at a piano was “playing colors” that those with our new-fangled color TVs could actually see on the screen.: red, green, yellow, blue, orange-purple-pink.

    What sticks in my mind most was what came next (to the same tune): “not to leave out the folks who are still watching in black and white”: black, black, greyish, grey, blackish-grey-white!

    And NOW I actually have a Pinterest Board with memes that make many of the points in your thought-provoking article named “Waay too much screen time.” (the irony is not lost on me, btw)
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Madelyn! I’m very grateful for your positive review of my post 🙂 Yours is the response i hope for when i write serious ( or semi-serious 😉 ) posts.

    You must have had an extremely good memory at an extremely young age to recall all that 😉 Co-incidentally i recorded a program on TV last week and watched for the first time in over 30 years on the weekend… Walt Disney’s Fantasia! A spectacular demonstration of the cartoonists art craft, put to classical music and promoting the ‘new’ feature of colour in movies! ( As i’m certain you already knew!) 🙂 Do you have a link to your pinterest site? ( I’m guessing there might be one on your web-page?)

    Here in Aus we did not get colour tv until the mid 70’s so i well remember b&w tv sets.

    But as for the thinking part of the post – i was ‘inspired’ by the thought that humans have a remarkable ability to take a very small proportion of the actual world about us and manufacture a reasonable facsimilie of the world we think we see – one that largely serves us pretty well in navigating through our life with relatively few mis-steps.

    Bu the world is far more complicated than the way we see it and i wonder if we should take some time in every day to try to see that so that we might understand the world (and all it’s differences) in better ways than we sometimes do.

    But then again – maybe nature is smarter than me and we’ve mostly got the ratio between level of detail we are aware of vs level of performance based upon it just about right…. Hmmmmmm…..

    I might have another post to think about. 😉



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