On Perception and Plausibility …

I’ve been thinking about the differences between my friends who are optically-oriented versus those who are aurally-inclined, and the variations in perception (a visual word) that result from that dichotomy. As a Musician, I have found that more often than not, I process the world based on what it sounds like, rather than what it looks like. A lot of other Musicians (at least the ones that tend towards inclusive, more positive works) also seem to be aurally inclined, whereas many artists tend to the visual (which seems to make some sense to me). In his book The Third Ear: On Listening to the World (which I have learned is unfortunately out of print), Joachim-Ernst Berendt talks about the differences between a world in which the truth as conveyed by the ear and one in which the primary information gathering device is the eye. One of the things that his research has found is that most of the words in our language (English) that relate to deception, misperception, illusion and doubt are eye-related words (words that find their etymological origin in vision metaphors), whereas there are few, if any, that are ear-based. In other words, the eye may lie, but the ear is much more unlikely to do so. He also indicates that the mechanisms for information-gathering are quite different – the eye takes us out into the world, while the ear brings the world into us. Another fascinating aspect is that the spectrum of light that we can actually see is a much smaller percentage of the whole than the audible range of sound that we can process. And so on.

Anyway, I thought I would take a poll of those who happen upon this entry to see what the consensus is.

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