Linearity of Perception

Well I posted my essay on the phenomenology of MD 20/20 and the state  of drunk, but one thing that my professor left me with was this idea of perception having a certain linear process or if that existed. Well, he didn’t exactly say that and maybe didn’t even mean that, but that is what I took from the comment and what I am going on with in this writing.

It is hard for me to decide if perception is a linear process. Biologically, I have really no idea if it is, but who cares about that? There are so many pieces of perception that I find it difficult to honestly say that it is a truly linear process. The initial mind-shock isn’t linear. It is shock and chaos. Well, really this is only if you are truly experiencing an object. If there is some distinct passivity in the perception, then maybe it isn’t as much of chaos. Passively experiencing an object doesn’t make the mind move as fast. My mind is slow already, so the connections, emotions and feelings that come with perception are slow with an active perception anyway…who knows.

Maybe it is more of a linear thing. A linearity of chaotic events. Perception is grounded in the senses we use to experience an object, as Merleau-Ponty would say. The sight and touch and smell all collect together in this chaotic idea of sensory perception that come together as the first signifier of perceiving. Then comes everything else. It takes a while. Comparisons, social attributes, emotions, history. Other than emotion, the others take more time and depth to create and take some work to experience. All of these also have emotions and senses that can be attributed to them. Perception is this giant web of images and words and feelings that simply keeps multiplying and expanding. There are no six degrees to Mad Dog.

I don’t really know where this leaves me. I’m somewhere in between the idea of perception being an entirely linear event and it being this mass chaos that jumps at you when you experience an object. A good portion of where the perception of an object falls on this scale depends upon how intensely one is attempting to make a connection with the object at hand. I would argue we usually do not even make it past the emotional connection with objects, forgetting history and social implications. Forget isn’t the  right word, because they are still there, but lying somewhat dormant. They aren’t realized yet.

Is it important to make a sincere connection to every object you encounter? No. That is silly and inefficient. However, I sense that we are moving to a world where we completely forget about the history and attributes of objects outside of the emotional and physical. When we lose this, do we lose the object itself in a way? It’s full reality is not used. I hate to say it, but is this where the hyperreal takes over the real? Is this a more physical rationale of what Baudrillard is saying? We have these objects whose new reality is to be connected to physical senses and emotional images. Has the real been replaced? I don’t really know, but there is something to be said when one takes in an object completely and understands its inherent reality and existence as opposed to the easy path of perception. It’s really not hard work, but it is grounding. It is fun really and I think that at the very least, it’s important. Hopefully I can do it more often. Who knows.

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One response to “Linearity of Perception

  1. http://www.popmatters.com/pm/feature/118574-tao-lin-has-a-neutral-facial-expression/

    Interesting article on an author who arguably is either almost totally concerned with the hyperreal or almost entirely subsumed in it. Read his novella sometime.

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