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Twiloans

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

Seeing The Invisible....

To better understand the concept of a electromagnetic dynamic driving our universe and causing things to appear as they do, read this excerpt from the book "The God Particle; If the universe is the answer, what is the question?" by Leon Lederman.

Seeing beyond the surface is like looking at a "Magic Eye" stereogram- you have to NOT focus on the surface image, and the hidden image beneath becomes visible.

Just call me "Pipsqueak."

"Imagine an intelligent race from the planet Twilo" Lederman writes. "They look more or less like us, they talk like us and they do everything like humans- except one thing. They have a fluke in their visual apparatus. They can't see objects with sharp juxtapositions of black and white. They can't see Zebra's, for example. Or shirts on NFL referees. Or soccer balls. This is not such a bizarre fluke, by the way. Earthlings are even stranger. We have two literal blind spots in the center of our field of vision. The reason we don't see these holes is because our brain extrapolates from the information in the rest of the field to guess what should be in these holes, then fills it in for us. Humans routinely drive 100 miles per hour on the autobahn, perform brain surgery, and juggle flaming torches, even though a portion of what they see is merely a good guess."

"Let's say this contingent from the planet Twilo comes to earth on a goodwill mission. To give them a taste of our culture, we take them to see one of the most popular cultural events on the planet: a World Cup soccer match. We, of course, don't know that they can't see the black and white soccer ball. So they sit there watching the match with polite but confused looks on their faces. As far as the Twiloans concerned, a bunch of short pantsed people are running up and down the field kicking their legs pointlessly in the air, banging into each other, and falling down. At times an official blows a whistle, a player runs to the sideline, stands there, and extends both his arms over his head while the other players watch him. Once in a great while the goalie inexplicably falls to the ground, a great cheer goes up, and one point is awarded to the opposite team."

"The Twiloans spend about fifteen minutes being totally mystified. Then to pass the time, they attempt to understand the game. Some use classification techniques. They deduce, partially because of the clothing, that there are two teams in conflict with one another. They chart the movements of the various players, discovering that each player appears to remain more or less within certain geographical territory on the field. They discover that different players display different physical motions. The Twiloans, as humans would do, clarify their search for meaning in World Cup soccer by giving names to the different positions played by each footballer. The positions are categorized, compared, and contrasted. The qualities and limitations of each position are listed on a giant chart. A major break comes when the Twiloans discover that symmetry is at work. For each position on Team A, there is a counterpart position on Team B."

"With two minutes remaining in the game, the Twiloans have composed dozens of charts, hundreds of tables and formulas, and scores of complicated rules about soccer matches. And though the rules might all be, in a limited way, correct, none would really capture the essence of the game. Then one young pipsqueak of a Twiloan, silent until now, speaks his mind. "Let's postulate," he ventures nervously, "the existence of an invisible ball.""

"Say what?" reply the older Twiloans.

"While his elders were monitoring what appeared to be the core of the game, the comings and goings of the various players and the demarcations of the field, the pipsqueak was keeping his eyes peeled for rare events. And he found one. Immediately before the referee announced a score, and a split second before the crowd cheered wildly, the young Twiloan noticed the momentary appearance of a bulge in the back of the goal net. Soccer is a low scoring game, so there were few bulges to observe, and each was very short lived. Even so, there were enough events for the pipsqueak to note that the shape of each bulge was hemispherical. Hence his wild conclusion that the game of soccer is dependant upon the existence of an invisible ball (invisible, at least, to the Twiloans)."

"The rest of the contingent from Twilo listen to this theory and, weak as the empirical evidence is, after much arguing, they conclude that the youngster has a point. An elder statesman in the group- a physicist it turns out- observes that a few rare events are sometimes more illuminating than a thousand mundane events. But the real clincher is the simple fact that there must be a ball. Posit the existence of a ball, which for some reason the Twiloans cannot see, and suddenly everything works. The game makes sense. Not only that, but all the theories, charts, and diagrams compiled over the past afternoon remain valid. The ball simply gives meaning to the rules."




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