TED Weekends explores how our minds shape reality

Originally posted on TED Blog:

colored pencilsGreen. Blue. Red. Grey. Few of us give much thought to the way we see color. But in a classic talk given at TEDGlobal 2009, Beau Lotto shows how the colors we see do not necessarily line up with what is actually there. Lotto uses color as an illustration of how our perception is tinted by evolution, our minds linking visual cues to behavorial cues discovered in past experiences.

Today’s TED Weekends on the Huffington Post further explores the way our minds connect the dots of reality — sometimes correctly and sometimes erroneously. Below, some of the TED Weekends essays that riff on this mind-bending theme.

Beau Lotto: Optical Illusions Show How We See

Imagine… as you wake later than usual rolling over towards the window, you notice that it’s a gorgeous day outside. Warm, yellow sunlight shines in through glass illuminating floating “dust angles.” On the other side of…

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Find your @#%*ing Polling Place!

This site sums up my attitude about Election Day (and contains strong language, so beware!).  I’m disillusioned by the entire process, with the endless ads, the inaccuracies tolerated within the electoral college system, and the treatment of presidential politics as some kind of cable sports event.  Living in one of the most conservative states in the U.S. means nearly every one of my votes for the past six years has been a protest vote.

I continue to vote, though.  I do it with the hope that one day the antiquated electoral college system will be dismantled, and every single American vote might truly count, regardless of the votes of our neighbors.  I hope that somehow our politicians might become statesmen once more, not celebrities convening focus groups for political talking points.  Call me naive, but I’d rather vote for a keen and critical mind than someone who will say anything to gain office, a practice that defines big elections.

Somewhat begrudgingly, I voted for this guy:

Obama

Regardless who you’re voting for, you’re almost out of time!  Find your @#%*ing polling place!

‘Home… is wherever I’m with you.’

As a prelude to the Burning Man-related video project on which I’m presently toiling, here’s another fun compilation found by my better half as inspiration. The song is performed by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros.

Fair warning, this video contains some nudity, but it’s the sort that involves hippies dancing around in the desert.

Log Me In

Here’s a bit of cool tech I discovered recently.  It’s an app for my iPad that allows me to log into my home computer from anywhere.  It’s available for other platforms as well, and basic use is totally free.  After entering my username and password, my home computer’s desktop appears on the iPad screen, and I can play music, access documents, and do anything else I might do if I were sitting in my office at home.  The lag is reasonable and hardly a dealbreaker.  I’ve only scratched the surface of what this application might be capable of, but it’s already saved my butt several times for class when I’ve forgotten important texts at home.