Making sense of a shifting world

To me this gif is a metaphor for the way we make sense of the world.

When we are born and as we grow up we learn to make sense of the world around us. We think it has always been like that, unchanging. Then, as we grow older, the world shifts and changes and we sometimes long for ‘the way it used to be’.

The gif below shows a certain pattern when we first look at it. Then it shifts to something else. It seems complicated. What’s going on?

Then over time our brains provide a glimpse of the simple three-dimensional structure that lies behind the changing apparently complex two-dimensional patterns.

The pattern or structure we see at first may not be what we are actually looking at. And when what we see shifts over time we can begin to perceive the existence of a deeper structure and simplicity.



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