Hyper-perception of normal reality


is proportional to


Normal perception of hyper-reality




[the path of words]




The above theorem is a statement about relativistic aspects of perception with respect to space and time.The claim is that there is an equivalency, or at least a proportionality, between various parameters of conscious apprehension.Specifically, there is a way to consider experiences of different objects, speeds and/or durations as having a kind of similarity given appropriate parameterizations.This experiential similarity can be expressed and compared as an informational quantity.



Siskel and Ebert Go To the Movies

Say Siskel and Ebert are watching a movie, the same movie, but they are in separate theatres.Letís say that this movie is a special, extra-wide movie shot with special, extra-wide cameras.Siskelís theatre has the movie showing on an appropriate extra-wide screen.Ebertís theatre is on a budget and so they show it on a normal-width screen with the result that the the sides of the movie are missing.But there is a glitch in the film projector of Siskelís theatre and, unknown to Siskel, plays the film back in slow motion.Letís also make this simple and say that there is no sound to this movie, that it is just a beautifully shot, but silent film.Think Koyannisqatsi and IMAX.


So there they are, Siskel in his comfy, wide-screen theatre watching the movie in slow motion and Ebert in his cheapo, narrow-screen theatre watching the movie at normal speed.Suddenly, the power goes out in the city and that means both the movies come to an end at the same time.Letís say both movies started at exactly the same time and, because of the power-outage, both movies ended at the same time.


Siskel and Ebert meet each other on the street after finding their way out of the darkened theatre.They agree to find a coffee shop (that still has some hot coffee and candles available hopefully) and discuss the movie.


Siskel:(setting his coffee mug down) Isnít that annoying that the power went out?!And I was just getting to a good part in the film!


Ebert:Oh, absolutely.I thought that the scene of the Mayan temple in the middle of the jungle looked magnificent and that the camera was going to fly us right into it!


Siskel:Mayan temple?What are you talking about?There was no Mayan temple.All I saw were images of skyscrapers and clouds and that little man selling hot dogs off to the side.


Ebert:Well, yeah, there were images of skyscrapers and clouds in the early part of the film but I donít remember seeing a little man selling hot dogs at all.


Siskel:How could you miss him?He was one of the most interesting images because of how the customers were all lined up to buy a hotdog.What made the scene even more memorable were the pigeons that were lined up nearby also, patiently waiting for some generous morsel to be tossed their way.


Ebert:Are you sure we saw the same movie?I have absolutely no recollection of hotdog vendors nor pigeons.I do vividly recall a spectular mirrored skyscraper reflecting the clouds as they raced by.Perhaps they started at different times?Mine started at exactly 7pm.


Siskel:Mine started at 7pm sharp also.And, yes, I do remember that skyscraper vividly also.But the clouds werenít exactly racing by.They were floating slowly by like clouds normally do.


Ebert:Oh no, not at all.There were obviously some very strong winds when they were filming because the clouds were moving so quickly.


Siskel:This is very odd.I know I saw both slow moving clouds and a hotdog vendor Ö


Ebert:And I know that the clouds were moving quickly and that there was no hotdog vendor.And, furthermore, that there was a Mayan temple with a blinding sun shining down onto the jungle!


Siskel:It canít have been the same movie!


Ebert:No, it was the same alright.There is only one movie like this in the theatres right now.We just happened to be watching it in different theatres but it was the same movie.And I canít believe that there would be different versions of the same movie playing in different theatres.Although that is an intriguing idea that could be explored by some creative, and well financed, film director.


Siskel:Hmm.While you were talking just now, I jotted down what we each observed in the movies we watched:






clouds (slow)

clouds (fast)

hotdog vendor







Mayan temple






Ebert:Hmm.Whatís interesting is that there is indeed some overlap to what we saw.But we each saw something more than just the consensual, overlapping, scenes.


Siskel:Well, without getting too specific, you and I each saw about 5 memorable things.


Ebert:Right.But, based on what you said, it seems your 5 things all occurred at roughly the same point in time whereas my 5 things occurred at different points in time.Specifically, the Mayan temple scene definitely followed the skyscraper scene.


Siskel:Youíre right.The hotdog scene was actually part of the skyscraper scene. Somehow you did not get the whole picture.


Ebert:Well, it seemed like my movie was complete.I was going to say I didnít think you got the whole picture because you somehow never got to the Mayan temple scene.


Siskel:Very strange.Even though our movies started at the same time you somehow saw more of the movie.Somehow, you saw further ahead to the Mayan temple scene but I never made it that far.


Ebert:Yes, but somehow you saw more of the movie too.Somehow, you saw further to the side, to the hotdog vendor scene.


Siskel:The only way for this to make any sense is if you got a faster version of the movie and if I got a wider version of the same movie.


Ebert:Well, I did watch it at Cinema Cheapo.Their ticket prices are much better, you know.


Siskel:Youíre kidding!That explains it.Everybody knows that Cinema Cheapo has just the regular-sized screens.†† The movie we watched was supposed to be shown on a wide-screen.You did not see the hotdog vendor because the screen was not wide enough to show him.


Ebert:Oh, for crying out loud!Are you serious?I did not know that.I am going to ask for my money back.I thought I was watching the whole movie.


Siskel:You get what you pay for I guess.


Ebert:But that still does not explain why you never got to the Mayan temple scene.Itís as if your movie was running too slow.


Siskel:Well, they did mention something when I bought my ticket about having technical difficulties.They said something about their new film projector, that sometimes it was not running at the right speed but I should just let them know if I noticed anything unusual and that they would attempt to fix it.


Ebert:Well, there you go!Your film projector was obviously running too slow because you would have got to the Mayan scene if it was running at the right speed!


Siskel:Well, that really steams me because you know I paid full price for my ticket and I expect everything to be working properly.But before I go back and demand a refund how do I know that my movie was running slow?Maybe your movie was running fast!


Ebert:Well, I suppose the clouds might help us get a sense of time not moving correctly in the film.But sometimes clouds do move slow and sometimes clouds do move fast.So, I donít think the clouds themselves can give us a clue about whose movie had the correct time rate.There were other temporal elements in the film that might give us a clue but I do not recall anything out of the ordinary.For example, I did not see birds flying mach 1 or anything like that.


Siskel:Nor did I.I did not see any birds except for the pigeons in the hotdog scene but it does not help too much.I mean, the little man selling hot dogs was not moving much.I thought he was just lost in thought as he watched his hotdogs cook.The pigeons and customers, likewise, were not moving much.I just attributed that to the fact that they were all waiting patiently for their food.


Ebert:We might not be able to tell whose film was running at the correct speed.


Siskel:I think we would have to watch more of the film.Surely at some point there would be a clue from some object in the film as to what the actual time rate was.


Ebert:I guess that would depend on what was being filmed.If the film was about rocks and canyons then we might never really get a clue as to what was running slow or fast.


Siskel:It might even be that neither of our films were running at the proper speed.Your movie at Cinema Cheapo might have been running fast and my movie might have been running slow.Without more information, we really have no way of knowing.


Ebert:Yes, too bad we couldnít see the movie to the end.Then we could compare the time-length of each viewing.


Siskel:That would only establish that there was a difference in playback speed.That figure, by itself, would be insufficient to establish which movie was played back at the correct speed.We really need some cue from the movie itself to determine whether something is wrong or not.


Ebert:You mean, if we saw a stoplight, for example, turning on and off in quick succession we would know that there was something wrong because we all know that stoplights donít normally change colors that fast?


Siskel:Right.By comparing a known temporal event, such as a stoplight, to the event in question we can determine whether or not there is a discrepancy.That is, you could compare durations and thus get a sense of whether the film is running fast or slow.


Ebert:Itís too bad that they did not film a clock with a second-hand.Then we could easily compare time rates.Without that, or anything that can be definitively measured, there really is no way of knowing what is running fast.


Siskel:Is there no way to make use of the additional hotdog scene from the extra wide footage I saw?


Ebert:I canít see how.It could only help if there was additional temporal clues in it.From everything you described, the people and pigeons standing patiently, there is no additional temporal information.In other words, there are two possibilities:the people and the pigeons could be moving normally in slow motion or they could be standing still in normal motion.The two possibilities are informationally equivalent in terms of our perceived experience.


Siskel:I suppose this is simply a way of saying that spatial data by itself is insufficient to detemine anything about experiences in time.I wonder if the opposite is also true.That is, is temporal data by itself insufficient to determine anything about experiences in space?


Ebert:I am not sure.One thing we can say with some certainty is that my movie was running faster relative to your movie.We may not know whose movie, if either, was running correctly timed, but I definitely saw more of the plot than you did.


Siskel:But you failed to see the hot dog scene.I think that simply proves that having more experiences in a temporal direction does not necessarily contribute to a more complete spatial representation of the movie.I mean, you could have watched the movie for another hour and still be completely oblivious to the hotdog scene.


Ebert:Good point!But, you know, actually I did see as much spatial data as you did.Namely the 5 things I already mentioned:skyscraper, clouds, Mayan temple, jungle, sun.They were not the same 5 things, but they were 5 things.You saw 5 and I saw 5.


Siskel:True, I am just saying that your faster viewing experience contributed nothing to achieving the width of my experience.


Ebert:Agreed.There does seem to be a curious equivalency here.Itís as if the amount of quantitative experience in both of our cases is the same.


Siskel:Yes, my wide, slow experience is quantitatively equivalent to your narrow, fast experience.Clearly though, quantitative equivalency does not imply qualitative equivalency.


Ebert:Apparently not since I did not see hotdog vendors and you did not see Mayan temples even though we had the same number of experiences.


Siskel:Ö well, Iím pretty sure that the movie I saw was the right version.