“Oops! Pardon me – didna mean tae tak yir ee, it’s no sair aataw is it?”

Translated:

sair: sore, painful.

“Oops! Pardon me – didn’t mean to catch your eye, it’s not painful at all is it?”

[sair erse spelled out in the phonetic alphabet.]

Illustration Friday. Giant (frog).

Are we as observant as we think we are?

It doesn’t take two eyes to miss things that are right in front of us when we’re not looking out for them.

We fool ourselves every day.

Five of the most common faults, and proven in experiments, are:
• simply not seeing things that are in plain sight;
• our belief that our memory is more reliable than it is;
• thinking someone is competent because they act in a confident way;
• deluding ourselves that we know much more than we actually do;
• assuming things that occur together must be a cause and effect;

Magicians, illusionists and con men love this in us.

So what do we do?

Pay more attention to the world. We don’t, even when we are not wearing earphones and not peering at our texts on the phone.

Be humble, we like to think our mental abilities and capacities are greater than they really are.

Add yourself to the world’s population of awkward b*st*rds by refusing to take things at face value.

Challenge authority figures more often by questioning them.

Children do it very well by asking their favourite question. Why? (answer) Why? (answer) Why? (answer) Why? etc. A pity adults seem to give that up.

Terry Pratchet has some good turns of phrase in his novels.
“…most people go through the world with their eyes shut and their brains set to simmer”
“The truth may be out there but the lies are inside your head”

I don’t think it possible to be super observant but we definitely shouldn’t kid ourselves that we are.

Especially when the science demonstrates that we are not.

Read about this experiment, where half the observers completely fail to notice a fake gorilla with an ‘in your face’ attitude walk through a room.

It illustrates how we are not as aware as we think we are.

If you’re an artist you must be fighting these things already, surely?