Tag Archives: attention
I found today’s discussion about “The Suitable Surroundings” by Ambrose Bierce especially intriguing. The uncut version of the title was especially enlightening. What was Bierce thinking by adding that his publication was an instruction of reading a ghost story by example? By adding this extra line to the title it adds a different dimension to the whole story. Maybe Bierce was trying to imprint the impression into people’s minds (who read the story) that because Marsh died reading this story on July 15, that anyone who chances to read this story in the EXACT surroundings he depicts, will die as well. So, if you look at it that way, in a sense, Bierce has not made an instruction manual in reading a ghost story but a guide to suicide. I realize this is an abstract way to look at the story and recreating the exact atmosphere is next to impossible, but it could be done….
This optical illusion is a classic example of how focused attention requires selection and rejection. It is also a good example of how attention always implies a degree of “attention blindness,” since you can’t program your brain to focus on the young woman and the old hag at the same time. When you see one, you don’t see the other; your brain will not allow it.