Sunday, February 28, 2010
Aber Etwas Fehlt
For example, years ago my brother told me he was at the mall and noticed an odd man. He couldn't articulate what made the guy stand out, but something seemed off. It took a few more seconds before my brother noticed this detail:
The guy was missing an arm.
My brother was mortified. He knew it wasn't nice to stare, but whoops, he'd been staring! His autopilot brain noticed right away and hit the "something's wrong" alert. Meanwhile, his thinking brain couldn't figure out what was wrong at first. By the time he thought,Oh! He only has one arm. I'd better quit looking at him, because that's rude, it was too late.
I bet this happens a lot. Did the guy with one arm know the mind works this way? Or does he think Geez, so many gawkers. People have no shame!"
It doesn't just apply to strangers at the mall. Autopilot brains notice stuff. I live in California, but nowhere near the flammable wilderness. Yet, I can be at my appartment with the blinds drawn and notice the slightest orange tint in the daylight. Again, I'm not thinking gosh, there's a subtle amber tint filtering in. I conclude there's a distant fire. It' more like I'll be reading a book, think hmmm... something's off... ...is it a forest fire? Then I turn on the news and confirm my suspicions.