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 Perception: An eye opening story...

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Benjamin Button

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Age : 37
Registration date : 2008-10-09

PostSubject: Perception: An eye opening story...   Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:04 pm

I just read this story as it was attached to a photo someone posted on Flickr...I am definitely guilty of what is mentioned in the story. I need to learn to slow down.

Read on and post your thoughts...

Quote :
Perception
Something to think about….

Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. A man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approximately. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later:

The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes:

A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes:

A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.

45 minutes:

The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour:

He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities.

The questions raised:

*In a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?

*Do we stop to appreciate it?

*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made.

How many other things are we missing?
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Trout Bum

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Age : 49
Location : Anchorage, Alaska
Registration date : 2008-09-11

PostSubject: Re: Perception: An eye opening story...   Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:25 pm

Very interesting article, and it raises some excellent questions. We most definitely live in a fast paced, complex society. It is not surprising that there is much beauty that is missed. Also, it is quite interesting that small children were more aware than many of the adults.

One thing that has always cracked me up, and doesn't happen often, but it does occur, is when a small child looks at me from a passing vehicle, or perhaps in passing in the produce section, and for no apparent reason, smiles and waves. Most excellent, that.
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Slow Puffs
Resident Sportscaster
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Age : 68
Location : Alberta. Canada
Registration date : 2007-12-10

PostSubject: Re: Perception: An eye opening story...   Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:38 pm

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote:

"Many eyes go through the meadow, but few see the flowers."

One might speculate that it's not just the age we live in, but part of humanity.
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puros_bran
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Location : Brandenburg, Ky
Registration date : 2007-12-10

PostSubject: Re: Perception: An eye opening story...   Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:40 pm

Perhaps the perception of the post is wrong...

Perhaps he's not the best in the world..
Maybe what he was playing wasn't the greatest ever written.
And a violin is only worth what you can get for it.

Their experiment was flawed with bias from the get go..
I also wonder if any of the people that attended the showing walked by, I doubt it.. They rode in their taxis,town cars, and limos to the corner office.. And truthfully they probably had no desire to go other than the social perception of someone that attends such events.
Classical/ Neo-Classical is great because the people that earn a lively hood from it says its great.

I was grooving on a Russian composers piece.. The only expert I know on classical music said it was borderline circus music.. Go figure...
My point being the average man really doesn't know (or care about) Bell and 3.5 million buck fiddles.. Hardly fair to condemn them for that.

Put that girl that won this years pole dancing championship on 5th Avenue and see how many people recognize her talent..

So while I agree with the premise that we are rushed beyond the point of seeing, I also believe we shouldn't cast pearls before swine.. Regardless of what we view as pearls or who we view as swine.
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Benjamin Button

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Age : 37
Registration date : 2008-10-09

PostSubject: Re: Perception: An eye opening story...   Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:44 pm

I think about my drive to and from work every day. It's the same road, every day...and because of that I may tell someone I know that road very well. But when I really think about it, how much can I really take in when I am driving at 40 mph? If I walked that same road I'd see the intricacies of the pavement, the sidewalks, the trees, the roots, the gardens on the lawns of the houses, etc. All these things that I miss on this road I know so well.

I think I'll walk to work one of these days.

When I have time. Wink
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Ben



Registration date : 2008-01-30

PostSubject: Re: Perception: An eye opening story...   Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:47 pm

The experiment wasn't scientific, but it demonstrates that perception is reality.
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Wide Awake

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Age : 39
Location : Waynesville Ohio and points in between
Registration date : 2009-08-31

PostSubject: Re: Perception: An eye opening story...   Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:05 am

One of the training examples we did at work was a clip from a news show about perception. in the clip there were 6 people playing basketball. your assignment was to count how many completed passes were made during a set period of time. While all this action is going on a person in a gorilla suit walks through the frame. The point of the exercise being the way perception can hide things from us when they are strange or are outside the realm of our current task.
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Centurian 803
Long Arm O' The Law
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Age : 67
Location : Oak Ridge, TN
Registration date : 2008-09-10

PostSubject: Re: Perception: An eye opening story...   Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:33 pm

All I know is, if he tried that in Oak Ridge I would notice him. Cause somebody would call in a complaint that he was loitering! Rolling Eyes
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