Aftereffects; Bickhard blowhard

[From Bill Powers (920625.1900)]

Pat Alfano (920625) --

Didn't know you were monitoring the net, Pat. Hello, we're fine, nice to
hear from you, hope the new house suits.


You've filled me full of curiosity and embarrassed me, too. If the program
didn't induce aftereffects in NEW subjects, then my whole fairy-tale goes
down the drain -- including the "cure," I suppose. This is how people get
hooked on organic vitamins and so on, isn't it? Well, you've given me a
very good reason to redo that program -- obviously something DID change.
But this is weird, because you will agree, won't you, that the display
looks exactly the same as it did when there were aftereffects? I'm
wondering now if shifting to a different monitor is what made the
difference, although it's hard to imagine how, and I think we got
aftereffects even on my new (VGA) monitor. I'm going to preserve the
program that doesn't work and just develop the display again. If I get
aftereffects again with the new program, then it will come down to
comparing the programs in detail to see what's different. I'll let you

I seem to recall your telling me that you were having fewer difficulties
with the motion stuff -- was that wishful thinking on my part? Of course
that's unrelated to the disappearance of aftereffect, if new subjects
failed to get it. If we're lucky we may find something nobody knew about
that influences aftereffects. Or some dumb glitch in the program. Probably
the latter.


Gary Cziko (920625) --

Fascinating talk with Bickhard. He gives the impression of knowing a very
great deal about the higher orders of perception. That's a real skill. He
should do well with grant proposals.

Just tell him there weren't any reactions from me that he (or his mother)
would care to hear.

Pat Alfano has answered your question for me. Contact her through Dick
Martin Taylor (920625.1830) --

Wonderful! You were controlling the percept, weren't you?

That's right. See Pat Alfano's post for indications that this may be worth
going on with (unless you've done it all before and have all the data).
Watching a subject holding the dots "still," an observer could see that the
dots kept moving, but more and more slowly. They moved, of course, in the
original direction of movement, because when they stop, they seem to be
drifting in the opposite direction and the subject "corrects" this apparent
drift. An experiment in practical epistemology.

Have you ever had a motion aftereffect after driving a car?

Only after long, long hours looking out the windshield; I think never
unless I was generally pretty fatigued. When you stop the car, the road
seems to be moving away. So does anything else you look at. But not after
ordinary car trips (not even as a passenger).

I think, however, that your thesis might be upheld better in conjunction
with walking or running. Driving a modern car isn't a lot different from
being a passenger. And sometimes being the passenger isn't much different
from being the driver.

I also tried using "endless octave" motion -- each dot would be placed
randomly on the screen, move five or ten pixels on successive frames, and
disappear. So the impression would be that the screen was crawling in some
direction, but not actually going anywhere. My computer wasn't fast enough
to do this with enough dots to get a strong effect.

Bill P.