I remember back in college my roommate had one of those 3D books.
The kind that looked like some abstract picture, but if you stared at it, you could see some 3D object.
It took me a while (longer than most) but when I “got it” it was pretty cool.
And once you “got it” on one picture, you could “get it’ on a lot of other pictures.
Optical illusions are cool because they leverage one of our “shortcuts” in thinking.
Because it takes a lot of brain processor time to look at EVERYTHING every single time, our brain has a kind of “cache” memory.
Scientists believe that up to forty percent of what we see isn’t what we’re REALLY seeing.
It’s what we’re ASSUMING based on that “cache.”
So when we look at an optical illusion, something that is PURPOSELY drawn differently in some way, it kind of sends our brain into a loop.
Like in Excel or any other spreadsheet program where you try and “divide by zero.”
These can be fun, but they can also cause problems.
Like when we’re trying to do something IMPORTANT (not look at some goofy picture) and we keep getting mistakes.
One of the problems with our brains is we tend to generalize quite a bit.
We also distort and delete.
If we had to process EVERY SINGLE THING outside of our senses, we’d go insane.
In order to keep up, we’ve got to “perceive” the bare minimum.
But if we’re getting the bare minimum wrong (which is pretty easy considering the small sliver of stuff we perceive compared to what is actually there) it can be maddening.
Of course “wrong” is purely subjective.
Imagine if you were trying to drive a car, and you perceived the world as if it were an optical illusion, like those stairs that go all over the place!
(It’d be like the movie, “Inception!”)
Luckily, once you recalibrate what’s out there, and more importantly the part that will help you get where you want to go, it’s pretty easy.
Kind of like those optical illusion puzzles.
Once you “get” one of them, you can “get” all of them.
And once you figure out how to “get” one thing you want, you can use the same strategy for everything else.