A few days ago i was at the pool swimming when something unusual occurred. it may not be the first time this incident has happened, but it was the first time i noticed it.
As i was swimming up and down the pool lane at the gym, i glanced around during a kick set. Usually my mind is mulling on either some completely unrelated thought, or something simple like ‘kick harder,’ but today i actually read one of the signs that said “Emergency iPhone.”
“Emergency iPhone?” Thankfully i was somewhat paying attention to visuals and when i looked at the sign a second time. i held my gaze rather than skim over the text and read it correctly as “Emergency Phone.”
Where i am now, in a little town way North of Los Angeles in Canada, i haven’t seen one fabulously colored iPhone advertisement. Usually, i drive by at least a few every day, or i constantly face apples or an “i” of some sort on a coffee run, or any type of run.
My mind is so accustomed to viewing an “i” in front of “phone,” that it has begun to place this little letter along with the word “phone” automatically. After congratulating Apple on such a successful mind hack, branding, advertising and all that, i wonder how often this occurs, and what about other instances apart from this incident of the appearing “i”?
Another example is when i was looking at a sign of La Nuit Blanche back in Paris just two months ago. The first few times I encountered information for the event it read as:
Then, as I began to walk around the city I started to see these signs:
However, it wasn’t until the evening of the event that I took this photo to post on my instagram the next day, to comment on the spelling of “Niut Blnahce.”
it took several encounters with this sign to read it as is. i know my mind has a track record of reorganizing the letters of Chinese restaurants to make a word that I understand, like the opposite of dyslexia. Do you find the same at times? Now, it should be noted that this sign was in fact posted correctly, with a point to prove.
About a week ago, i also came across this article by The Verge. it opens with a gif of an electricity tower jumping up and down. Each time as the tower lands, we hear a ‘thud,’ but really, the image has no audio. Here, the fact that there is no audio is brought to our attention by this irritating gif, but how often do you think this phenomena occurs without your realization?
The article explains that synthetic pairings can be learned when we’re small. i’d argue after my experience with the “Emergency iPhone,” that synthetic pairings are possible even out of childhood.
So from vision to audio, how much of what we see and hear is created through synthetic pairings? it’s a difficult one to measure there’s no doubt about that. Over the next few days, i challenge you to try to catch yourself. An example i know well, is of a tennis match on mute, but i can still hear each time as the ball hits the ground.
As a side note, are there any music videos out there that are intended for those who lost their hearing later in life? From the images of balls dropping, electric structures jumping and water running, is it possible to bring music to their ears one again?
i’d love to see this.
From effective advertising to day to day use of technology, even though we may not think our minds can be hacked pre-biolace/ neurolace technology, it’s entirely possible. We have so much exposure to repeat ads, gifs, signs, that it’s very easy to forget to “stop and smell the roses.”
Not only does this affect what we see and hear, but also other aspects of our lives, privacy and security as one example, as we press all those accept buttons for data release or access as these expectations and actions become normalized.
-food for thought-
How long will it be before i begin to replace all the letters “I” with “i”?
Did you notice the date is actually 2107 rather than 2017? I’d love to see the same sign used in 2107, but with 2017 as the year. What will La Nuit Blanche hold in 2107….? Maybe a good short story in the near future.