The Breach by Patrick Lee and insights on perspective filtering
A very good book to read on the airplane. Fast paced sci-fi…lots of turns; waaaaay too much violence but I skimmed those parts. Just to give you an idea of how engrossed I was, after the airplane landed the pilot came on the air and apologized for the landing. I said out loud, “he’s apologizing for the landing?” Others on the plane thought I was ripping on the pilot and one gentleman told me it really wasn’t the pilot’s fault; there had been a huge wind of some sort he had to fight. I was stunned! Apparently we had a really bad landing and I hadn’t noticed…I was reading The Breach! What’s really weird about this is that I took about 30 pictures as we approached SF; five minutes before landing, I picked up my book again and must have traveled to a parallel universe where the landing was smooth.
This experience goes to the heart of my theories on filtering…that we filter out everything that doesn’t fit with our species’ world view to different extents at different times depending on the individual. In addition to these broad species-based filters, we have filters based on our geographic location, religious upbringing, age, sex, education, ethnicity, personal tastes, momentary distractions and terabytes of other factors.
We are taught this filtering process from the time we are born. Babies when first born are unable to focus properly. Perhaps we must learn to filter out the infinite other images surrounding us before we are able to identify the things our species/societies want us to see…such as our mother, father, etc. We do live in a sea of microorganisms made up of groups of molecules made up of groups of atoms made up of groups of still smaller particles. We, ourselves, are made of groups of microorganisms and other groups of molecules. If we could see on the molecular or subatomic level, we wouldn’t be able to tell where one person or thing stopped and another began. The lines between things are fuzzy when viewed closely, like the shore of the ocean, always changing. We must filter out all sorts of connections between these different groups to operate within the parameters of our species and our political and cultural locations.
I was apparently able to turn on all filters external to the book I was reading during the airplane landing. Another filtering example that came from reading this same book: One reviewer on Amazon complained about the foul language, but didn’t mention the violence. I didn’t even notice the foul language. We definitely have two different filters in play here. Look at all of these filters from this one reading of The Breach on the airplane. Think of how many filters are in play on every other subject in the world coming from the perspective of every other subject in the world. Whew! More on this subject of filters later.