(5) Tue Sep 16 2008 22:44 Don't Blink Without Thinking: "We accept the cut because it resembles the way images are juxtaposed in our dreams." -- In the Blink of an Eye. Okay then. But also, ItBoaE posits the blink as the "cut" we experience in waking life, which is really interesting.
Posted by Nathaniel at Wed Sep 17 2008 03:48
Umm, if they're looking for the "cut" we experience in waking life, isn't it weird to ignore the saccade? Your whole image of reality blanks out for ~50 ms and then reappears somewhere else every 150-300 milliseconds, every time your eyes move. Blinks are much rarer, and the image on your retina doesn't necessarily change from before to after either...
Posted by Leonard at Wed Sep 17 2008 09:51
I suggest you read the book. It's very short and you can skip the last half of it, which is all about the transition from analog to video film editing. It doesn't mention saccades, but I think saccades are probably "cuts" on a lower cognitive level than blinks.
To answer the question you posed back in your self-link, I think pre-film man might've thought've dreams in semi-mystical terms... though assuming they also saw the people they knew in real life... I dunno. (I've wondered how a "primitive" would deal with something like a severe food allergy...)I think what's interesting about dreams is that they show off our abilty to construct a largely coherent narrative from, like, almost ANY goop of sensory input... and I think that points to how we make our way through waking life. We have a self image that tends to ignore this and assume our inner life is as consistent with reality as we would assume, but really it's more of a hodge-podge. IMO. (again the metaphor for this aspect of consciousness/awareness is the dude with the flashlight strapped to his forehead, everywhere he looks it's light, so he assume it's light everywhere...I wonder what Kristen (sp?) whom I met at the picnic would say about my 3/4-assed layman theorizing...
I'm not sure if I fully buy the "blink" idea, but I agree with Leonard, saccade likely gets "edited out" at a lower level of pattern recognition, before it gets up to the level of the brain trying to piece together a story. (For a fun experiment, (gently) poke yourself in the eye, note how your surroundings jump and shift much more than an equivalent moving your head or eyes around would)
I was talking about this with a friend recently (because we were editing a film--golly!) and he wondered if editing truly resembled dreams . . . or if dreams resembled editing. Perhaps we only dream the way we do because that's the format we're used to having narratives visually constructed.I really liked In the Blink of an Eye and I was thinking of reading it again soon . . .