I've been listening to early Skeptics' Guide to the Universe podcasts over the past few weeks. One word that seems to pop up is "pareidolia" (or "paradolia"), defined at Wikipedia as:
"...a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant." Examples of this would include that Mary-on-Toast a few years back. It seems like people are constantly finding Jesus in more than just the mundane religious manner.The old boy crops up in wood grain, reflections from shiny objects (including a car hubcap), you name it. Considering that the cold & flu season is just passing away, I'm surprised there's not a used Kleenex (tm) with such an image blown from someone's nose.
It obviously requires imagination. Can you find it here?
At any rate, I've been thinking that this blog needs a title, and it seems that there's a form of pareidolia in reading in that I form a mental image of scenes and people as I go. Or in music, for that matter, given that what I imagine from the lyrics and mood might not be anything like what the writers and players had in mind.
I dig the irony of a skeptic using the word in a more ironic sense. I don't buy the holy stuff, or the bigfoot stuff, or the UFO stuff, or ghosts (to name but a few of the many species of irrational junk to which people devote so much of their time.
It's given me some ideas for enlarging this Blog to include more than just book reviews and style analysis, including local restaurant reviews (could even tie it to the Book Blog--is there sufficient light for reading? Sufficient room for a laptop for reading e-books? Is it quiet enough?) and some other stuff. Maybe even bring in other people to share their own book, music, and restaurant reviews.
Hell, maybe I'll pick up another two or three readers! *snort*
Alan Partridge (2013)
21 hours ago