Threesology Research Journal
Why so few 3-patterned optical illusions?
page 3

(Threesology Research Journal)

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At our aim is to help make road users' journeys quicker and less stressful by providing them with useful, up-to-the-minute, straight-from-the-hip road traffic information without the typical journalistic type of illusory commentary encountered by other traffic monitoring sources.

We specialise (U.S. = specialize) in giving traffic reports for UK (United Kingdom) motorways. Much of our collected data comes from automatic sensors placed at various points around the motorway to monitor vehicle speeds. This means we can provide accurate, up-to-date reports which is normally faster than other mediums, such as radio, television, carrier pigeon, Morse Code, signal lanterns, flashing mirrors, pony express, or the varying forms of truncated adolescent text-messaging. Typically our speed readings are updated every 3 minutes.

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Note: In adopting the above information, I am responsible for "slightly" altering the content in order to shoehorn it into place for the present context. Those at are sincere, studious and serious about providing a public service, but they are not without a sense of humor, which is sometimes interpreted as an underlying disposition towards friendliness. Hence, the usage of a smiley face on the logo...H.O.B.

For those readers unfamiliar with the expression "straight-from-the-hip," it is called a contextual colloquialism referring to straight-forward honesty, meant as a portrayal of two Old west gunfighters (or duelers) standing face-to-face to shoot at one another with guns held in holsters strapped to a leather belt buckled to their waist and sometimes latched with a string tied around one's leg to keep the holster in place while a gun is drawn; instead of shooting at one another from behind rocks, ambushing, or shooting someone in the back. (Regardless if you think the act of standing face-to-face to kill someone is stupid or courageous, it nonetheless earmarks an attempt at forthright honesty.)

after effects pinwheel Stare at the center of the image for twenty seconds and then look at the white space or even the palm of your hand. Is there a spiral or isn't there?
apparition Stare at the blue dots while you count slowly to 30. Then close your eyes to see a circle of light slowly appearing. Try this again and look at the white space below (or some other white surface such as a wall, table, etc.).
color contrasts How many shades of green do you or don't you see?
the necker cube Is the blue dot at the nearest or furthest corner?
size contrasts Are these two figures the same size?
Spiraling phenomena Start at the red dot and try to follow the spiral to the center.
The Stroop Effect Say each color of ink (and not the color word) out-loud as fast as you can. Do you slow down or go faster by saying the color word or the word color?

--- Explore-at-Bristol: Optical Illusions ---

horizontal and vertical lines Do the lines shimmer? Are there diagonal or circular lines seen in the middle square after staring at either (both?) of the lined squares.

2 or 3 eyes?
A 3rd eye?
2 or 4 eyes?
2 or 4 eyes?
4 or 6 eyes?
4 or 6 eyes?
5 or 8 eyes?
5 or 8 eyes?

3rd and 4th picture source:
--- Mike's Homepage photos UK 2002 ---

With the exception of the above "3rd eye" illusion example, all the other examples are visual illusions, including the well-known illusion of the desert called a mirage. The above "3rd eye" example is not typically called an illusion, but it could be when placed in context with other "eye" examples such as I have done. Yet, what about other types of illusions related to hearing, smell, touch, and taste, as well as illusions related specifically to the brain such as when an amputee will say they can feel the amputated limb, and may even say they feel an itch in a non- existent foot or hand?

No less, could we also include day dreams, night dreams, and all of imagination a type of illusion that may or may not become "real" by way of being drawn, painted, manufactured, etc...? Imagine telling someone of the 19th century that you have heard voices and seen people on a box called a television set. While some may refer to your comments as an illusion, others might call it an hallucination or even that you are in contact with spirits, demons, or the devil.

How much of our day to day thinking is nothing more than an illusion that is collectively shared by others in our household, community, or country? No doubt many of the things we consider as real are nothing more than illusions that are similar to the ideas of gods, giants, dragons, witches, etc., once believed in by ancient peoples. Take for example the modern day concept of peace, or freedom, or love, or wisdom, or any number of other labels used to describe circumstances that have no singular definition. Are such conditions that these terms are used to (arbitrarily) describe, merely illusions that serve personal issues for a specific moment in our lives? Are such words as love, peace, friendship, truth, liberty, etc., merely generally accepted labels used to describe different perceptions of the same illusion? Then why do so many people experience some measure of the same illusion, just as many people are fooled by the same illusions as illustrated by the examples I've compiled?... And yet, not everyone is fooled or misled.

Three of the greatest illusions of humanity have involved Business, Government, and Religion:

  • Businesses are continually using deceptive, misleading, and sleight-of-hand advertising, not to mention "fine print" conditions frequently revealed in contracts, insurance, and other you-assume-all-risk ventures, despite any and all guarantees. Most forms of "insurance" such as paying for "extended" warranties are simply means by which people are conned into paying more for a product that should, by law, enable a consumer to purchase a product with a guarantee that a product being offered is of a high enough quality to even be considered a viably sellable product. The business community has finagled its way into dictating the terms it wants consumers and the government to comply with in stead of the other way around. If a company is making such a poor product that an extended warranty is offered as "insurance," then it shouldn't be permitted to be sold. What is advertised, how it is sold, and what is actually the case, amounts to an illusion. Needless to say, business is in the business of what can be sold to the public in order to reap a monetary reward. The business community does not want the public to have any say so as to how much an item should cost, or elsewise it wouldn't be able to charge over 300% to finance the frequently encountered exorbitant salaries and wages of employees who continue to ask for more and more and more.

  • Governments such as Democracy sell the public on the idea that it is a government Of, By and For the people, yet the people themselves are not permitted to exercise any proactive ruling control over the government because votes are marginalized by way of an Electoral College, and so-called "Representative" voices via Legislators. A Congressionally mandated county, state, or country-wide Referendum provision for any and all issues should be a right ensured by being included in a Bill-Of-Rights, without the need for idiotic hoop-jumping signature collection processes meant as diversionary and stalling tactics so that Legislators can retain the first, last, and only ruling opinion. Ideas being promoted an sold to school children about a "peoples government" is an illusion. "Of, By and For the people" is meant to delude the people into thinking it is in control, yet "The People" means a select group of people in business and government, and not "All The People" as in everyone that can vote. Not a single, solitary law should be passed until it is voted on by "All" the people. The reason this is such a time-consuming cumbersome prospect at present, is because society does not practice a streamlined voting process that does not marginalize public voting.

  • The entire voting process needs to be revamped so that "The People" can truly be in charge of their government. Public attitude and appreciation of what each person's vote can actually mean needs to change in light of a more fully cognizant democratic practice. Democracy as it is now practiced throughout the world is intended to keep most of the public in a state of drunken stupidity through ever-increasing multiple forms of dependency that far too many people are forced to accept because it is becoming an expected standard of living that we must comply with or suffer because of if we arrogantly and obstinately believe the "system" is set up to reward the most industrious, honest, helpful, kind, considerate, thoughtful, humble and responsible citizens. Governments sell the wares of their perspective by enforcing the collection of monies called taxes.

  • Religion is a philosophy frequently adopted by those exploring the concept of God. Unfortunately, far too many people confuse religion with God. They are distinctly different, but sold to the public as being one and the same. It is a distinction that most people have difficulty in making. However, elaborating on the means to make the distinction involves the pursuit of a perspective that is best kept for another web page I have completed but have not formally posted on the internet. So many people have given so much to this or that religion with the expectation of receiving a favorable nod from a religion-defined God after they succumb [physically and/or mentally] to illness, injury, or internment. ("Internment" can alternatively be interpreted as the grave, a prison cell, or an extremely constricting social environment.) It is not unlike the "nod" some businesses expect to receive from government officials after they have received funding for their political campaigns. Like a thin line between genius and madness, or so some say, that we find a thin line between what is irrational, plainly stupid, and insanely delusional when it comes to religion, if not business and government.

  • Suffice it to say that religion is replete with numerous instances of illusion, "stretched truth," "believer nonsense indulgences," manipulation of the ignorant and innocent, misguidance of those experiencing guilt for actual or falsely interpreted wrong doing, etc... all of which involve the exploitation of the public for the sole underlying purpose of collecting funds called tithing. While many would disagree, it is only because they have a means to secure basic necessities and can argue against any monetary incentive. But if they are without funds, you will quickly see the means by which they attempt to convince others that they need to pay funds. Show me a religion that is doing fiscally well and I will show you a religion that has incorporated a manipulative social atmosphere that makes it one's "duty" to provide a certain percentage of their income to support those who wish to be supported for none other than espousing a purely fanciful belief.

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    Herb O. Buckland