Misrepresenting reality (so as to better reflect reality)

💎 Misrepresenting reality (so as to better reflect reality)

Our perceptional apparatus makes mistakes-distortions—in order lead us to more precise actions: ocular deception, it turns out, is a necessary thing. Greek and Roman architects misrepresented the columns of their temples, by tilting them inward, in order to give us the impression that the columns are straight. As Vitruvius explains, the aim is to “counteract the visual reception by a change of proportions.” A distortion is meant to bring about an enhancement for your aesthetic experience. The floor of the Parthenon is curved in reality so we can see it as straight. The columns are in truth unevenly spaced, so we can see them lined up like a marching Russian division in a parade.

Should one go lodge a complaint with the Greek Ministry of tourism claiming that the columns are not vertical and that someone is taking advantage of our visual mechanisms?

Excerpt from: Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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