28 Mar 2006

For Michael Pollan

,

The complex human eye harvests light. It perceives seven to ten million colors through a synaptic flash: one tenth of a second from retina to brain. Homo sapiens gangs up 70 percent of its sense perceptors solely for vision, to anticipate danger and recognize reward, but also — more so — for beauty. We use a predator’s eyes to marvel at the work of Titian or the Grand Canyon bathed in the copper light of a summer sunset.

Ellen Meloy, The Anthropology of Turquoise (2002).

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