There’s a news item today claiming that in some study “volunteers who held a toy gun and glimpsed fleeting images of people holding an object were biased toward thinking the object was a gun.
“It’s another indication that the brain shapes what we perceive in the world beyond the information that comes in through our eyes, said James Brockmole of the University of Notre Dame, who did the work with psychologist Jessica Witt at Purdue University.”
(The link is given in my News summary for this March.)
The thought reminds me of a hypothesis of mine I’ve held for decades without yet seeing how to test it:
As an undergraduate I met a fellow from the Texas / Mexico border who carried a switchblade, claims to have killed people with it, seems to have gotten in knife fights quite regularly: in Texas, in NYC … Fine, believe him, or don’t.
But then I noticed other classmates, football players, for example, forever getting into fist fights. And then I noticed reports of guys pulling guns on people and finding buttets swiftly coming back at them, before they get a chance to fire their own! Guys who pull guns get shot at!
I don’t doubt that there are guys who walk into a place with no knife, no gun, no bulging muscles, no chip on their shoulder who nevertheless find themselves, pummeled, stabbed, shot … But: there seems to be a principle of weapon-gravity, a principle of mutual attraction. Soldiers with swords find themselves fighting soldiers with swords: even though soldiers with swords may also rape the lone girl, kill the unarmed peasant …
(Newton’s gravity doesn’t say that apples fall toward the earth, everyone knows that; Newton posited that the earth also rises toward the apple! All matter is attracted to all matter!
Now that‘s deep!)
Feedback anyone? Are there stats?
PS My Tex-Mex friend says that he was always defending himself, the Mexican, the Puerto Rican, always drew first. Larry assigned himself the white hat. This guy was a Jew, mind you! The Jew in the white hat, exterminating the wetbacks.
(Larry also made it clear as clear that he provoked them to draw on him. Draw second, cut first, leave them bleeding.)
Those few who’ve known me for long will recognize this story as the source of one of my earliest short stories, In the Park, now yet digitized or mounted online, therefore not one of my censored reports. Every damn one of you should also instantly recognize it as the source for the novel and movie series, Death Wish. I wrote the story in 1969 or 1970. I changed my Jewish Texan to a black guy from Westchester. I mailed it around to Playboy, Esquire … What was to stop one of those readers from quitting his job at Playboy and running home to change my black guy to a white guy with a gun?
You know, plagiarism is so common it’s invisible. I bethalf the plagiarists have no idea they’re stealing: or, if they do, have a zillion excuses why it’s not only not wrong for them to steal, but right! Their family needs a bigger house, the car needs service … Anyway, if you’ve bankrupted youself writing stories and paying for postage to give your ideas to the pirates, you certainly don’t have the cash to hire a lawyer to prove anything.