The Prompter Room

For Tuesday, May 30, 2017:


Part of what restricts us seeing things is that we have an expectation about what we will see, and we are actually perceptually restricted by that expectation.  In a sense, expectation is the lost cousin of attention: both serve to reduce what we need to process of the world ‘out there.’  Attention is the more charismatic member, packaged and sold more effectively, but expectation is also a crucial part of what we see.  Together they allow us to be functional, reducing the sensory chaos of the world into unbothersome and understandable units.


(This is from a fascinating article by Maria Popova at Brain Pickings.  Horowitz set herself the task of walking around the New York City block in which she and her family, including dogs, live, accompanied by eleven different pairs of eyes: those of such experts as an entomologist, a blind neighbor, someone from the Humane Society, an audiologist, her young son, even her dogs, and more.  The whole exercise is framed by her observations of her solitary walks before and after the experiment.

I’ve posted the article on my business page on Facebook, at Magic Lamp Editing Services. If you want to read more – and I recommend you do! – you can look for it there.  Or you can go to  Or click here.)