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are you confused? if not you should be!
(everything you know is wrong!)
let's start simple.
red is red. blue is blue. mix red and blue you get purple. basic, simple, obvious. but...
this only applies to pigments. what about pure light? mix red and blue light and what you get is
magenta (kinda like pink).
we may generally think of red, yellow and blue as being the primary colors, but this only applies to
pigments. in the world of light, the primary colors are red, green and blue. hey, you might even find
some people who would argue that the primary colors are cyan, yellow and magenta!
so, is red really red? is blue really blue? it's definitely not black and white! :-)
ok. that's basic physics. it's just absorbsion and reflection, addition and subtraction.
it's not really all that confusing. right?
now, let's take the next step. red and blue are not actually things. even though we may talk about them
as if they are things in and of themselves, they are not. colors are simply *properties* of things. they
do not exist on their own. apples may be red. grass may be green. gold may be, well, gold. you may feel
blue (whoops, jumping ahead of myself there).
next level. how do you know that when you see a red apple, your neighbor (spouse, sibling, child, friend,
dog, cat...) sees exactly the same color? have you ever been with someone who tells you that something is
green when you think it's blue? maybe it's in between, but they think it's more green and you're certain
it's more blue (or versa-visa).
i know red when i see it. you know red when you see it. we can both point to an apple and call it red.
but are we both experiencing the same thing? in fact all we have done is agree that we both call what we
experience "red". your experience of redness may not be the same as mine, but we have both agreed to call
it "red". because we have both agreed to call it the same thing, we probably both assume that our
experience of redness is identical, when in fact this may or may not be true.
let's follow this even further. we both agreed to call the apple red. but what is red? red is simply
a word that we have both agreed to use to describe our experience. so, back to the original example.
what do you get when you mix red and blue? purple? magenta? redblue? bluered? bruleed?
are you confused yet? there's more to come. be patient.
are you confused? no? be confused!
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