What Is Red?


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“What is Spain?” Yossarian once famously asked.

Just think about it for a second. What IS Spain? A Country? an idea? A people?

What is red? Scientists tell us that light reflected at specific wavelengths is what we perceive as color. But how do we KNOW that what I perceive as “red” is exactly the same thing that you perceive as “red?” The answer may surprise you.

So given that it is actually impossible to know that what I see as red is what you see as red, why are we surprised that we perceive other things differently? I often say this: “The people who most loudly insist that we must accept the principles of evolution are the least willing to accept its consequences.”

And why is that, because we have no way of knowing what another person’s true perception of any issue actually is. We know what makes us feel good, what makes us angry, what we pretend offends us and what makes us cry. But we have absolutely no way of knowing beyond the shadow of a doubt what somebody else feels or thinks or perceives.

Given that, can we use that understanding of perceptions to move forward in our corporate lives in a functional way? Or are we doomed to scatter and tribalize like the people at the Tower of Babel?

Given that understanding of perceptions, how am I supposed to actually choose between what I see as essentially the same option in another country from which we get 6% of our imported oil?


 

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