Sunday, February 15

#7 - color


After experiencing a series of very painful headaches, you make an appointment with your family doctor to get things checked out. Because blurred or impaired vision usually accompanies these headaches, you are soon routed to an optometrist and then to a renowned eye specialist (due to the uncommon nature of the problem).

It is indeed a problem with your eyes. The specialist recommends an operation as soon as possible, before things get any worse. This operation will correct your vision and eliminate the headaches but will regrettably leave you unable to perceive colors. From here on out, the world will appear to you like a black and white movie.

There is a strange quirk though. If you choose, the surgeon will be able to preserve a single color of the visible spectrum that your eyes will still be able to see. This color will appear to you the same way it does today, with all differently colored objects residing in grayscale. The eye specialist urges you to be specific in your choice to ensure that they will be able to pinpoint and save the correct color. Simply saying "green" would not be an acceptable choice. What shade of green? Maroon and red (for instance) are considered separate hues, so the particular shade you indicate is important.

The surgeon gives you a week to consider this, but does not want to put off the operation much longer than that. How do you respond?

10 comments:

Chris said...

This is a question I have contemplated frequently. I take a medication that has the potential side effect of color blindness, which leads me to the ophthalmologist at least every six months to make sure everything is a-okay.

I have narrowed it down to two colors: sky blue and grass green. These colors are both indicators of warmth and life to me, especially during these dreary months of winter. The debate still rages on in my head as to the superior hue. Perhaps I will have a more definitive answer later in the week.

Andrew said...

The golden color of light given off by the setting sun. This is the perfect time for photography, so this color already excites me, but to have it suddenly burst forth from a monochrome scene would be a marvel indeed.

Leslie said...

Just friggin' give me the black and white. I don't want to decide on one color. . . and God knows I couldn't come up with my decision in just one week. . . in which time I might as well just fix the eyes rather than mess with picking a single shade to enhance the rest of my days. In fact I feel that the single color would annoy the heck out of me- better just not to have it.

Although, I do respect the "golden color of light".

laura said...

One bright color might not be the best pick for me.

I'd go with a steel blue that's just slightly out of the monochrome. The color I'm thinking of would pick up Lake Erie in winter and hazy mornings/sunsets. I think it would make for very pleasant, dreamlike landscapes, the viewing of which would make for a pleasant existence.

Paul said...

When I was seven our TV broke, and my parents pulled a standby black and white out of a closet for a few months. I would watch the the black and white so intently that my imagination would fill in the colors. I would sometimes look away from the TV and be surprised to find the picture in B&W when I looked back!

With that in mind, I am going to tell the good doctor to simply make me straight B&W - I am sure my mind will compensate richly in some way.

I will, however, make sure I have a conversation with him about the potential of being given something out of the visual spectrum - I think infrared would be extremely useful. He is only advertising visual spectrum, but perhaps he has some experimental projects in the backroom that he'd love to try out on somebody. Night vision would be killer!

Stephanie said...

i think my first reaction was to actually take the option and choose a color. it'd be nice to see it. but what color?!

but then i thought, that's tricky. it'd become less special as time went on, so what's the point? it'd just become to me like the black and white would. just like when you were ten and you got Dr. Dreadful's Demented Drink lab you wanted sooo badly. it was super cool for about 2 weeks - eating cool stuff out a skull cup, but then it lost it's sparkle and obtained a spot on the shelf in the bedroom closet. dunno.

but if i did choose the option, i'm torn between a sky blue, lime green and the golden hues of light (similar to andrew).

maybe i'll decide by the end of the week.

mikeygee said...

This post has made me realize how much I take the ability to see color for granted.

At first, I thought I'd pick red-orange which is my favorite color. But then I realized that isn't exactly a common color.

I think I'd go with sky blue. There is nothing like seeing the sky on a clear day. Like everyone else, I'd also contemplate some form of green since so much is green (although slowly this is changing sadly...).

However, I would not go for the golden color of light. I think sunsets are pretty, but I'd only get one shot everyday to take advantage of a sunset. And I am too lazy to wake up to see the sun rise hahaha.

I don't think I'd pick black and white because in 5 years, I think I'd regret it and wonder 'what if I did pick a color'.

Matt said...

I'm not sure if I'd need my color to be something I would see a lot. The sunset for example, I would not count it as a disadvantage that I would only maybe see that color once a day. I think that sort of choice would help ensure I didn't get overly acclimated to the color.

I would probably say sky blue, so I could be more aware of and enjoy sunny days. Or red, since important things are often colored red. I would really have to consider straight black and white too. Seeing just a single color for so long might make me sad after a while.

As I think about this, I realize that this scenario would probably make one a much better B&W photographer.

Pietro said...

Ok I had trouble with this one because I question how the doctor will quantify where the color range begins and ends for you after the surgery. If you choose 'golden sunset', how long would the color actually be visible? The hues in a sunset are constantly changing.

At the risk of sounding like an engineer, I'd pick light between the wavelengths of 465 - 485 nm. This would be sky blue.
I would also change my career path and become a pilot or a deep sea explorer, so I could see my color more often.

I think sky blue would be good for me; blue has always had a calming effect for me.

reyn said...

Did you ever watch John Doe? He had monochromatic vision, except for some random things that led him to clues about his past.

I wanted to say blue, so I could always see the sky, but the reason I like the sky is all the different shades of blue it makes. Maybe the yellow of my car? That always makes me happy. I really like Paul's idea, though. Gimme something outside the spectrum so I can finally be a superhero!!