Buzzing Pareidolia Part One

Caged Bird (2014) Stephen Calhoun 7x5"

Caged Bird (2014) Stephen Calhoun 7×5″

Today, my research is centered on creating images which evoke pareidolia, and, secondarily, on the understanding of serendipity in adult experience and development.

Pareidolia is not a well-known term despite one expert’s calling it a buzzword. But, pareidolia doesn’t even attach itself to a normative definition. Nor does it attach to a definition stripped of question-begging. Yet, from the vagaries of its treatment arise estimations of why there is pareidolia.

Google: definition | pareidolia

Pareidolia (/pær??do?li?/ parr-i-DOH-lee-?) is a psychological phenomenon involving a stimulus (an image or a sound) wherein the mind perceives a familiar pattern of something where none actually exists.

perceives a familiar pattern of something Really, how much more vague and circular can you get?

Dictionary.com

the imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist, as in considering the moon to have human features This goes right into the weeds. (Weeds may suggest a familiar pattern of something–pay this no mind!)

Wikipedia

is a psychological phenomenon involving a stimulus (an image or a sound) wherein the mind perceives a familiar pattern of something where none actually exists Question begged here through the roping of psychological phenomenon in to the mix.

Rorschach ink blot

Rorschach ink blot

The Rational Wiki is droll, and, its revealing point of emphasis is highlighted.

Pareidolia is the phenomenon of recognizing patterns, shapes, and familiar objects in a vague and sometimes random stimulus. It’s the result of your brain trying to “make sense” of input that really has no sense to find in it. This is seen often in inkblot tests, where random splatters of ink suggest different images to different people (look, it’s a conspiracy: they’re all deliberately made to look like vaginas!) but also in cases of people seeing visions, ghosts, and other likenesses in what are actually just random patterns that happen to look like those things.

Read this again, and address the follow-up question.

result of your brain trying to “make sense” of input that really has no sense to find in it

Where is making sense located?

Ironically, given the source, result of your brain trying to “make sense” of input that really has no sense to find in it, locates the answer to the question in two places at once. Contradiction!

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