On superficial optics.

Most predatory creatures are triggered by motion. Which is why holding very still is an effective survival strategy for most prey. Humans, perhaps because they have color more useful than merely distinguishing between light and dark, hardly register motion at all. So, they do not register change. Perhaps that is why “appearances are deceiving.” Things are not the same from one second to the next, but because the change is not perceived, people conclude they have been deceived.

I once watched a “speed reader” read a book. It was obvious from the rate at which he turned the pages, that he was not reading so much as snapping images of the pages, not unlike a scanning machine does or a computer converting a page of text into an image or picture. It makes sense that the machines we build mimic the functions with which we are familiar. It also makes sense that people lacking in self-awareness have no idea about the functions being mimicked. They learn to follow steps towards predictable desired results and that satisfies them.

One more disconnected observation. I had a very stupid person for a mother. As a result, I had to do a lot of explaining and, in consequence of that, I learned a lot. And I think that is one of the advantages most children of immigrants benefit from —having to explain the strange environment to their parents. However, my mother, in addition to being stupid, was a narcissist and a mimic. The latter is what created the impression in those with whom she interacted briefly that she was just as intelligent as they.

Something that puzzled me for a long time was my mother’s disdain for her own mother on account of her mother choosing friends of a “lower social status.” My mother prided herself, in contrast, with always choosing to have friends whose social status or intellectual achievements were higher than her own. Except, in the long run, she had no friends at all. She relocated herself every two years and then it was “out of sight, out of mind. I blame the spouse’s sense of family for always reconnecting. Eventually, of course, we got to the point where leaving her to her own devices would have been detrimental to others and knowing that made it imperative that she be contained.