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Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 9:07 am UTC
by Kit.
Well, I did see the local abundance of 7s in some spots with general absence of them otherwise, but I didn't try to visualize the connections between these anomalous spots. Does it mean that I'm not smart enough to be synesthetic?

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 9:09 am UTC
by Annihilist
rhomboidal wrote:Hmm. I hear tickling and taste Beethoven...
This made me wonder what this comic would look like on LSD

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 9:12 am UTC
by Angelastic
japanesehamantashen wrote:
This chart isn't designed for diagnosing intermittent synethesia!


...It's not intermittent, I always associate with a color. It's just that when I look at that picture, I don't even see numbers, I just see black symbols everywhere. If I focus on one part there are some colors, but the numbers are too jumbled in some places. If they were more spaced out, it might work better....

Same. Though unless someone happened to associate colours they could not distinguish with the numbers used for the big numbers (in which case how would they know they were different colours anyway?) this wouldn't detect colourblindness. So I'm pretty sure that was a joke. :)

Klear wrote:
kazooki117 wrote:I can remember getting scientific terms that begin with "R" and "P" mixed up because the purply blue spectrum of colors is muddled for me, meaning that I can't rely on the color of the words to distinguish between the two.


That is absurd. "P" and "R" are brown.
Okay, I'll give you the R; it's a reddish brown but brown will do. But P is obviously blue. Almost the same blue as 7.

In case anyone would like to have some idea what synaesthesia is like (at least for me) or synaesthetes want to make a record of their own associations and see text displayed with them, I wrote a little Mac app a while ago (for non-Mac users, there are some screenshots in that post that might give you an idea of what it's like) that colours letters according to your own synaesthesia (with a sample file with my own colours, for people who don't have their own) with a few options relating to dominance of the initial letter of the word, and ideas about reading coded messages/new scripts based on colours and stuff (I was able to read a personally-coloured message in a Klingon font without looking up the letters, but it wasn't easy.)

Colorblind Synaesthetes

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 10:08 am UTC
by Mental Mouse
Actually, I seem to recall reading (in Oliver Sacks?) that colorblind synaesthetes often see text auras in colors that they can't see with their "real" vision. One of them was quoted as using the phrase "Martian colors"....

Mild synaesthete here, but no projection or auras, just internal evocations. And numbers for me have shapes, not colors.

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 10:23 am UTC
by deganu
The random "2" is next to a "4"...
So we got a hint in the out of place "2" as to the answer: 42! :shock:

Also, just think like geeks: what's the answer? 42... I love XKCD!

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 10:28 am UTC
by SpiderJon
Shouldn't it be "If you can smell/hear one big number...", since it's synaesthesia?

Or have I misunderstood something?

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 10:43 am UTC
by sotanaht
YellowYeti wrote:
sotanaht wrote:Is anyone else annoyed by that single out of place 2? Why is it there?


decimal point. That would make it a single number ( with 2 digits ): 4.2

It's too low to be a decimal, and there's really no reason for it to be one. If it were interpreted as such the comic would make even less sense.

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 10:43 am UTC
by jarreboum
Hi Grapheme–color synesthets!

I'm very curious about this, I wonder whether it's an association with the grapheme itself (specific assembly of bars and points make a colour) or its meaning (how you interpret the sign make it colourfull).

Would you like to try a few things for me?

What happen when you look at a complete text written in signs you don't know? for example if you look at a text written in japanese or in hindi, would you still see it in various colours? (please take a look at their wikipedia main pages for an example, I can't post links.)

One example on wikipedia is about a person realising he can change the color of the P by adding a bar and making it an R. Do S and $ (dollar sign) have different colours?

Do upper case and lower case variation of the same letter have the same colour? 'C' and 'c' may have, but what about 'R' and 'r'? What do you experience when reading cursive handwriting? some signs have much different writing between cursive and print, like a and b.

About signs you learned later in life like the micron sign 'u' and 'µ', do they also have different colours? does the fact that it pronounces 'mu' changes its colour to that of an 'm'?

When you read 'one', are you polluted by the colour '1' or do you specifically see three distinct colours?

Do roadsigns appear in colours too?



Ok thats a lot of questions you possibly are tired of answering but I'm very interested in this. Thak you for your time anyway.

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 11:29 am UTC
by Gud
I immediately spotted the two, even before I read the text hinting there would be numbers in there. I can't, however, see the four even when I know it's supposed to be there. I think the numbers making up the two might be slightly smaller and placed slightly more tightly.

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 11:33 am UTC
by Drakon
I too could very quickly see the 4, but it took me a while to determine the second number was either a 2 or a 3 (I could only "see" the top half of the second number). I went with 2 since that makes it a cliche geek number...

Nothing outside of this test has ever suggested I am a synesthate or colorblind, though. This test suggests I am both :)

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 11:56 am UTC
by Carteeg_Struve
Hrm. I wasn't too bad at it. I saw the four just looking at it, but I thought I saw a 3 on the right (I think the curve of 6s threw me off. I thought they were the bottom of the 3.)

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 12:32 pm UTC
by gaurwraith
I saw a heart ❤

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 12:37 pm UTC
by tinosoph
I am synthetic too and what is this

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 12:43 pm UTC
by The Cat
combination_vision_test.png



Is that all y'all see? Colorful.

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 12:53 pm UTC
by Barstro
I've often wondered if people with color/number synesthesia were inherently better at math. Limited google search didn't show anything to confirm or deny, though.

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 1:04 pm UTC
by NoMouse
I can see an angel1, does that count?

I have some sort of synesthesia but as others have said, for me it's just an association, I can't see the color really. I just imagine colored numbers in my head (and there's no way I could imagine this whole image, it works rather with individual numbers). Also my number (and letter) -> color association is not nearly as strong as weekdays -> color association. It always feels so wrong when someone uses different colors for weekdays (I have also just realized that it doesn't matter whether the weekdays are written in English or in my native language).


1Or is it an eagle?

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 1:05 pm UTC
by al-aSak
Ok. I'm feeling fooled right now: Is it just me or is this a black and white image without colors? So no synesthesia then? And why on earth do I vaguely see a big "15"? The discussion here is freakin' me out.

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 1:14 pm UTC
by marsman57
I'm just trying to figure out what it means if you see a chicken (or is a dinosaur?) when you squint at the picture. Rough outline attached.
squint.jpg

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 1:18 pm UTC
by dp2
I was skeptical that everyone here claiming to have synesthesia were telling the truth and/or understood what it is. But Wikipedia says it's as many as 1 in 20 (though only 1 in 90 have the color grapheme variety, which is what this comic refers to).

NoMouse wrote:I have some sort of synesthesia but as others have said, for me it's just an association, I can't see the color really. I just imagine colored numbers in my head (and there's no way I could imagine this whole image, it works rather with individual numbers). Also my number (and letter) -> color association is not nearly as strong as weekdays -> color association. It always feels so wrong when someone uses different colors for weekdays (I have also just realized that it doesn't matter whether the weekdays are written in English or in my native language).

See, I do that to a degree also, but that's not synesthesia. Our senses aren't activated by the stimulus, it's just a mental association.

I like to imagine that the mental association comes from a forgotten poster in my preschool classroom or colored alphabet blocks I played with as a baby.

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 1:23 pm UTC
by Dr. Diaphanous
EvanED wrote:
Oflick wrote:
Marios101Cool wrote:Well, I just see a circle filled with small numbers, so I guess I'm not special.


I just see a circle composed of numbers.

I see a bunch of small numbers whose convex hull approximates a circle. :-)


I see a group of numerals arranged so as to resemble a disk.

A number is an abstract entity used to describe quantity. A numeral is a symbol that represents a number.
A circle is the set of all points in a plane that are a given distance from a given point. A disk is the region in a plane bounded by a circle.

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 1:37 pm UTC
by dp2
What did the Pink Panther say when he read the xkcd forums?

Pedant. Pedant. Pedant, pedant, pedant, pedant, pedaaaaaaant.

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 1:42 pm UTC
by ctdonath
Ok, now THAT's geek funny. See numbers as colors, but if colorblind don't see all the colors. Humor only a true nerd could love. :mrgreen:

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 2:01 pm UTC
by cellocgw
You guys are all refusing to admit the truth: the first thing every one of us sees is, naturally, boobies. :oops:

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 2:03 pm UTC
by Jebobek
The distant 2 that is not quite positioned for a decimal is there to diagnose obsessive compulsive disorder by driving them insane so much that they complain on the fora and out themselves. :twisted:

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 2:17 pm UTC
by itaibn
LockeZ wrote:I don't have synesthesia but I could still immediately see the 2. Weird. I guess the combination of having different numbers than the background area and also being a different density made it obvious enough. The 4 I couldn't see until I knew it was there, I think because the numbers making it up were spaced out at the same density as the background noise.

Well, according to the comic, that means I apparently have both conditions. My doctors would disagree, but what do they know compared to XKCD?

Pretty much the same thing happened with me. I saw the 2, and was later able to make out the 4 with more difficulty. Perhaps we're an example of a newly discovered sympton: people who would be colorblind if they had synesthesia. To the laboratories, scientists!

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 2:22 pm UTC
by thirds
I saw the 2 just because of how the pattern of the digits stood out from the rest. The 4 looked like a 1, though.

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 2:26 pm UTC
by wsdenker
LockeZ wrote:I don't have synesthesia but I could still immediately see the 2.

I vaguely see the 2 as well, but I think it's just the characteristics of the number 2. 4 can be, and is, drawn with straight lines. 2 has curves, and the digits seem to both be clumped up and smaller in the curves, making them stand out against the distribution.

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 2:29 pm UTC
by gmalivuk
al-aSak wrote:Ok. I'm feeling fooled right now: Is it just me or is this a black and white image without colors? And why on earth do I vaguely see a big "15"? The discussion here is freakin' me out.
Yes, of course it's literally just black and white. The joke is about synesthesia, in which things perceptible by one sense get associated with (or actually perceived as) characteristics from another sense, or as unrelated characteristics from the same one. The specific kind referred to here is where a person sees numbers (written in black on white) as having or being associated with some particular color.

SpiderJon wrote:Shouldn't it be "If you can smell/hear one big number...", since it's synaesthesia?

Or have I misunderstood something?
You've misunderstood that it also includes a connection between letters or numerals and colors.

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 2:37 pm UTC
by pavja2
Diadem wrote:
One thing that has always shocked me about synesthesia is how common it is. I remember the subject coming up in a group of friends of mine, and in the end I felt rather left out, as I was pretty much the only one without any form of it.

Also, if you think about it, number-colour synesthesia is kind of like a real life super power, since it does actually allow you to see patterns in numbers a lot faster.


I know how you feel. My girlfriend is intensely synesthetic and I often envy her abilities. She can memorize information almost effortlessly because of color associations. Imagine every textbook you pick up being already highlighted. She is also wicked good at learning foreign languages because different grammatical constructs are different colors, so finding clauses or locating a verb is trivial once she has been exposed to the basic rules.

On the other hand, sometimes the synesthesia is more of a curse than a blessing. She is literally blinded by loud noises in certain settings.

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 2:42 pm UTC
by SpiderJon
SpiderJon wrote:Shouldn't it be "If you can smell/hear one big number...", since it's synaesthesia?

Or have I misunderstood something?


And, of course, pretty much as soon as I posted that, I realised what I'd misunderstood :-)

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 2:46 pm UTC
by San Fran Sam
EvanED wrote:
Oflick wrote:
Marios101Cool wrote:Well, I just see a circle filled with small numbers, so I guess I'm not special.


I just see a circle composed of numbers.

I see a bunch of small numbers whose convex hull approximates a circle. :-)


I see England. I see France. I see Susie's....

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 2:48 pm UTC
by WriteBrainedJR
pavja2 wrote:
Diadem wrote:
One thing that has always shocked me about synesthesia is how common it is. I remember the subject coming up in a group of friends of mine, and in the end I felt rather left out, as I was pretty much the only one without any form of it.

Also, if you think about it, number-colour synesthesia is kind of like a real life super power, since it does actually allow you to see patterns in numbers a lot faster.


I know how you feel. My girlfriend is intensely synesthetic and I often envy her abilities. She can memorize information almost effortlessly because of color associations. Imagine every textbook you pick up being already highlighted. She is also wicked good at learning foreign languages because different grammatical constructs are different colors, so finding clauses or locating a verb is trivial once she has been exposed to the basic rules.

On the other hand, sometimes the synesthesia is more of a curse than a blessing. She is literally blinded by loud noises in certain settings.

I've always wondered how much better my poetry would be if I were synesthetic. Based on your girlfriend's example, it might improve my prose, too.

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 3:10 pm UTC
by The Cat
Remove 0,1,4,8. 6 isn't random fill...

I think it's easier to see in blk n wht

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 3:19 pm UTC
by gmalivuk
San Fran Sam wrote:
EvanED wrote:
Oflick wrote:
Marios101Cool wrote:Well, I just see a circle filled with small numbers, so I guess I'm not special.


I just see a circle composed of numbers.

I see a bunch of small numbers whose convex hull approximates a circle. :-)


I see England. I see France. I see Susie's....
weilding a lance?

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 3:32 pm UTC
by Lopsidation
I saw the 42 just looking at the image (well, I thought it said 92), but I don't have synesthesia. I mean, if you told me a number or a weekday, I could associate it with a color. But if you asked me again later, Wednesday might change from blue to dark green.

I agree with the previous posters, I would love to have synesthesia. Or at least try it out.

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 3:36 pm UTC
by free-bee
I saw 96. So close, and yet so far. Is it good that I got close-ish, or bad that I missed?

Upon looking at the image again, I can see the 42.

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 3:37 pm UTC
by EraObserver
I'm colorblind, and had no idea what Synesthesia is. So naturally I didn't get the joke at first- and when I could see the "2" but could only barely make out the other number (I thought it could be a 5), I couldn't help but wonder what great new medical problem I suddenly had, and if it involved brain parasites sucking on my cranial fluids...

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 3:50 pm UTC
by O-Deka-K
Lopsidation wrote:I agree with the previous posters, I would love to have synesthesia. Or at least try it out.

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

free-bee wrote:I saw 96. So close, and yet so far. Is it good that I got close-ish, or bad that I missed?

"What do you get if you multiply six by nine?"
"Six by nine. Forty two."
"That's it. That's all there is."
"I always thought something was fundamentally wrong with the universe"

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 3:54 pm UTC
by japanesehamantashen
No one answered this person yet, so I'll give it a try. Everything here applies only to me; it may be different for someone else...

jarreboum wrote:I'm very curious about this, I wonder whether it's an association with the grapheme itself (specific assembly of bars and points make a colour) or its meaning (how you interpret the sign make it colourfull).

For me, it's mainly an association with the meaning. Hebrew letters, for the most part, have roughly the same color as their English counterparts.
jarreboum wrote:What happen when you look at a complete text written in signs you don't know? for example if you look at a text written in japanese or in hindi, would you still see it in various colours?

I don't see anything at all when I just look at a page, in any language. Everything associates with a color, but nothing actually appeares in that color in reality, at least for me. Foreign characters don't have any association for me, but as I learn the language, they gain colors for me. I don't know what would happen if I tried to learn ideograms with multiple readings like Japanese has.
jarreboum wrote:Do upper case and lower case variation of the same letter have the same colour? 'C' and 'c' may have, but what about 'R' and 'r'? What do you experience when reading cursive handwriting?

None of this changes the color for me, since it seems to be based on the meaning and not the shape for me.
jarreboum wrote:About signs you learned later in life like the micron sign 'u' and 'µ', do they also have different colours? does the fact that it pronounces 'mu' changes its colour to that of an 'm'?

Yes and yes, although that may be because I learned to see µ as more of an oddly shaped m.
jarreboum wrote:When you read 'one', are you polluted by the colour '1' or do you specifically see three distinct colours?

When I read 'one', I get the color of the letter o. Words for me are usually the color of their first letter, except when they aren't... Sometimes one part is a different color... But it usually isn't one color per letter. However, color words are polluted by their color, simply because I learned to repress the normal association which I have. 'Blue' should be yellow for me but I have to consciously avoid thinking of it as blue to see it that way.
jarreboum wrote:Do roadsigns appear in colours too?

They associate with colors just like other graphemes but nothing actually appears in that color.

Re: 1213: "Combination Vision"

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 4:11 pm UTC
by Afakaz
mrlawson wrote:*sigh*
I saw a schooner.
:-(


You dumb bastard! That's not a schooner, it's a sailboat!