Saturday, October 03, 2009

Pointing And Laughing At "Persistence Of Vision"

Look, here's the deal: the concept of "persistence of vision" was discredited decades ago. People who write about it and tell me it's a very important concept are dumb. It's not even a coherent idea, which tells me these "writers" are just taking the ideas handed down to them from other people and pretending to understand them -- and then they are "teaching" those ideas as if they were true. Makes one wonder what else they are teaching.

So, in the interest of public service I'm going to start calling people out on it. I'm going to start pointing and laughing at people who write about "persistence of vision" as if it were still a valid idea.

Just so you understand how long this has been discredited as an idea:


That paper was published in the Journal of Film and Video in 1993, and it complains that a previous paper -- published in 1978 -- hasn't put a dent in the constant renewal of this discredited notion. They point out it really has been proved wrong SINCE 1912, yet keeps returning.

So, who's "teaching" about the importance of "persistence of vision" today?

Understanding Video: A Video Primer for Photographers
by The Luminous Landscape.

"Because of something called the "persistence of vision" (the human eye hangs onto what it sees for a small while) these two fields merge in our brains. Incidentally, it's this persistence of vision that allows us to see a 24 frame per second movie as continuous motion rather than a series of flickering still images."
That's simply not true. Stop it, please. Ask yourself: why do I think this is true? Has anyone ever shown me that it's true? Or have I just heard it or read it somewhere -- and believed it? If you can't verify it, why are you teaching it? What do you mean by images "merging" in our brain? How do you know that? What evidence do you have for it? If there's none, please stop publishing it.

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