(Sent to Cecil) Vision is NOT crystal clear?

I have a question about vision.

When I was quite young, like in my teens, having a curious mind for everything except school work, I one day noticed something.

Closing my eyes does not create pitch black, even in a sealed, darkened room. The black is full of millions of microscopic grayish specks.

Seeing is not crystal clear like what it appears on an excellent photograph. Vision is broken up into billions of tiny dots.

Best example I can give is if you look at the best photograph you have ever seen, in color. It looks smooth and whole. As you draw slowly closer, you just barely start to notice that it is actually made up of millions of tiny dots. Just barely.

That’s how I see the world.

In soft light, like working at my computer at night with only one lamp on over the desk, the shadowy edges actually fuzz a bit. Probably why someone named a certain type of darkness or gloom, fuzzy. The dots, like on a TV screen, don’t seem to remain still, but seem to shimmer or vibrate slightly.

I have 20-20 vision with my glasses. Nothing has ever been reported amiss in my eye exams. I’ve never read of anyone else reporting that vision looked this way.

Has anyone else noticed this form of vision?

This becomes a bit more pronounced if I am very tired or dusk is falling. I have normal night vision, but I can notice the ‘graininess’. I never thought to ask about it until now and I figured, why not the SDMB?

If the possibility of fish farting can be analyzed in detail and why driveways are called driveways discussed, perhaps somewhere among dinosaurs mating and discussing what is in Spam someone might know of this vision thing.


Remember something. When you are looking at a picture of the mandelbrot set on your desktop, you are not looking at the mandelbrot set. you are seeing a pale imitation of the rel thing, cuz pixilation can’t convey the whole deal.

if you ponder why that’s true you’ll also see why the eye can’t record the whole picture. all you are getting when you ‘see’ something is a bunch of reflecteed electromagnetic emanations. and for all we know, there’s no guarantee that these reflections reflect reality. however, it’s pretty stupid to not accept everyday reality (unless you have really overwhelming evidence (which i’m sure Fox would like to get their hands on)).

so anyway, you see fuzziness because nothing can comprehend totality. everything is just a more detailed picture of what you’ve seen before, like the differecne between seeing pictures of moscow (assuming that you’ve never seen moscow live, which i have not). when you die, you go to moscow.


Philosophy major, right?

So, exactly what kind of insect are you?

That’s interesting! I’m myopic, and I’ve noticed that when I look at a small light source without my glasses in low light, (the red power LED on my TV set works well) I don’t see an out-of-focus red circle as optics would predict. Instead I see a whole mess of red lights overlapping each other to form a circle. Each individual light seems to be in focus.

In theory, that small red light is producing a solid red circle on my retina because my eyeball is too long, but it definitely appears pixelated to me. I thought this may be due to the individual rods and cones in my retinas but that can’t be true - vision is higher resolution than that. It may be due to some structure in the cornea or lens (are they faceted at some scale?) or an artifact of the cells connecting the rods and cones to the optic nerve - I understand these pass in front of the retina due to poor design on God’s part. (He got it right for squid though.) Maybe these are creating an interference pattern, or I’m seeing a big mess of internal reflections.

At night everybody experiences a loss in resolution because you switch from using the colour-sensitive cone cells to the monochrome rod cells in your retina. The number density of rods is smaller, and you have very few rods in your center of vision so you can actually see things a little better at night by not looking directly at them. So it’s not suprising that the world gets a little fuzzy.

Think of it as looking at your computer screen from several feet. It looks crystal clear. As you sit down, you observe that everything is not clear, but broken into fine pixels. Now divide those pixels in half and that is pretty much how I see every day things.

If you close your eyes in a dark room, aside from whatever ‘ghost’ images you might detect from the light pressure of your eyelids on the eyeball, do you see perfect blackness? I don’t.

The comparison could be taking two sheets of paper, Paint one black with India Ink. Color one thoroughly black with a good crayon. Compare the two. The India Ink one will look jet black. The crayon one will look black but seem riddled with fine light dots.

That is what I see when I close my eyes.

Am I the only person observing this phenomenon?