“Black is not a color” and other newspeak

People of science, who cannot be unconditionally trusted, want us to believe that there are at least two kinds of color; one for things like flashlights and stars and one for things like flowers and walls and potato chips. Aside from being implicitly colonialist, this claim is empirically absurd. The supposed “two kinds of color” are actually identical. This can be verified by first sitting down and then looking at them.

However, what is even more ridiculous is the claim that when a flower is black, it means that it has a bunch of colors, but when space is black it means that it has no colors. Can you smell ‘double standard‘? First of all, space is just kind of dubious in general, and it’s not respectable to invoke a suspect object to support a controversial thesis. But assuming it exists, how can it not have a color? If space didn’t have a color, then no one could very well see it. But we can see it; for God’s sake, we can even point to it! You can’t point to something that has no color. Try it some time (without begging the question and pointing to space).


Possible Objection #1:

According to transatlantic physicist Travis Loncar (who is in my view an impostor), “a window has no color, but its color is instead defined by the color of the objects that we see through it. I can point at my window, can’t you?”

My response is that my window does have a color, but it also has close to minimal opacity. No contradiction here. Consider so-called “tinted windows” as proof that something can have a color and also be see-through.

Also, I doubt very much that the window’s color is the same as the flower’s color. C.S. Lewis eloquently disproved this in his path-breaking essay on optics, “Dioptrique,” where he wrote:

“You cannot go on ‘seeing through’ things forever. The whole point of seeing through something is to see something through it. It is good that a window should be transparent, because the street or the garden beyond is opaque. How if you saw through the garden too? It is no use trying to ‘see through’ first principles. If you see through everything, then everything is transparent. But a wholly transparent world is an invisible world. To ‘see through’ all things is the same as not to see.”
-C.S. Lewis

Advertisements

One thought on ““Black is not a color” and other newspeak

  1. “when a flower is black, it means that it has a bunch of colors, but when space is black it means that it has no colors.”

    Actually, it doesn’t have a “bunch of colors”. It has no colors (reflected), so our eyes don’t pick up any light and we interpret that as the ‘color’ black. Same as the sky, no light hits our eye from those areas, so they are black.

    “My response is that my window does have a color, but it also has close to minimal opacity. No contradiction here.”

    But then _what_ is the ‘color’ of the window with no opacity? How do you measure it? Again, this goes back to the definition of what color is and how we perceive it –which you do not understand.

Type your comment(s) into the computer screen

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s