During the first part of the lesson, we were asked to draw a world map on a blank sheet of paper. There were a range of interesting maps drawn; some were very detailed, some were very simple and only had labels of the continents, and occasionally there were one or two drawings of the world as a planet in proportion to the moon and the sun. However, we could all agree that most of our maps looked like this:
We could’ve all drawn different maps such as Hong Kong placed at the center, however we all had the perspective that Europe was at the center of the world map. This is because this map is widely known and commonly used in world map books etc, and it is what we were taught, therefore we used our common sense and perceived it as the truth.
However is this really what our world looks like? Is this the truth?
There are other theories presented of how the map should look like in reality such as the Hobo-Dryer Equal Area Projection that looks like this:
When this map was first shown to the class, my instant reaction was Oh this map is wrong. It’s upside down. This really showed how once you perceive something as the truth, you stick with it and deny other possibilities.
Finally, we raised other aspects to consider such as the problem of converting a 3D sphere accurately into a 2D map.
During the second part of our lesson, we watched a video “Invisible Gorilla” to test our selective attention. This was very interesting for me as I hadn’t seen the video before and I had no clue what it was about. Therefore when I watched the video, I followed the instructions and tried really hard to count how many times the white shirt people passed the basketball. I was able to correctly count the number of times they passed the basketball so I was very self-satisfied, however when Mr. Stevens said “so did you see the gorilla?”, I thought to myself ….Gorilla…? There was no gorilla…
However we replayed the video, and there was indeed a gorilla that walked from one side of the screen to the other :’)
I was completely speechless and it made me realize that it is really easy to miss details when you’re not looking out for them.
“Although people do still try to rationalize why they missed the gorilla, it’s hard to explain such a failure of awarenesses without confronting the possibility that we are aware of far less of our world than we think,” Simons told LiveScience.