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posted by LaminatorX on Saturday February 28 2015, @07:51PM   Printer-friendly
from the Do-mine-eyes-deceive-me? dept.

Color scientists already have a word for it: Dressgate. Now the Washington Post reports that a puzzling thing happened on Thursday night consuming millions — perhaps tens of millions — across the planet and trending on Twitter ahead of even Jihadi John’s identification. The problem was this: Roughly three-fourths of people swore that this dress was white and gold, according to BuzzFeed polling but everyone else said it's dress was blue. Others said the dress could actually change colors. So what's going on? According to the NYT our eyes are able to assign fixed colors to objects under widely different lighting conditions. This ability is called color constancy. But the photograph doesn’t give many clues about the ambient light in the room. Is the background bright and the dress in shadow? Or is the whole room bright and all the colors are washed out? If you think the dress is in shadow, your brain may remove the blue cast and perceive the dress as being white and gold. If you think the dress is being washed out by bright light, your brain may perceive the dress as a darker blue and black.

According to Beau Lotto, the brain is doing something remarkable and that's why people are so fascinated by this dress. “It’s entertaining two realities that are mutually exclusive. It’s seeing one reality, but knowing there’s another reality. So you’re becoming an observer of yourself. You’re having tremendous insight into what it is to be human. And that’s the basis of imagination.” As usual xkcd has the final word.

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  • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Saturday February 28 2015, @11:00PM

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Saturday February 28 2015, @11:00PM (#151266)

    I have no fucking idea what you're talking about. The dress in the crappy overexposed photo is still obviously blue and black. I don't need to open it in GIMP, I can just crop out the whole background and look at a piece of the dress by itself: it's blue and black.

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  • (Score: 2, Disagree) by frojack on Sunday March 01 2015, @12:29AM

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 01 2015, @12:29AM (#151314) Journal

    Try this: []

    If both are blue and black your monitor is defective.

    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 2) by linuxrocks123 on Sunday March 01 2015, @02:07AM

      by linuxrocks123 (2557) on Sunday March 01 2015, @02:07AM (#151361) Journal

      The one on the right looks blue and gold or orange. The one on the left looks blue and black. In no case can I force myself to see the bad photo as white and gold, just a lighter blue.

      The crappiness made the black look gold and the blue look lighter, but still not white. Where are people getting "white and gold" from?

      Additionally, the vendor of the dress needs to capitalize on this by making a white and gold version. That would probably be a pretty dress, actually.

    • (Score: 2) by Yog-Yogguth on Monday March 02 2015, @03:21PM

      by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 02 2015, @03:21PM (#151901) Journal

      Have you (and others) considered why you're letting this rile you up?

      Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))