White Fang Didn’t Make It

I found some sort of a canine jaw bone. Somebody had obviously dug a shallow grave for the leftovers. The dog eating culture gives a new meaning to the expression “doggie bag”. Hehe. A literal doggie bag.

Apparently the remaining dogs had excavated it at some point. Weird. Haven’t seen too many dog skulls or jaw bones. Looks different from what I expected. It’s a lot sturdier.

After spending an embarrassingly long time thinking it was a jaw bone and that dogs have weird jaws like that, I figured that it’s probably more likely that it’s a skull. The top part, that is. So I turned it around and suddenly it made a lot more sense! (My brother’s wife, a vet, must think I am an utter idiot)

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A better angle…

The sad part is not that I was initially wrong but that I assumed I was right and didn’t try to prove myself wrong. I looked at it and all I saw was a jaw bone. Interpretation is always a necessary part of perceiving. Some say that interpretation precedes perception, i.e. there is no pure perception but everything that we perceive is always interpreted. Thus we see things as something, an emergent being rather than parts or the mere sum of them. In psychological terms it means that heuristic algorithms interpret and categorise our perceptions before they enter conscious processing. Of course the Rabbit-duck illusion is a typical example of this: you can either see a duck or a rabbit but never both at the same time. Focusing on some detail you can also see neither. There are many humorous, or somewhat sad, stories of people who struggle with visual object recognition due some sort problem with their brains. Oliver Sacks’ book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales has good examples of visual agnosia and other “oddities”.

I’m not saying that I would be suffering from such a condition but rather that it was sad that I jumped to a conclusion about the identity of the object and being seemingly impervious to any evidence which suggests that it was not what I thought it to be. Also a weird phenomenon.

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Naturally the skull was the coolest toy ever.

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