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Perspective: What Is Blue?


We are all aware of the color blue, but what’s going on in our brains to make us conscious of the color blue?

So far, scientists don’t know. But let’s flash forward in hope and assume that by the year 2100 they figure it out. Awareness of the color blue is the result of a specific electro-chemical process in the cerebellum called LB2019c.

But there’s still a problem. When I see the color blue, I think of my Aunt Gwenelda, who loved the color. You, on the other hand, think of how depressed you’ve been. Yet that same LB2019c mechanism stimulated our awareness of blue.

Ah, but my consciousness of blue was sparked by LB2019c, type 222; while yours was aroused by LB2019c type 1512.

How do we line up these objective explanations with our subjective consciousness of blue? I don’t think we can. Some things just can’t be known. How many blades of grass were in Bolivia in 1919? We’ll never find out. Maybe we’re not meant to.

This is Tom McBride, and that’s my Perspective.

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