Color Gamut, Non Existance, Business Hours

Monday, December 19 2005

I’ve always felt like I had a good understanding of how the human eye, monitors, and printers, each have their own gamut of colors that they can see or reproduce. This article does a pretty good job with just the diagrams alone – the big rainbow blob is what your eyes can see (generally speaking) and the shapes within the blob are what that monitor or printer are capable of reproducing.

Regarding the gamut of the human eye, I’ve always know it to vary wildly from person to person. I think for the most part, we all see a lot of colors in the same way, but it’s always been obvious that with some colors, everyone seems them slightly differently. I have nothing to back it up except my own personal experience, but I get the idea that people see greens differently. I’ve known people in my life who were just stoked on certain combos of yellow that I thought were hideous, and I know that I personally am quite fond of Cadmium Yellow (while I know others aren’t).

And then there’s the age old question of how any one can figure this kind of stuff out. How is it that my red is similar or the same as your red, and that my red isn’t bright green? It’s all in the cones. The cones of the eyes respond with similar electrical responses for similar colors, and in fact contain pigments that help respond to specific colors as the pigments absorb specific wavelengths of visible light. So red will always respond with a “red” sort of charge, as will green, blue, etc. How the human brain decodes that and how the owner of said brain perceives the color is probably difficult to figure out.

It’s this kind pondering that would keep me quite for hours as a kid.

There was also the challenge of trying to think of nothing at all. Trying to comprehend nothing. Not universe, no planets, nothing. I think at around the age of 5 all I could think of was a desolate planet without even dinosaurs, but as my thoughts matured, I began to realize that if I could fully comprehend what nothing meant, I’d probably cease to exist along with everything else. Like the time traveler who sees a past version of himself fast to face, and the universe explodes.

Last night I woke up with a new one to work on. I read somewhere that “globally, every hour is a business hour.” I wasn’t gonna let them slip that past me, so I’ve been thinking about it. Taken figuratively it makes perfect sense. Everyone is conducting business everywhere, by phone, internet, in person, all the time. But taken literally, is it possible that it’s not possible?

If we say that “business hours” are 9:00AM to 5:00PM, are there areas in the world where during that window of 8 hours there’s no population*? If you picture the globe and visualize the 8 hour window as a traveling slice on the surface representing that window, does it ever span empty gaps of the Pacific ocean where it’s assumed that the population is either very low or nonexistent. I don’t have an answer, but it’s compelling to think that if we’re strict about what business hours mean that there might be a time when the Earth is given some relief from the constantly busy humans crawling all over it.

  • I understand that having a population of zero is probably a pretty big contributor to a lack of business being conducted. Which doesn’t help you gain faith in how I think, I’m sure.