Shifts and Flips

Depressive thoughts have receded for a bit, even after some bad news from university that have been floating around in my head.  Instead I have been relaxed, I have been reading a lot and feeling excited and contemplative about things only nerds would understand.

The change was kind of sudden, and it was not my decision.  I did not sit and stare at an orange for hours using the power of my mind to get “happy thoughts”.  Something especially good did not happen, neither did something especially bad.  This drives me crazy, as if I had something to do with it, I would like to know what it is so I could gain some sense of control.  Instead I’ll just enjoy this “up” while it lasts, and nobody knows when the whole thing will flip and send me back to a black hole.  That’s depression for you.

I have been thinking about these unintentional shifts.  In an attempt to explain it better (there’s a risk that you might get even more confused as to what my point really is, but I had to try), I want you to look at this figure :


It’s a Necker cube. It’s a 2D set of pixels in the screen that human brains seem to like to interpret as a transparent 3D figure.  Where is the front and where is the back of the cube? It’s not implicit in the image but I bet your brain has an idea.

Stare at it for a while though, and you might see the image flip and face in a different direction.  Keep staring and it’ll flip back.

Both interpretations are correct as this is an ambiguous drawing.  After all, the cube is not real, it’s only your perception.  I will make the walls solid in both versions to make it clearer.


My brain tends to like the first version and it requires certain effort to see the second possibility.

Some figures are even harder to flip in your desired direction.  I bet you have seen this one as it got popular in facebook and other sites as a personality test, it claimed to tell you whether you were predominantly right brained or left brained and all that yada yada.  It’s “the spinning dancer”.  Behold!

I  stare at it and I can’t flip it.  Can you? I see the girl spinning clockwise.  When I try to make her spin counterclockwise, I can’t.   But when I get distracted then, hey! She’s spinning counterclockwise although she tends to go back to clockwise really fast.  No wait, she just shifted again!


It’s the same image, it’s the same life.

Everything else is “just a perception”.

But not because of this it’s any less problematic.  Hell, it’s actually MORE problematic because of it.


Cool links on perspective stuff, visual stuff and all that.

The bear went over to the mountain.

This woman flips between being 30 years old and 70 years old.


4 thoughts on “Shifts and Flips

  1. i agree, perspective makes things a lot more complicated. which is more right? which is less right? if there’s no right or wrong, why people choose a certain perspective and does not accept the other? why do people think their perspective is more valid than others?

    life would be much easier if it were black and white. but probably more boring too.

  2. Goes back to that basic psychological principle it’s not what happens in our life that shapes us but how we interepret it, and how we interpret depends on our perspective. Perspective is something often lacking in depression. Well it is with me. interesting post, hope the better mood lasts.
    Lareve x

  3. Yes, I tend to get epiphanies that are really just common knowledge. But I still like the fact that my brain produced them because there’s a lot of added information – as opposed to just reading about it.

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