An Experiment To Allow Us To See New Colors

colorsAre we missing out on most of reality? Via OMNI Reboot, Rich Lee on transhumanist experimenters hoping to expand the color spectrum (and render all past and current art, fashion, and design obsolete):

Of the vast wavelengths that span the electromagnetic spectrum, humans can see a mere 2.3%. Rainbows? They’re just a fraction of the real picture. We’ve crafted abstract theories to understand x-rays, radio, microwaves, and gamma rays. But how much more advanced would humanity be if we could perceive the other 97.7% of reality?

A team of “Grinders,” or self-experimenting biohackers, calling themselves Science for the Masses (SFM) has started a crowdfunding campaign to raise the $4,000 necessary to procure the equipment and chemicals for the execution of their plan.

If successful…Their work will enable humans to see the near-infrared spectrum with their naked eyes. As the project overview explains, SFM hope to augment sight through “human formation of porphyropsin, the protein complex which grants infrared vision to freshwater fish.”

20 Comments on "An Experiment To Allow Us To See New Colors"

  1. Simon Valentine | Oct 7, 2013 at 11:58 am | much more advanced would [requirements for physiological entities] be if we could [and did in fact] perceive the other 97.7% of reality? sounds like a “what is ascension” version of the question.

    the beings that perceive as in question are made of … what? how is their whatness ordered? with no similar entities to be taught by or to learn from (or whatever such phenomenon), what would porphyoropsin enabled humans interact with? remote controls? infra-red display emitters – true 3D display? why stop at 3 dimensions?

    more than [3D] display technology interests, there would be communications tech interest. “sick of upgrading your computer? upgrade your human instead!” lol

  2. bobbiethejean | Oct 7, 2013 at 1:10 pm |

    “They’re just a fraction of the real picture.” Yeah, one OCTILLIONTH to be precise. Think about that….. we can only see one OCTILLIONTH of what is out there to be seen.

    • you’re a materialist, vision as it is lets us see all the material that exists, we have all the spectrum we need to see all material. Light is used as a reflection of a material, we see 100% of material reality, despite only using a small portion of the E/M reality. What is it exactly that you are trying to see then?


      • bobbiethejean | Oct 7, 2013 at 9:32 pm |

        *Facepalm* Gamma rays? X rays? Ultra violet? Infrared?

        • so you agree there are things outside material?

          • bobbiethejean | Oct 10, 2013 at 1:01 pm |

            Sure. Plenty of abstract and non-material things exist but all such things ARISE from material. For example, sound. Sound itself is immaterial but it comes from the movement and reactions of particles.

  3. Ian thompson | Oct 7, 2013 at 1:11 pm |

    Where is the link? I want to give these people my money

  4. Calypso_1 | Oct 7, 2013 at 1:17 pm |

    How do they plan to overcome the presence of self-emission source washout? The fish is cold blooded in a cold water environment around 25F.

    • Simon Valentine | Oct 7, 2013 at 1:20 pm |

      good point … it would look like a bloodhunt 🙂

      *edit* and furthermore, don’t the sexes already have infra-red detection?

      • Calypso_1 | Oct 7, 2013 at 1:23 pm |

        As DIY’s they really should be trying this with UV. Much greater chance of success.

        • Simon Valentine | Oct 7, 2013 at 1:23 pm |

          beautiful skies here we come

        • Simon Valentine | Oct 7, 2013 at 1:35 pm |

          i almost think that without some “how the hell we gonna route this into vision” e.g. remapping IR to visible, the mind would feel as if it had amplified information regarding some usual perceptions … but would looking at a woodstove make the eyes feel “on fire”? would some minds lose, perhaps gradually if not re-tested, their awareness of environment temperature or “touch sensing” of temperature … and for UV … i really haven’t come up with anything other than “well it would be re-mapped” …

        • Anarchy Pony | Oct 7, 2013 at 10:15 pm |

          Slight perception of UV rays is already a side effect of some ocular surgeries.

  5. Haystack | Oct 7, 2013 at 7:50 pm |

    Question: Would this enable you to see “new” colors, or would this just broaden our existing color palette to a larger visual spectrum? Might it be that there are a limited number of colors that it’s possible to experience, distributed evenly over the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visible to us?

    • That’s an interesting idea.

      Richard Dawkins has stated that “colors” might be an arbitrary qualia that brains use to give a hue to differentiated aspects of certain sense inputs.
      For instance, bats that “visualize” the world with sonar…might “see” different textures via the qualia of color.

      Because, of course, color itself is not an objectively real thing. It’s a “label” the brain assigns to different wavelengths of light.
      I think you might be on to something when you ask if our color spectrum would simply enlarge to encompass a wider array of light waves.
      It’s an intriguing idea.

      Or….maybe new input would trigger novel color schemes.
      The reason I think THAT may be the case involves the first, and only, time I took psilocybin mushrooms…out in the woods.

      I took about 6 grams and had a very intense experience. It was the most awe-inspiring, humbling, meaningful, and profound experience of my entire life, by far.

      And….what was fascinating was….I literally saw colors that I’d never seen before. Entirely novel colors with no association to the colors we usually know of. It’s not like I saw an odd shade of blue/red, because that is something we could see anyway.

      I literally cannot describe the colors I saw….at ALL. It can only be experienced directly. Oddly, I can still faintly see them in my mind’s eye…and I definitely remember what they were like. But, I could never reproduce them for someone else.

      Let me TRY to describe one color I saw.

      It was amazing.
      It was sort of like pink…with a soft chalky feel to it…and with very delicate overlays of lace-like silver mixed with a very robust earthy feel. Imagine Pepto-Bismal, ground up chalk, mixed with the smell of dirt after a thunderstorm, with a sheen of silver…like the shiny scales of a fish.

      That’s the best I can do….but it doesn’t really do it justice. For one, it wasn’t pink at all. That’s just the closest approximation…even though it had zero relation to pink as we know it.

      And that was just ONE of probably 100 novel colors I saw. Each was distinct….and each was utterly transfixing. I had never seen anything so beautiful in all my life.

  6. i always thought it was nonsense to try to “see” the extra wavelenghts. at least not in terms of vision. We see only a narrow band, because only a narrow band is really all that useful for what we call “vision”. Its the narrow band of frequencies where the wavelengths resonate with matter, from subatomic size, to molecular size. Beyond on both sides of the spectrum the concepts of “seeing” become blurred, much like soft tissue is blurred out of an X-ray image.

  7. Giac Di Falco | Oct 8, 2013 at 10:10 am |

    Do you know how to contact SFM please ?

  8. Adam Lilien | Oct 22, 2013 at 3:41 pm |

    I have actually invented a new kind of color set of relationships. I have discovered how to “spin” my art into higher and higher dimensional projections. As this occurs, the colors separate from their spectrum relationships and begin to relate “holographically” instead. People can see and experience that the qualities of the colors are different from anything they have seen before.

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