On Friday, July 13, 2012 1:23:00 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote:
>
>  
> An interesting example.  The reason you can add colors out of sequence is 
> that the spectrum is a continuum; so between any two colors is another, 
> different color.  This actually happened in the case of "orange".  In the 
> time of Chaucer there was no word for "orange", it was just "the color 
> between red and yellow".  The name for the color came from the fruit when 
> it was later imported from the orient.  Consequently all the european 
> languages have almost the same word for this color.
>

The spectrum is a different kind of continuum qualitatively than it is 
quantitatively. It really isn't accurate to even call the quantitative 
continuum a spectrum at all, since the continuum itself is a smooth 
progression of frequency-wavelength, having no spectral-like categorical 
distinctions itself. Consider though, that the case of orange being the 
combination of red+yellow is completely different from the case of either 
yellow or green being any combination of blue and red. This is a big deal. 
This is the difference between qualia and quanta. In a smooth continuum of 
e-m wavelengths, it would not be possible for yellow to be anything but a 
midway tone between red and blue. That is not how it is though. Yellow or 
green can each be considered primary colors (depending on whether the light 
is reflected or projected) so that there is no way to get to either of them 
from only red and blue.

>From here we can also see that really any color makes no sense as a purely 
quantitative variable. There is no quantitative purpose for having a 
separate quality of 'purple' or 'orange' to adorn the combination of 
blue/red or red/yellow. The principle that yokes together these primary 
hues into secondary visual hues is almost as unexplainable mechanistically. 

The combination of all hues being either white or black (depending again on 
direct-projected or indirect-reflected modes) illustrates how qualia 
collapses into simpler forms, rather than simple forms building into more 
complex qualia. You can't make color from black and white, but you can make 
black and white from color, and when you do, it makes perfect sense 
aesthetically.

Craig

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