Subconscious observationSaturday, Apr 14, 2012 · 200 words · approx 1 mins to read
I understand that the human brain is doing a lot subconsciously on your behalf. Those circuits implement the mechanism that lets you dodge out of the way of something that happens quickly, especially in your peripheral vision, for example.
What I didn’t realise was that the brain is also capable of actively reading in those circuits. For the last year or so, while driving, I’ve noticed that I become aware of certain interesting numbers showing on the odometer without consciously reading them.
What I mean is that my focus and gaze is subconsciously drawn to the interesting number, rather than consciously reading it and finding it interesting after the fact.
Numbers like 76543, 76666, 78787, 79999 (and then 80000 of course!) and 81111. Without an interesting sequence or pattern of digits, I seem to be blissfully unaware. Of course I glance down at the instrument binnacle frequently to check speed and other information, and there’s a chance that the glance captures one of the interesting numbers, but the odometer reading is a subconscious activity in the main.