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Lyril
2010-Jan-15, 06:05 AM
which I'm positive I read on this forum but I can't find it. The human brain's tendency to create meaning from random shapes etc - cloud or fire pictures, pyramids on Mars, alien bases on the Moon, constellations, rocket exhausts on Iapetus anything you like on Hyperion and so on. I thought the word was parelegia but that describes a mental illness. It is really annoying me.

And does this lost word also apply when this ability does reveal something that does (or did) exist? For instance - aerial photography when shadows are long can find things like eroded meteorite craters or ancient settlements. Google Earth has been used like this too. The same facility of our brain is being used to intepret those photographs. Is the same word used here too, or is it only used to describe imaginative interpretations?

WaxRubiks
2010-Jan-15, 06:10 AM
Pareidolia

Jens
2010-Jan-15, 06:14 AM
Maybe apophenia (from wikipedia).

Lyril
2010-Jan-15, 06:38 AM
Thank you, it was pareidolia. I was getting close but still too far away. I haven't seen apophenia before. A good one to drop into a casual conversation?

astromark
2010-Jan-15, 06:44 AM
Aaaagh !:eek: the words are coming.....
Mark runs and hides behind fridge. :doh:
Remembering that words are friends... can not tolerate those number thingies....:eh:

swampyankee
2010-Jan-15, 01:16 PM
Thank you, it was pareidolia. I was getting close but still too far away. I haven't seen apophenia before. A good one to drop into a casual conversation?

Is there a word for dropping words like pareidolia or apophenia into a casual conversation? Other than, of course, pretentious.

samkent
2010-Jan-15, 01:59 PM
Is there a word for dropping words like pareidolia or apophenia into a casual conversation?

It's called confusing the masses. How many of us knew of this word before coming here? I didn't. I knew what was going on but not the word for it.

Tog
2010-Jan-15, 02:08 PM
Is there a word for dropping words like pareidolia or apophenia into a casual conversation? Other than, of course, pretentious.
Obfuscationistic?

Buttercup
2010-Jan-15, 02:42 PM
Anthropomorphism?

rommel543
2010-Jan-15, 02:47 PM
Anthropomorphism is giving animals or inanimate objects human qualities or abilities. (i.e. cat people or coffee mugs that talk)

Fazor
2010-Jan-15, 03:03 PM
How many of us knew of this word before coming here? I didn't. I knew what was going on but not the word for it.
Exactly. I knew the phenomenon, we had even discussed it in two separate psych classes, but I don't believe I had ever heard the term 'pareidolia'.

In fact, I looked it up on Google a few years back and three or four of the top entries came from either BAUT or Phil's blog. But I searched it again today and it looks like that's changed a bit. Phil's website returns two hits, but I didn't see any BAUT pages in there. Maybe if we say 'pareidolia' in threads about 'pareidolia' we'll show up more on Google searches of 'pareidolia'.

PAREIDOLIA!

:whistle:

AndreasJ
2010-Jan-15, 05:07 PM
Obfuscationistic?

Obfuscatory :p

slang
2010-Jan-15, 06:14 PM
Is there a word for dropping words like pareidolia or apophenia into a casual conversation? Other than, of course, pretentious.

Bachelorizing?

HenrikOlsen
2010-Jan-15, 06:32 PM
Sesquipedalitation?

DonM435
2010-Jan-15, 07:02 PM
Gestalt?

Sam5
2010-Jan-15, 07:22 PM
I finally started a Word document titled “Dictionary Odd Words”, which is a growing list of odd or rare words that I have trouble remembering or spelling. Here are some of them:

Mercurochrome

crenelations:
This was an ancient map symbol indicating that the map maker did not know what the boundary or shoreline looked like and he was just guessing. The word comes from the crenelations at the tops of castle walls. See the very bottom of this map:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/70/Piri_reis_world_map_01.jpg
And, as a matter of fact, here are some interesting castle-related words:
http://www.inlandregion.org/sca/misc/castle_parts.php

panspermia - a theory of biogenetics that states that the universe is full of spores that germinate when they find a favorable environment

It’s very difficult for me to remember this term, and a recording of it is not common on the internet:
El DegŁello – the bugal call used at the Alamo by Santa Anna
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VE1ydDg8uQ4

guerrilla (male or all)

This next one is rare and is sometimes used to indicate a female guerrilla or revolutionary. I first heard it used by a lady talking about female revolutionaries when I was in Nicaragua in 1979:

guerrilheira (female)

Latin terms:

Dico eum = I say that..... (This was used in old Latin science books about theories. It basically means “my opinion is....”)

ceterum censeo = for the rest, or in conclusion

Terra Incognita - text on a map of unknown and unexplored land

Jeff Root
2010-Jan-16, 02:12 AM
Hapax legomenon!

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

JohnD
2010-Jan-17, 12:03 PM
Pareidolia is also a psychopathology - see Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareidolia which can be entertaining or annoying. It can be fun to see shapes in the clouds, but not if someone then interprets them as foretelling the future or evidence of extraterrestrials .

The OP compared this to the use of glancing light shadows to learn more about surface objects on other planets, or to discovering unknown archeological sites. Both use a function of the human mind that recognises shapes from very little visual data, the latter augmenting the data. I presume that other apes and animlas can do this too, as it would be an advantage to recognise a predator or prey that was nearly hidden.
Camoflage techniques are largely based on disrupting the normal pattern, to prevent this function succeeding.

John

Fazor
2010-Jan-18, 07:35 PM
Camoflage techniques are largely based on disrupting the normal pattern, to prevent this function succeeding.

Or in the reverse, to give the illusion of an object that's not there . . . such as the large white "eyes" on an Orca.

Halcyon Dayz
2010-Jan-18, 09:24 PM
Or in the reverse, to give the illusion of an object that's not there . . . such as the large white "eyes" on an Orca.

That's not camouflage, but mimicry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mimicry).

Fazor
2010-Jan-18, 09:29 PM
That's not camouflage, but mimicry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mimicry).

I didn't mean camouflage, but rather a clever use of pareidolia as a defense mechanism (rather than camouflage, which aims to disrupt pareidolia).

Another example would be a group of small fish swimming together, with the aim of looking like a larger fish. Potential predators, who are also programmed to quickly spot danger, see the large shape and can mistake it for a predator itself and may leave it alone.