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Cracking the Colour Code

Ratings: 7.33/10 from 6 users.

Cracking the Colour CodeAn unprecedented global journey to explore the frontiers of how we view color, make color and use the power of color to communicate meaning. Color is a fundamental part of our world. Landscapes, animals, fashion, painting, movies, food – everything around us resonates with the language of color. All our waking lives – and even in our dreams – we navigate our way through a world of color. Yet, whoever we are, color has the power to stop us in our tracks – and to make us wonder.

Why is the sky blue? Why do leaves turn yellow in autumn? And why does red play so powerful a role in so many cultures? Is color real or is it just a construct of our brains?

Drawing on the latest scientific findings and technology, Cracking the Color Code is a series for people who are seeking answers to many of the questions that relate to color and who, at the same time, wish to enjoy the incredible diversity and sensation that color has to offer in our world. While color is a child of science and physics, it triggers within us a host of emotional, intuitive and intellectual responses – deeply rooted within ourselves and our culture.

The series is both food for the intellect and the senses – delivered as a carefully arranged and orchestrated feast, yet one that is playful and provocative.

Based on three years of extensive research, Cracking the Color Code draws on a range of disciplines and leading experts – including physicists, neurologists, artists, ethnologists, color consultants, historians, artisans and marketing executives – each in some way intimately concerned with the nature and power of color. Each offers insights – even new discoveries – that will challenge our understanding of color.

23 Comments / User Reviews

    Justin Lesniewski
  1. Justin Lesniewski

    color is real! to propose otherwise is for the quack realm of mystical egocentric solipsistic philosophy

  2. BlackDog Aura
  3. BlackDog Aura

    i suppose 'egocentric solipisitic philosophy' means different things for different people.. .

  4. Mathew Scannell
  5. Mathew Scannell,it's a fact colour is a perception

  6. Epicurus
  7. Epicurus

    thats not true at all. Perhaps you should watch it again.

  8. Matt Kukowski
  9. Matt Kukowski

    Color is radiation... they call em Photons. This is really just Electro-Magnetic energy that hits our eyes. Our eyes then send the signal influence to the Brain ...and finally the BRAIN interprets the result. The different colors simply represent various vibrations. One color vibrates at a lower or fast rate from one color to the next. The reason most non-color blind people agree that Green is Green is because through evolution the humans that saw and could agree that fruits and animals and skys were the same color to them simply allowed for communication and agreement when pin pointing what one human was trying to say to the other... if we all saw Green as a different image in the mind then we could not form tribes and so on...

    Google 'Feynman Seeing lecture' on for a better explanation.

  10. John Christopher McDonald
  11. John Christopher McDonald

    Wavelengths of light are real, yes.

  12. dufas_duck
  13. dufas_duck

    In Colour Case 1, at 34:10, states the real world is shades of gray and the brain creates colours due to the reflected wave length from an object..

    This coincides with Shermer's view that many words, such as 'love', 'feelings', etc, not be used. Words such as this do not describe what is actually going on, IE, chemical actions upon the synapse and neurons are what actually make up what a human believes or thinks things are.

    Morality and conscience do not exist, they are man made. Shermer wants to apply science to these environmental constructs to reform them into a scientific standard..

  14. Guest
  15. Guest

    Since the color spectrum I detect is somewhat "Out of phase", I'll refrain...
    Not color blind, something else.
    In fact, I'm a lot more sensible to tones of greens but poorly to reddish oranges.
    Which brings problems with red lights...

    They choose the wrong color!


  16. 46nTwo
  17. 46nTwo

    How can something that is "man made" "not exist"? Saying that something is man made means there is something, saying that it doesn't exist means there is nothing.

  18. His Forever
  19. His Forever

    Well, Pierre, I'm just plane old "color blind" . . . . but "my color spectrum is just out of phase" sounds much more intelligent, doesn't it? I know what you mean about the stop lights. Green is always on the bottom (I hate those sideways ones unless they have arrows). It's great fun after safely arriving with a car full of passengers and say, "So, was that your frist trip with a profoundly colorblind driver, or what?" ;-) LOL I do see colors, but as my 3 year old already knows, I don't have a clue what YOU guys see.

    Ok, funny true story time: When I took my drivers licese test some 20 something years ago, I passed the colorblind test. I was in a line of 7 people. They all said "23" when the tester flashed the big circle with the dots up--when My turn came, I said, "23?" and he said, "Next!" I decided NOT to point out the obvious flaw in the system that day laughing all the way to get my license. ;-)

  20. Guest
  21. Guest


    No! Not at all! "Out of phase" as specialised Dr. said after computorized tests with laser beams.
    I had a job interview just a while before this test.
    It was for the biggy "Akzo Nobel" as a formulator in the paint business. They heard of some "Tricks" I brought in the "Coating's techno...
    Even though I was to be hired for specific trouble shouting issues, the syndicate over there required me to be tested for color tests...
    And they seen that ability to detect colors was sort of "Weird"...
    Anyway, move on to another job...

    In the mean time, that thing was annoying me since it did happened that I had to match colors of non tintable metal paint in a once in while when the quality control assignee was laid off or absent for any reason.
    Isn't it bizarre???
    Got in contact with a University Dr. who was working on human color spectral aberration and took contract, scheduled an appointement.

    Sat on his "Testing Chair" that looked as an airplane seat (Weird one) that had all sort of laser beams some (5-10) feets behind the seat.
    Then, those laser beams shot beams of lights seleted within specific wave lenghts (Blue, Red, Green Yellow, etc)...
    And later on with intermediate wavelenghts.
    Then came the "Lenght of time" to which each color beam was tiggered so analyse the extent to which I can detect it...

    Anyhow, to make it simpler, my level of detection of green (Green/Blue) tones was abnormaly high, some 122 times the average of anyone else.
    In the case of the Reds (More concisely oranges), I was seriously lacking at some 76% of the average. Still, I see a lot of difference between a "Ferrari Red" and a brickwall dirty red.
    Alas, when I pass a red light, I get a ticket.

    The whole, meaning that I see the colors indeed but it appears that it ain't as the averate human beings.
    Which make me unfit to work in a paint company!

    A very subtle thing that would be of great help to orient youngsters in their carreers but not really available as such for the moment.
    There are many things I can in pure & applied chemistry...
    But not in paints & coating! It took me some 12 years to figure it out.

    That was it. I may watch the docu at another moment...


  22. dufas_duck
  23. dufas_duck

    So, you are saying that the 'soul' exists, that 'heaven' and 'heII' exist then...?

  24. StillRV
  25. StillRV

    Sweet! one of my pet topics. Thanks Vlatko.

  26. wald0
  27. wald0

    Could you elaborate what you mean by "exist" please? Your staement makes no sense the way it is written, as someone already pointed out. Are you saying that these are not natural constructs, I disagree completely. They are adaptations to living in more complex, larger social groups that utilize specialization. Man naturally evolved to have a sense of morality and a conciouse because they are beneficial when living in groups where you may depend on others for certain needs. If an individual does not possess either of these we diagnose his mental condition as sociopathic and generally lock him away so he doesn't end up killing people, or worse. No matter where you go, no matter how remote or primitive the tribe, they understand the concept of morality and have the capacity to feel badly when they have done what they percieve to be "wrong". If they didn't there group would not function long, and each person wold have to supply all his own needs. This isn't an efficient way to live on this planet, not for our species. Humans need other humans. "No man is an island, no man a sea, and this vulgar display of indifference is all but killing me." Peter Gabriel...

  28. wald0
  29. wald0

    Just because something isn't tangible doesn't mean it doesn't exist. That said, you can hardly compare our sense of morality, which is a universal experience amongst the vast majority of humans generally, with the soul or hell. These are external things that we have no way of experiencing first hand, nothing like guilt or questions of morality. They are concepts laid out in a reigious text, not concepts we naturally developed whether exposed to religion or not. Surely you see the difference, it is fairly apparent. Sure we adopt religion into our sense of morality, but it doesn't create it. Morality is not some set of rules or laws laid down by a religious text or diety, it is that built in ability to judge what is right or wrong for you by imagining yourself in a senario and seeing how it makes you feel before you actually commit the act. To do such a thing one must have a sense of self, be able to imagine different senarios, and through empathy actually feel the emotions that said senario will create in them selves and those involved. Now sense of self, imagination of future events, empathy- these are all modern mechanism within the human brain that evolved naturally over time to yield the modern human mind. So, I would strongly disagree that morality and the ability to experience guilt are man made, they are definite evolutionary benefits for mankind.

  30. His Forever
  31. His Forever

    I think I was called a "pastel colorblind" meaning I see the world in pastels so the brighter the color, the more I like it, as normal colors are just muted too much. I would like to take that test and see exactly what I'm able to perceive and what I'm not. I've got nearly perfect night vision however. I was walking with a friend one night and said, "Oh, look at that lovely owl in the tree about 100 yards up that way. She had to be 10 feet away and have it fly away before she could see it." LOL.

  32. dufas_duck
  33. dufas_duck

    In the past, I normally would have agreed with you...but, Micheal Shermer has scientifically proven that all these esoteric descriptions like love, morality, ethics, empathy, etc, are nothing more than chemical reactions occurring in one's brain. Each can be manipulated with a pill or an injection of one thing or another. One must not argue with science, should one, lest one becomes a denier. Science is King of all things...

  34. CherryBombpop
  35. CherryBombpop

    As a lover of Art History and Anthropology, this was a fun and interesting watch, thanks Vlatko!
    It's clear to me that light waves exist, and pigments exist (at least as much as anything else in the universe does), but that our eyes and brains are unique and process these things in a way that is unique to human beings. Even amongst humans, we can perceive colors radically differently depending on culture. I don't mean psychologically either, I mean that some cultures can see more clearly the differences in subtle shades of green than others, for instance. Anyway, yay for Vlatko and yay for color!

  36. drew drewslastname
  37. drew drewslastname

    thats fine i found it somewhere else

  38. dufas_duck
  39. dufas_duck

    Everything is in your mind, there is no love, hate, or anything that one thinks... Most everything is perception until a dropped rock hits you or you fall...

    Scientists already have proven that the world is shades of gray, it is only the reflections and absorption of light that hits one's eye that depicts color.

    Shermer doesn't tell his spouse that he loves him/her...he just states that his spouse activates his neurons....

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