Light Darkness and Colors

Light Darkness and Colors

1998, Science  -   82 Comments
Ratings: 8.76/10 from 102 users.

Using Goethe's Theory of Colors (Zur Farbenlehre) as point of departure, Light Darkness and Colors takes us on a fascinating journey through the universe of colors.

In 1704, Sir Isaac Newton published Light and Refraction, his study of the interactions between sunlight and prisms.

Newton was, as a good scientist, intent on achieving objectivity, which meant studying sunlight in isolation. He thought colors were contained solely in light, and found the spectrum he was looking for.

When he reproduced this experiment, Goethe found another, hidden set of colors missed by Newton. Goethe found the hidden colors in the boundaries between light and darkness.

He felt, as an artist, that one could not talk about light without including darkness. Calling it 'the light-darkness polarity', Goethe made this new scientific discovery using artistic methods in conjunction with science.

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82 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Colin Bradley

    I was drawn to this because I'm a Photographer & enjoyed it a lot, very well explained and presented, Great Work one for the archive..!

  2. Tom Carberry

    What a great documentary. It even has great music and a fantastic hypnotic voiced narrator. I kept wondering who played the trumpet and could hold such incredible long descending notes, and thought it sounded like Miles Davis. But Palle Mikkelborg, who composed and directed an album for Davis, played the trumpet.

    Having always thought of light from the Newton perspective I learned in school, this documentary opened my eyes to other possibilities. And the way it ties light, darkness, and color into subjective human perceptions, emotions, and physical reality, makes one think about the role consciousness must play in reality. Not just human consciousness, but that surrounding and filling up everything, from amoebas to whatever we can imagine.

    What about the sun's heat, not just its light? I have always wondered why the sun, if it burns super hot like a nuclear furnace, doesn't heat up the space between the planets.

    Maybe because the heat only converts to heat when it hits something.

    I think modern physics could learn a lot from Goethe and art in general.

  3. Juraj Filkorn

    commentators voice was too blueish.

    1. Pysmythe

      He must have been just a little green as a narrator.

  4. A reply

    A truly beautiful documentary. Too bad it wasn't in HD. The soothing voice of the narrator, the beautiful landscapes, the dazzling colours, the wonderfully moody music is mesmerizing. An insightful analysis of colour; not only in scientific explanation but also through an artists perspective.

  5. geamala

    Whilst this doco raises some interesting ideas and perspectives it's prime principle that darkness is a form of light itself is completely flawed. In one section they try to demonstrate both light and darkness being reflected. If this were then case then where is the darkness being projected from? Anyone can clearly observe a source of light but yet one cannot observe a source of darkness. I otherwise enjoyed this doco.

  6. Gregory Swain

    I could barely believe my eyes! This is exactly the topic I intended to write my MA thesis on in 1987 at UWO in London, Ontario, Canada: Goethe's critique of Newtonian optics and colour theory. Long story short, the faculty of history preferred Newton while I wanted Goethe so it was never completed. Such a beautifully succinct expose of the issue! Never imagined it might make a film, but now I can't imagine why I would've thought that!

  7. Ashley Bauer

    sublime peace,,,,,magenta,,,this is a wonderful doc, so well done,as an artist it is how we see the world,,,,it was so wonderful when what i have observed my whole life explained in such a clear , sublime way,,,as if i was meeting a old lover for one last fling,,,,,oh color,,light and darkness,,,,,what a dance

    1. Pysmythe

      I love this comment.

  8. Luyang Han

    Not impressed, marked as science, but telling the complete story as if we were 3 centuries before. If we are seriously talking about human perception of color, then at least starting from spectrum response of cone cells, from physiology to psychology, step by steps, everything mentioned in the doc can be explained within different scientific fields. If only with a bit knowledge within wikipedia search, all facts presented in the doc appears rather redundant nowadays.

    It would be better marked as history, as it is a faithful representation of Goethe's original work, together with the myths at that time, which they are no longer now.

    1. Jack1952

      It could be a way to initiate people into the subject. Start at the beginning and if it piques the interest, follow it up with increased study to lead us to an advanced understanding. The beginning is always a great place to start.

  9. thinkagainagain

    Fascinating. Why do I inherently know that light is not visible until impeded? Must be a human thing.

  10. Pysmythe

    Tremendously beautiful, informative, and significant documentary, for those for whom it was made. If you have artistic inclinations, if you are prone to join, rather than to break apart, if you believe in the significance of the seer to what is seen, this is certainly one you would be likely to respond to. Whatever the case, if you screw in your best brain (the calm and open one), I feel sure it'll leave you with a very favorable impression, and plenty of food for thought.

    1. oQ

      I will watch as soon as i have 51 consecutive minutes free of responsibilities towards my guests.

    2. Pysmythe

      Tell them "Allo!" and give them both a big hug from me. :)))

      edit- And, yes, it WAS you I was thinking of for this one!

    3. docoman

      G'day from Aus too. :)

    4. dewflirt

      To your first line - yes, yes and yes. Everything said in this film seemed to be something on the tip of my tongue, or the edge of my vision. As if it should be obvious yet somehow escaped being thought about. Also left me with the frustrating feeling of still wanting a thing even though I already have it. Not that having it isn't satisfying, just that the wanting was better. Also couldn't shake the thought that this chap might have been very useful when sorting my tangled embroidery threads, all the blues that might be green, the greens that might be yellow, pinks that pretend to be red etc. They all appear to be one thing until you put them with their friends, then they look out of place. Disorder is the only order in my thread box. Maybe I should have stuck to pencil drawings ;)

    5. pwndecaf

      I can't comment on your embroidery or sketches, but I do enjoy you expressive writing style.

    6. Pysmythe

      It has never been much of a surprise to me that his color theory has always appealed more to artists than to scientists, since it's so much about synthesis and the relation of our experiences to the phenomena, rather than a staid barrel of dry, crackling facts, little dead bugs of observations and objectivity, looked down on from on high, and seemingly empty of the human element. And what on earth can be said or made of our wants? We know from our own experience that sometimes it can only be for the best that they be cast out to the winds, blown away from us, eternally unfulfilled, and that the longing is all, in the end. 'The Eternal Feminine lures to perfection.'

      (Lol. This concludes my feeble attempt to mimic the master's style...)

      Do you still have your website up, where people can go to see examples of your work?

    7. AntiTheist666

      Not feeble at all, far from it, I’m blown away if you’ll excuse the pun, very well said indeed. I can see musos loving this as well as artists.

    8. Pysmythe

      Well, thanks. :) For what I actually intended to convey in it (if I may be a little cryptic), that seemed the safest route to go...

      You know, I've been rereading the Conversations with Eckermann over the past week for the first time in 25 years, so another part of this one that was a special treat for me were the scenes of his rooms in Weimar. Late at night, when the rest of the house here is sleeping, I've been a ghost at Eckermann's side, walking those very rooms with him, hanging on every word from the great German Olympian in his last years, hands behind his back, star on his breast, speaking on every subject handed to him, usually with immense calm, and not a little humor and irony. And for an hour or two at a time, I've been a happy, unseen puppy in the Herr Geheimrat's household!* Having seen them on film like this for the first time, instead of only old photographs, will certainly serve to increase my enjoyment of the rest of this particular book; it'll make the 'wavering shapes' that much easier to see, and place in context.

      * which is just as well, the man hated dogs.

    9. AntiTheist666

      Lol, how did you know I was sleeping? Sorry
      about the delay in replying, I’ve been proper crook these last few days but I at least have some strength today. Bugs huh, lol, very safe. So many coincidences I just might start believing there is a Dog after all. Just the other night some friends and I were having a very enjoyable chat about pets and mentioned one I used to love being a Weimaraner hunting dog I had in South Africa where they breed em big! This built like a tank dog though had a lovely placid nature about him but he would frighten the bejeebers out of anyone new coming to the house. If I ever got up in the night I would see that shape in the darkness and wonder what a potential burglar might think if he saw this spectre emerge out of the shadows.

      No he didn’t like dogs or tobacco and garlic much either, oh well there’s no accounting for taste. Lol. I love a smoked dog, cooked in garlic and then covered with honey, Mmmm, yummylicious.

      On Conversations, Nietzsche called it “the best German book there is.” I hope you’re reading the Margaret Fuller translation which I enjoyed about 25 years ago also.

      From the book.

      “As to what I have done as a poet,… I take no pride in it… But that in my century I am the only person who knows the truth in the difficult science of colours – of that, I say, I am not a little proud, and here I have a consciousness of a superiority to many.”

    10. Pysmythe

      You know, if you quit the cigarettes, you'd be able to taste that hound a lot better. :) [ Unless the garlic and honey is to kill the taste of it! ]

      Just to be clear, I wasn't really waiting on a reply to my post, so much as just wondering what you were up to the last few days. The worrisome thought came to me that you might've decided to head off again for a couple of months...

      I was aware of the Nietzsche opinion, and came close to needling you with it, too, a little bit, but then decided I'd wait to see if you'd mention it. I was absolutely sure you were familiar with it, and now that you have, the thing about it for me is that I've never known specifically why Nietzsche felt that way. I do know that he ridiculed the idea of a seduced little seamstress as the Great German Tragic Idea, so that I've had to wonder if there isn't some irony in his remark. Do you know the rest of the story on it, or did he simply leave it at that?

      edit- The translation I have is the John Oxenford one. It's quite good, actually, as far as I can tell.

    11. dewflirt

      Jean Michel Jarre and his laser harp? ;)

    12. AntiTheist666

      Yes an excellent example, all glowing flames need fans of Oxygene ;)

    13. Pysmythe

      I was thinking of P.D.Q. Bach and his short-tempered clavier...

    14. dewflirt

      Hey sixes :) All well? Have to say I'm not a fan but as a kid I was very impressed by the light show, also thought Buck Rogers was cool which doesn't say much for my taste ;)

    15. AntiTheist666

      Yeah I’m good thanks, how about you? I’m not a big fan either but I really enjoyed his light/laser show on the Thames. Buck Rogers, lol, good opening and closing
      scenes with a decent song so good I can’t remember it. I’m also racking my brains for the robots catchphrase as well but keep coming up with a muppet song, lol, so much for my taste as well.

    16. dewflirt

      All happy and healthy here, glad you are too :) Think the robot (Tweeky?) said something like biddly biddly beep. Or not. You getting mixed up with mehna mehna? We have a winter solstice parade in my town called The Burning of the Clocks. People make lanterns from white paper and carry them down to the sea front then set fire to them. Very beautiful :)

    17. Philio

      I took a break and dropped by for a moment for a quick watch and read. That was a mistake. What a great doc. Way too much content for a quick anything. I’ll have to watch it again with a note pad and pause to reflect on quite a few things. It was like walking in a mined field full of insight bombs (for this curiously adjusted mind).

      The first notice was the repeated term “objective science” as an aside and the telling lack of it’s opposite, an interesting way to drive home a point.

      I've been on a hiatus from reading for the last few months and thanks to you and @Psymythe I've found a missed must read, Goethe’s Conversations
      with Eckermann. How was it missed? So much so for the hiatus!!

      Did you get your results as of yet? Hoping all is well with you.

    18. AntiTheist666

      Wasn’t it great, yeah so much good stuff in there; I made a mental note to watch it again and your reply is like magic to my ears to enjoy it again after writing this.

      Good point about opposites, I often find the fun, Devil may care attitude to science or anything quite revealing. Deviishly objective?

      On Conversations, beware of any translations that have Goethe as the author or editor, this is Eckermann’s book. I have the Margaret Fuller translation witch is reckoned to be faithful but there are some dodgy ones that are downright disgraceful butcherings, so I’ve been told and read about, all the out of copyright ones are freely available on the net including Fuller’s. Oh you’re in for a treat if you haven’t read it yet.

      Yeah @Psy my the has a way with words and often throws a subtle slant on things with his witty observations. Dog’s Lol.

      The tests were negative, thanks for asking, and all is
      pretty good and exiting at the mo, so praise be to Dogs and their Anti Dogs, Doggone love em.

      All the best, it’s always a pleasure to hear from you. Gonna watch the vid now, thanks again.

    19. Pysmythe

      "a mined field full of insight bombs."

      Man, that is so great, lol. Really one of the best descriptions of this sage I've ever read. If you didn't yet, wait until till you get into the 'Conversations'. That's all it is, from start to finish, so much so that at times it's pretty overwhelming.

    20. Pysmythe

      Are you still with us?
      Wake up! Wake up!

    21. thinkagainagain

      Photography requires an intimate knowledge of color theory. Photography is light. The problem is that I and the camera "see" light differently. My brain will fill in colors and subtle tones that just do not exist for the camera but often the camera can be manipulated to "see" these colors. I always carry a color wheel and use it often.

    22. Pysmythe

      I'm a sucker for a great photograph every time, although I could never make one of my own. I have no sense of composition for it, and not much understanding of light and color, as it applies to that. But I believe I can recognize good work when I see it, at least. Have you seen any of our oQ's stuff on her website? To me, her's always seem to have a strong story in them, somehow, something curiously implied before, in, and after them, and I think that's why I like them so much.

      Do you work in the field, or is it "just" a hobby?

    23. thinkagainagain

      I am a complete amateur and wish to remain so. I purposely use only two lenses. But god do I miss Kodachrome.

    24. oQ

      Now i want to watch it even more.
      What a desert it will be next week when i return home from Calgary.

    25. thinkagainagain

      It was mentioned that you are a photographer. You'll enjoy this.

    26. dewflirt

      Ever wonder if we see the same colours? We could both look at the same golden delicious apple but your eyes might make the green more yellow than mine, maybe then the tiny brown flecks would seem more black or a bruise more mustard than brown. Imagine how it would be to see through the eyes of van Gogh or Klimt, or even those of a child. A child's would be best, how close are their drawings to what they see? And i love the way kids like to outline things, as if they need to contain the colours or keep them separate. Do they pop against each other to strongly through fresh eyes? All of these are things I can never spoil the wanting of, because I can never have them ;)

      Don't know about the website, must have expired by now. Do they do that?

    27. Pysmythe

      Oh, I have wondered about that, yes. That whole 'solipisistic' thing (for want of a better word for it), and how trapped we may actually be in our own bodies and experiences, compared to others, and how much room for doubt about the fine details there may be about such things. In a certain sense, the nearest parallel universe to you could be as close as the next person. My best friend is color-blind, and I've wondered once or twice how subtly changed overall his reality day to day might be just because of that. If his moods are sometimes different than they might otherwise be, for example. And yet anger, sadness, happiness, and so on, all have their attendant, universal facial expressions, so I wouldn't want to stretch this too far. Brains are brains, and most of them are wired pretty similarly, I suppose. But the child's best of all, certainly, because it's so malleable, and everything is still fresh. Remember the Frost poem?

      Nature's first green is gold...

    28. dewflirt

      Her hardest hue to hold
      Something about a flower?
      But only for an hour
      Rhubarb rhubarb Eden....

      Damn! Going to have to Google ;)
      Edit for the curious - Nothing Gold Can Stay.

    29. Pysmythe

      It's a great poem... Unfortunately, I think it's always going to remind me of that greaser kid, Ponyboy, from 'The Outsiders'... which isn't really the image I prefer to have of Edenic innocence and change...

    30. dewflirt

      I was killing time in town the other day, listening to megaphone man. His question for the day - what is the meaning of life? Most people answered the same, to be happy. Aren't they missing the meaning of the question? Isn't happiness a result of a good life rather than its reason? A better question would be, what is the point of you? Anyway, a well oiled gentleman of the road took hold of the megaphone, quietly recited Yates, Cloths of Heaven, took a bow and went on his way. The small crowd applauded and the security staff continued their threats to have megaphone man arrested. Seems they missed the point, something beautiful presented itself and they didn't see it ;)

    31. Pysmythe

      That's a lovely little parable, Dewy.

    32. Jack1952

      I was once at a barbecue and a biker type spilled a large glob of mustard on his shirt. The host said he should take off his shirt and he would try and clean it for him before the mustard left a stain. He offered him another shirt, knowing the biker was completely colour blind. The shirt was a very bright pink and the biker was the butt of a lot of jokes for the rest of the night.
      He was later told the shirt was pink and he received the information graciously but answered with a few good natured insults of his own. He later confided in me that he knew that guys in his circle didn't wear pink because of the implications involved, in that circle, but he really didn't understand it. He couldn't see pink and that shirt didn't say anything specific to him. It really was a mystery to him. "I really don't know what the big deal is" was how he put it.

      I think this illustrates how we all see the world in our own unique manner. A perception of light and colour can be limited by the restrictions our bodies are born with or can soar with the freedom our bodies are blessed with.

    33. Pysmythe

      Lol, that's a great story.

    34. dewflirt

      Hi Jack :) I caught your reply this morning but didn't have time to answer. I love to see men in soft colours and floral prints, something of the wolf in sheep's clothing about it. Mr Pink Shirt had me thinking, people show something of their personality with the clothes they wear and just about all of us will make a judgement based on them. I hope his choices aren't tempered by another's taste :)

      A poem that came to mind -

      The Trouble With Geraniums, Mervyn Peake :)

    35. Imightberiding

      Nicely written recommendation. At a quick glance, most of the other comments agree with your favorable opinion. It's always nice to read a few deliberate statements as to whether a doc is worthwhile.

      Even Wald0's reluctant reccomendation encourages me to watch this presentation. Now, I trust after all the hype & anticipation I won't be sorely disappointed.

      I'll have a look based entirely on your glowing review & hold you personally responsible for my level of gratification.

    36. Pysmythe

      Did you get a chance to watch it yet?
      If so, what did you think?

    37. oQ

      I haven't yet. I want to watch it on my large tv, and since my mom doesn't speak a word of English, i will wait next week when they are gone.
      Until then our nights are occupied with playing dominoes, scrabble, visit with my daughter, go for walks and tonight the sky will be covered with meteor shower....we plan to all wrap ourself in blankets and sit on the the forecast is for clear sky.

    38. Pysmythe

      All just exactly as it should be! Hug your dear ones as much as you can, and... send me a couple of pics when you get a chance?

    39. Pysmythe

      About the doc, I really feel sure you're going to love it. I can't help thinking that its ideas will be very congenial to you.

    40. Imightberiding

      Just now checked my email & saw your response to my comment. Been distracted with several things other than my computer lately.

      I will make it a point to watch this in the coming days. Thanks for the reminder. Cheers.

    41. Imightberiding

      Haven't forgot, going to try & squeeze this film into my schedule tonight or tomorrow. Funny story Jack1952 told about the biker.

    42. Pysmythe

      Take your time. It may not even be your cup of tea, but if it turns out to be, it'd be better that you waited until the time was right. Obviously, I really loved it, but then, I'm a bit biased... This man has been one of my favorite writers since I was about 19, almost 30 years ago.

    43. Imightberiding

      Tea seems to be a popular drink. I've heard once or twice that good things come to those that wait.

      Oh, & imagine that?. . . we're almost the same age. I have you by a year junior! Ha! Ha! I know, I know, I'll always be older than you but you'll always be much more handsome & smarter. Cheers. I will have a look at it soon. Very interested. ;-)

    44. Imightberiding

      Finally took the time to watch. Very much enjoyed it. Always thought of Goethe as an artist not a scientist. New things to learn at every turn.

      Of particular interest to me was the part about the colour coming together (top & bottom) bands & forming green. This film helped to explain a rare phenomenon that I have experienced on occasion while sailing. If one is extremely fortunate & the elements are just right, at the tail end of a sunset over the ocean you can sometimes, very rarely sometimes, catch a glimpse or rather flash of green just before the sun dips below the horizon amidst all the wondrous reds, yellows, oranges, & pinks that paint the evening sky.

      There is a name for this but it eludes me at the moment. It is supposed to portend good fortune & true lasting love for those who witness it. Hasn't worked for me unfortunately. Anyway, thanks again for the excellent review & recommendation.

    45. Pysmythe

      Glad you enjoyed it. He was much more of the scientist than most realize. If we could only have one put up about his novel 'Elective Affinities,' a work that characterizes human relationships as actual chemistry, it would blow people away, I'm pretty sure. Especially actual chemists, lol.
      When I was a teenager, I used to look for that green flash at sunrise on the beaches in South Carolina, but I never did see it.

    46. Imightberiding

      Never heard about the green flash occurring during a sunrise. It does make sense in that it is the same as a sunset over the ocean only going the other way. Why wouldn't the results be the same?

      I guess my knowledge & experience (sunsets not sunrises) of witnessing this amazing spectacle are a clear indication of my being a child of the west coast. I have met very few other people who have witnessed this amazing sight. Very special. I have also witnessed countless spectacular prairie sunsets (distant flat horizon) but it seems to only occur over the ocean. Something of sailor yore in the history & telling of the stories of forever one true love.

      Never had the occasion to see a sunrise on the east coast. Matter of fact, I've actually never made it to the east coast . . . yet. Do you still reside on the right coast? Also, forgive me for my ignorance but is that a picture of you or someone famous I should recognize? Your avatar? If it is you, congrats. Epic mustache. Always have been a big fan of ironic, retro facial hair & have had my turn at annoying & embarrassing my ex-wife with many different looks & shapes. Never did go as far as that awesome handlebar though. Something to aspire to for the fall. Always preferred clean shaven for the summer.

      Not to worry, just a harmless man crush on your avatar.

    47. Pysmythe

      Supposedly, it does, but for some reason I suspect you're more likely to see it at sunset, don't ask me why. Maybe I read something somewhere once, and just forgot.
      I hate to maybe embarrass you, but that's not me, it's Dave, from '2001: A Space Odyssey'. Some guy on the net put the mustache on him and called it '1901: A Space Odyssey,' lol. For several reasons, it seemed pretty fitting for me, and, in addition to amusing others, is supposed to remind me not to get too carried away with myself, too pretentious.
      I don't think it always works...

      edit- I've lived in Pennsylvania the last 18 years. Had to leave the South. We're about an hour from the beaches just south of NYC, but we never go. I miss the Southern ocean a lot... It's not the same up here for me.

    48. Imightberiding

      No embarrassment. If I don't know something & don't ask, how will I get the answers I want? Anyway, great picture. I just might grow one, get an open faced helmet in place of my full faced one & where goggles on my motorcycle. I could be retro, ironic, self-absorbed, humorous, vain, the villain & have fun all at the same time, all the while not taking myself too seriously.

      Sorry you are away from the coast. I have heard Pennsylvania is a beautiful state. Never had the opportunity to visit. One day I will & have an original Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich. I've been all over western Canada & the U.S. via train, plane, automobile, & motorcycle. Haven't made it to the east yet. Something to look forward too. Cheers.

    49. oQ

      Hi Py,
      Finally got to watch it, had to go down a long list of new docs, i sure got some catching up to do.
      I enjoyed the calming effect of the doc after being so busy for 2 weeks, but was a bit disapointed with the quality of the image. As I watched it on my large tv screen with my labtop underneath with the screen slightly tilted back, i kept noticing how the image on the labtop looked like a negative image of the image on the tv. It was distracting but also was creating thoughts of it's own.
      I would have to watch it all over again to really get all the ideas that were fed to my brain.
      I'll say, i got a lot on my mind at the moment. I am about to move next month, i am putting an old Volvo on the road and got my first ever cell phone, all in one month. This doc tells me, i need a new camera too.
      Time of change!

    50. Pysmythe

      I'm really glad you enjoyed it, and disappointed about the image quality for you. Come to think of it, it was probably a bit the same on mine, but I was so overjoyed to see a doc on the subject that I didn't even notice... Kind of a major sin, considering!

      On the road? Where are you moving to? You're not going to be in Nelson, anymore?

    51. oQ

      ok you convinced m , i got to watch it again, may be even pausing here and there.
      No staying in the area, but i want to move out of the city, looking at a little house with a garden this afternoon....closer to my daughter's. As i help her with her garden every year, together we should have a real good harvest.

    52. Pysmythe

      Ok, that sounds great. Is this Quin's mom, or your other daughter? I was thinking maybe your parents needed you to move back closer to them, which had me just a little bit concerned.

      I've already watched this one 3 times, lol. One of the reasons I thought it's ideas might strongly appeal to you is that Goethe took a holistic view of science, whenever possible. He didn't like "breaking things" in order to find out how they worked, which was kind of a radical idea even for his own time. He didn't even like using scientific instruments in lieu of the human senses, unless absolutely necessary. Something about that chimes with the impression I've always had of your own preferred way of thinking.

  11. Jack1952

    I enjoyed this, however, I would have liked to have seen it in high definition. I never knew that Goethe had researched light to the extent he had. I had him pigeon holed as a poet and writer.

    1. Pysmythe

      He also discovered the intermaxillary bone in Man, a direct precursor to the Theory of Evolution, and wrote extensively on the metamorphosis of plants, and a hundred thousand other things, besides, many of them also scientific. Much, much more than just the author of 'Faust,' he is a deeply fascinating representative of humanity. Like da Vinci, a true universal man, and considered the last great (or even possible, considering the rapid progress and amount of knowledge in every field) example of that in the West. One of my lifelong heroes, for sure.

      (Lol. "This has been a public service announcement. And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.")

    2. Jack1952

      Growing up in a Dutch Protestant community, Goethe was mostly ignored I suspect, because he was German. However, Petrus Camper, Goethe's contemporary, is very well known. He lived for a time in Groningen, which is about thirty kms from where my dad grew up and the dolmens that he drew are within a bike's ride of my grandfather's farm.

    3. Pysmythe

      I'm sure neither is as well-known as they should be... For instance, I don't recall ever hearing anything about Camper! But take the modern, technological world, with a new device made every hour, and so much of it becomes about materialism, in one way or the other, rather than good examples to consider.

    4. Jack1952

      My knowledge of Camper is part of a cultural heritage and not due to a scholastic endeavour. Most people in my community has heard of the writer, Susanna Moodie, but I'm sure that outside of southern Ontario she is a forgotten figure. However, there are streets and a public school named in her honour in the area I live.

      I think materialism can be the result of the way our economic system works. Its due to millions of people trying to make a living, selling their product by convincing us that their product is the best. Millions of individuals, appearing to be the whole. The whole is all we can see because the individuals who make up the whole are like the single sardine in a school of sardines. The advance of new technology increases, almost exponentially, until we reach the technological singularity (where have we heard that before). Yet, the individual who is working to advance that technology, feels he is just plodding along and a victim of the materialism he works so hard to be a part of. It may be an inevitable part of the process of our technological and social journey. Who knows? I'm just babbling away.

    5. Imightberiding

      Susanna Moodie is or was (as to your statement that she is a forgotten figure) a fairly important writer if memory serves my right. I am honestly not familiar with any of her works but I do recall the name. This from a fellow Canadian all the way out on the west coast.

      Wasn't she a contemporary of or perhaps mentor to Margaret Atwood? I'm most likely way off base. I do honestly recognize her name but don't recall anything she wrote or when she wrote it. I'm guessing she is no longer alive but perhaps taught or influenced Margaret Atwood.

      For those of you not from Canada or not familiar with her work, Margaret Atwood is a celebrated Canadian author. I actually met her once at a reading in Calgary but I have to say, for all of her abilities, success & fame, she had the countenance of a wooden duck & was supremely boring. Just my uneducated & more than likely ill-informed opinion.

    6. Jack1952

      Atwood was neither a contemporary or mentor to Moodie but you are not way off base. Moodie died in the late 1880's in a different century but Atwood was a great admirer. Atwood wrote a book of poetry called "The Journals of Susanna Moodie". Atwood's novel "Alias Grace" is based on a recounting of a murder case in Moodie's book "Life in the Clearing vs the Bush". Moodie referred to the city of Belleville as "the clearing" which is close to my home. So your link to Atwood is not "way off base". Moodie was also featured on a postage stamp about ten years ago.

      I read two of Moodie's books when I was in high school.

    7. Imightberiding

      I made a similar mistake with a comment not long ago to another much more informed, well read & intelligent commenter on this site than I. Shortly after posting my response to your comment I was painfully aware that I could have just googled or researched Susanna Moodie on my lap top.

      I still don't think in that frame of mind. Relatively new to the internet. My hands often fly across my key board with only my vague memory & limited knowledge as a reservoir. Thanks for the info. When I thought a little more about Moodie I had a recollection of "Life In The Wild" or some such thing. I thought she was at her prime in the 1930's or 40's & died in the 70's for some reason.

      I have since looked into her history & was faced with my ignorance. Thank you for your gracious response & not taking the p!ss out of me.

      In your opinion, do you think I was too harsh towards Margaret Atwood?

      *Edit: Guess I missed Moodie's time by about a century. Just a little off on that one. Almost right about her writings about her struggles in the wilds of Canada. I did make a connection, tenuous at best between her & Atwood. Do I get one point for that?

      You, Mr.Jack1952 have always to my mind been a voice of reason & intellect on this site & I am sincerely appreciative of the knowledge you share. There are many others I could include in this praise (you know who you are) but this is your thread.

      All those who would aspire to greater knowledge should visit this site often & read the comment section in addition to just watching the docs. Well, some of the comments . Cheers.

    8. Jack1952

      Thank you for your kind comment. Some of the comments, lately, that have been directed at me on this site have been rather angry so its nice to receive a comment that offsets this anger. I like this site and the commenters, by and large, are well informed and have interesting perspectives on the topics on hand. Disagreements are to be expected and I like to discuss issues as long as the other person doesn't resort to insults and name calling as a debate tactic. This site has been a great place to learn about people, science, history, current events or just about life in general. I appreciate Vlatko's efforts and his attempts to keep the comment section a place of civilized discourse and not allow things to devolve into a youtube insult contest.

      My feelings about Atwood are similar to your own. Not my cup of tea.

    9. Imightberiding

      In my brief exposure to the internet I have found it to be an arena full of negativity & pointless insults. I don't believe many people speak to each other with such callous disrespect in person.

      I have found TDF a refreshing reprieve & a good venue in which to learn new things & interact with like minded intelligent individuals. (on the whole)

      I remember my excitement at attending an evening with Atwood & several other artist friends of mine at the time (me just a semi-literate common man) & my ultimate disappointment. I did not share my opinions at the time as I was surrounded by sycophants. What a wonderful diverse world. We all have our own opinions along with other more functional parts. To each their own, lots of different kinds of tea in the world. Cheers.

  12. wald0

    Didn't care for this one as much as I thought I would. I thought it would be more about the objective science of optics, but it was about our perceptual relationship with light. Its good, I am just not that interested in how we perceive light. I would be interested if they could explain why, why we see the complimentary colors and so forth but they aren't attempting that. They are just pointing out how we perceive light in different circumstances, something I can find out for myself. Still, I think most will like this one, regardless of my personal opinion. In other words, yes- I am recommending the doc I just said I didn't care for, odd as that may be.

  13. WiseGapist

    Felt a little dated to start with, but clearly put together with good demonstrations. Recommended if you're interested in our sensory relationship to light. :)

  14. AntiTheist666

    Beautifully filmed and superbly narrated. 10/10

    1. Pysmythe

      You know I'm all over this one, buddy! :)

      (And "thanks!" to whomever recommended it.)