May 5, 2009
Letters That Aren't Letters
There’s a building on a pier near Current HQ in San Francisco. Written on the side of the building, black against very dark gray, are giant letters. Or, at least they appear to be letters. Some definitely are — one’s an E, for sure. But the others are just on the edge of comprehension: Is that an N? Is that one a W? You run through the permutations in your head, trying to settle on a combination that forms a word. Nothing works. You can feel your brain spinning its wheels — but not giving up, because come on, recognizing letters is what brains do! After too many tries (and trust me, I’ve tried it a lot) it’s actually a bit painful.
Here’s that same experience, only thousands of times deeper and more beautiful. Maybe still a bit painful, though?