World's cheapest HD TV

28 Apr 2010

Want to upgrade your TV enjoyment pleasure from your boring old display to exciting new high-definition TV (HD TV) – at no cost?

It's easy! Just look what a study revealed:

One group of participants was told they were watching a brand new HDTV clip, while the other group was told they were watching a digital DVD clip. Both groups were in fact watching the same (low) quality DVD clip. ...The people framed to watch the HDTV clip were found to have a significantly more positive viewing experience. This shows that participants were unable to discriminate properly between digital and high definition signals but were influenced by the frame set for them.

See that? You get a higher-quality TV viewing experience just by thinking you're watching HD

Actually, that's not terribly surprising; neither are the implications for skepticism and critical thinking. As studies like this show time and time again, merely thinking that Vishnu guides your destiny, or that you tap into psychic glimpses of the future, or that a cabal of reptilian shapeshifters leads our government, can actually affect what your five senses tell you. Believing is seeing – even when belief makes you see what isn't there.

And that's why doubting the senses or the "obvious" understanding, and asking for evidence instead, works as a way to see what's real.

But anyway. I don't want to rail one-sidedly against our brains' plastic gullibility; with precautions taken, that wonderful brain creativity can be an awesome phenomenon. I'm thinking I'd like to put it to work! 

First up: My current lack of an HD TV. Let's give this a try. First, I create a new reality: "I have a stunning 60" HD TV." I'll repeat that a few times for good measure. Now I'll switch on the old 20" tube, and...

Oh yeah. Them's the pixels, baby. 

This is great! What else can I make myself believe?

"My car is a Porsche." (Wow! It's a stealth Porsche minivan!)

"My computer is a Mac." (Oh, wait. It actually is.)

"I can have any woman." ("I just don't want them all", I'll rationalize to myself.)

"Insurance companies just want what's best for me."

"Scientology is not a scam."

...*poof*

Damn, I just lost it all. That last one blew the fuse. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. 

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