Andrew Penny, February 14 2023

Close One Eye

Some years ago, I was cutting logs at my cottage, and it felt as if I had a wood chip in my right eye. I blinked and flushed and probed my eye. I looked in the mirror and couldn't see anything. So I went to see my eye doctor the next day and it turned out that I had a detached retina.  

A detached retina can be serious, but if it's repaired quickly one’s sight can be saved. Interestingly your eye doesn’t actually ‘see’ anything. It takes in light and focusses it on the nerves in your retina which in turn send the information to your brain that decodes the data. In my case, I was able to quickly visit an eye surgeon who lasered the tear closed and saved my sight in that eye. 

Now the interesting thing is, although my field of vision in my right eye is complete, it healed with a fold in it. As a result, the data I receive from that eye results in me perceiving a slight ripple in whatever it is I am looking at. This is particularly pronounced with any straight lines.  

At the time this happened, I was building a cottage - which obviously involved a lot of straight lines. If I was having flooring laid or painting done, I couldn’t figure out why the contractors couldn’t get things straight. Eventually I learned to alternatively shut one eye and then the other to see whether or not I was getting valid data. 

This made me think about how we get information - whether it's from friends, from business colleagues, from media (social or otherwise), or even our own senses. Can we trust it?  When we conduct market research for our clients, we always strive to get at least two, if not 3, independent reference points before we have any confidence that the data is reflecting reality. 

If I had relied uniquely on what my eyes were telling me I would probably have pulled down a few walls, re-laid tiles and never got my baseboard straight. 

So, think about it, today when you hear something or see something, are you getting your data from one source or are you getting it from multiple sources.   

Close one eye then the other before deciding. You’ll be glad you did.


See you next time,


Written by

Andrew Penny


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