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I have been doing some side work helping people with their computers.  I was working with this lady on her windows 8 work computer and she said something that made me think: "my start screen is so cluttered with stuff, I just ignore most of it."

I showed her how to get rid of things and together we made a start screen that was aesthetically pleasing, conveniently had everything she needed, and even had some luxury news panels.  Everything had a purpose.  She really enjoys her start screen now and can use it for its designed purpose, but her words stuck with me enough that I find myself here once again.

Human brains are exceedingly good at pattern recognition and filtering out complexity.  When overwhelmed, our defense is turning excess stimuli into white noise so that we may direct focus resources to solving a more pertinent issue.  This woman recognized the start screen as some computer function, but the details were fuzzy and the computer had so much stuff installed on it for work that the menu was too much information to process.  After trimming it down and putting focus on making it hers, she had no problem starting to truly see the start screen instead of filtering it out subconsciously.  We do this all the time.  From dozens of Facebook adds to skimming newspaper text, the details we choose not to see are simplifications of our world made ironically to help us see it better.  

Her words made me ask myself, "what else are we filtering out?"  Are we filtering out everyone else's feelings?  Their actions?  Their intentions?  Are we filtering out our conscience?  Our logic?  Are we filtering out colors and sights?  Are we filtering out BEAUTY so that we can focus on not walking into a pole?  Should we?  

Start menus are not complex-- not on the scale of the complexity of the entirety of our audio-visual spectrum, but the concept is the same.  If we don't really know what we are looking at, we will filter it out.  In many ways, I find myself like the lady I helped.  In simplifying and learning about my world, I no longer filter it out.  I SEE it and am astonished and fulfilled by it.  How silly I have been.  It was right here this whole time.

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