What light do we need? LO28314

From: Robert Pollard (ecology2001@mindspring.com)
Date: 04/25/02


I have been appreciating the messages about what light we need and would
like to share a framework for seeing light and colour that I had
discovered several years ago, and has served as a symbol for me of one
light in all of creation.

I had become aware of this framework - in the form of twin Light and
Colour Cubes - in the course of my work in the series of UN Conferences of
the 1990s for which I had been inspired by two sets of Quaker Queries -
Queries on Opening to the Light
 - www.igc.org/habitat/queries - and Queries on Unity with Nature
 - www.igc.org/habitat/queries/uwn.htm

The Light and Colour Cubes are cubes with dimensions of red, blue and
green - the primary colours of light - in which the colour at any point is
equal to the sum of the red, blue and green coordinates of the point.

The cubes - there are two of them, mirror images and photographic
megatives of each other - contain all colour, and the dimensions of red,
blue and green seem to me to correspond to dimensions of economy, society
and environment - and of body, mind and spirit.

The cubes serve as powerful teaching tools about the nature of light and
colour - and of the dual / complementary sets of primary colours - of
light and pigment respectively - and clarifying widely-held misconceptions
as to the primary colours, allowing a transition to an era in which it is
possible to create colours by mixing light as well, and with much greater
precision, as by combining pigments.

Like most people I have talked to, I had grown up with the understanding
that red, blue and yellow were the primary colours, however, the cubes
show that this is actually a distortion of magenta, cyan and yellow - the
primary colours of pigment - and that magenta and blue are quite different
from commonly-held conceptions of primary colours.

Ask someone what geometric shape they would use to contain colours and
most people will say a circle - ie a colour wheel - however, the cubes
reveal that the colour wheel results from the compression into
two-dimensional space of what is actually a three-dimensional, cubic,

There is much more that I could say about the Light and Colour Cubes - eg
how they reveal for the first time the "surfaces" - or faces - of colour,
provide the basis for a simple three- dimensional mathematics of light and
colour, and offer insight into the nature of black and white as primary
colours - essential zero points in the mathematics of light and colour.

In serving as a way of illuminating light and colour in the context of
transition to a digital era, the Light and Colour Cubes also can serve as
icons for the broader context of the transition to a digital,
knowledge-based era, and as an entry point to exploring fundamental
properties of information, information systems and networks - properties
that are profoundly different from the properties of the material world
that have largely governed - and limited - ways that we have been able to
see the world.

When talking of light and colour, it perhaps goes without saying that a
picture is worth a thousand words - so I invite friends and colleagues on
this list to explore some images based on the cubes at

In peace

Robert Pollard
Information Ecologist
Information Habitat: Where Information Lives


Robert Pollard <ecology2001@mindspring.com>

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