On Looking
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On Looking

A Walker's Guide to the Art of Observation

Alexandra Horowitz

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eBook - ePub

On Looking

A Walker's Guide to the Art of Observation

Alexandra Horowitz

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About This Book

From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Inside of a Dog, this "elegant and entertaining" ( The Boston Globe ) explanation of how humans perceive their environments "does more than open our eyes...opens our hearts and minds, too, gently awakening us to a world—in fact, many worlds—we've been missing" ( USA TODAY ). Alexandra Horowitz shows us how to see the spectacle of the ordinary—to practice, as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle put it, "the observation of trifles." Structured around a series of eleven walks the author takes, mostly in her Manhattan neighborhood, On Looking features experts on a diverse range of subjects, including an urban sociologist, the well-known artist Maira Kalman, a geologist, a physician, and a sound designer. Horowitz also walks with a child and a dog to see the world as they perceive it. What they see, how they see it, and why most of us do not see the same things reveal the startling power of human attention and the cognitive aspects of what it means to be an expert observer.Page by page, Horowitz shows how much more there is to see—if only we would really look. Trained as a cognitive scientist, she discovers a feast of fascinating detail, all explained with her generous humor and self-deprecating tone. So turn off the phone and other electronic devices and be in the real world—where strangers communicate by geometry as they walk toward one another, where sounds reveal shadows, where posture can display humility, and the underside of a leaf unveils a Lilliputian universe—where, indeed, there are worlds within worlds within worlds.

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Information

Publisher
Scribner
Year
2013
ISBN
9781439191279

Index

aboriginal sensible muchness, 26
acclimation, 30–31, 110
Adobe Garamond, 57
adrenaline, 84, 249
Africa, 135
algae, 106, 134
alignment in walking, 146, 150, 173
American Museum of Natural History, 41–42
ampersands, 63, 68–69
amygdala, 179–80, 234n
anaerobic infections, 162, 176, 178
animals:
attraction and, 99, 104, 111, 126, 134, 146
avoidance and, 110, 117 127, 129, 131–32, 145–46, 150, 225
search image in, 107–9, 124
sensory world of, 77
swarms of, 146, 150–51
animate city, 15
animism, 37–39
animistic error, 38
antidepressants, 151
ants, 94, 97, 103, 105, 145–46
aphids, 97, 99–100, 104
arms, 198, 200
swinging of, 163, 173, 256, 264
Art Deco, 63
Arthropoda, 94
articulation of sound, 222
artificial intelligence, 146
Art Moderne, 63
Art Nouveau, 70–71
asphalt, 6, 27, 42, 46, 156, 220–21, 238, 251n–52n, 261
attention, 1–4, 9–15, 65, 126, 146, 150, 160, 188n
absence of, 2–3, 9, 14, 24, 45,
123–24, 181, 189, 265
cell phones and, 206–7
children and, 26, 31, 35–36, 38, 258
dogs and, 241, 246–47, 251–52, 263
evolution and development of, 1...

Table of contents