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  • Urban 16:59 on 20 Mar. 2010 Permalink |  

    Subliminal Tyler Durden 

    Been watching Fight Club and noticed a weird flash around 06:00. I thought it might have been a misplaced “Coming up next…” overlay, but when I scrubbed back, I was blown away. There it was, Tyler Durden, together with his shadow (which proves it was deliberate and carefully crafted), long before the character even appeared in the movie. (Later I found there are at least six such occurrences).

    It’s actually funny (and self-referencing), as one of Tyler’s jobs in the movie is to do the exact same thing:

    He flips the projectors, movie keeps going and the audience has no idea.
    Why would anyone want this shit job?
    Because it affords him interesting opportunities.
    Like splicing a frame of pornography into family films.


    This is an allegedly powerful concept of sending subtle messages to the audience, too fast for the eye, but not for the brain. The use of such subliminal imagery in the movies is supposed to evoke strong emotions of fear — some even claim unexplained fear.

    Although Wikipedia seems to question its effectiveness, there’s been quite some movies which use it, or at least claim they use it.

    Regarding the most famous example, the Exorcist (1973), there’s some controversy whether the imagery inserted there was truly subliminal (and whether you’ve actually seen it or not: it was apparently removed and reintroduced in different editions).

    But the most gruesome sequence I’ve ever (knowingly) seen (and deconstructed), was one of the final scenes of the Event Horizon. Strangely, I was unable to find any images from that movie, so I had to find a short clip and resort to mplayer1 to split it into frames. A selection of frames (viewer discretion is advised) is available here: Event Horizon subliminal pics. Some of the images are present for no more than a single frame, so there are many you’d have missed when watching the movie.

    Does it work? Who knows. Some say it does, or at least hint it does (e.g., Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink: The power of thinking without thinking), others claim it’s nonsense. Either way, I don’t want anyone to feed me images like these without my knowledge. There’s a fantastic analogy I’ve read somewhere: If someone came to your home, entered your living room and emptied the trash on your carpet, you’d probably kick his ass. But when someone empties mental trash in the living room of your mind, you don’t even register. Unless you pay really close attention.

    1. mplayer -vo jpeg videofile splits videofile into frames []
    • alessandro boscolo 02:32 on 23 Mar. 2010 Permalink

      Hi,after years,when i gave look to those hellgiven photos , i’ve felt the same anguish,without having really seen theme,and just at the very beginning of the film i felt the same.It’s simply bad for me,to insert hiddenly,just to scare,seeding anguish,those images full of unuseless badness.Ok it?s a scifi horror,i didn’t know,but i received those…
      I’ve found in(lost in the space)some subliminals,i’ve found theme in a panoramic view of the station,they are images of classic stlized aliens figures,just to make you think they are not human facilities!.Bye and thanks for your non-distraction

    • liminal 01:58 on 19 Jun. 2015 Permalink

      if you want subliminal, check the movie Blade: in the very first scene of the very first movie, you’re shown people walking through a cold room with hanging meat, and while there’s nothing creepy in that scene, I felt really uncomfortable while watching it and suspected subliminal stuff. It took me some 30minutes until I managed to stop the video at the right 1/10 second to discover the subliminal image (which is the face of a guy with the throat cutted). You really cannot see it unless you stop the video at the right point, but your subconscious mind gets it. Clever.
      Of course, this was almost 20years ago and audio-visual techniques have made outstanding progresses since then (through computer effects), and the flash images are no longer the way to go for subliminal stuff, instead they can now interlace two images, one on top of the other but you can only see the one on top. Subliminal sound is also possible (sounds or words hidden between a sentence), I’ve seen a few movies where they used that process (the sound effects in a speach get strange and while you hear a sentence you will feel strange about what was said as your subconscious mind heard something else). Last but not least, visual effects and sound effects are often combined to suggest something completely different from what is heard and seen.

    • Urban 21:31 on 22 Jun. 2015 Permalink

      Hey, that’s a great find, I’ll check it out.

      I do find all of this fascinating–especially how easily we can be subtly influenced, because the subconscious mind is always watching/listening. I’ve seen this video of a Derren Brown “trick” some time ago, and couldn’t decide if it was for real or a hoax:

      But I read about a controlled experiment, the “two cord puzzle”. There the subjects were asked to tie together two pieces of rope, hanging from the ceiling (the pieces were to far apart to be reached at the same time). No one thought of swinging the ropes to make them come closer together, until the experimenter “accidentally” brushed against a rope, and that provided the necessary clue. But every subject in the experiment was convinced that *they* thought of that brilliant idea on their own.

      Since then I believe that the video above is most likely real. And if that’s real, you can basically manipulate anyone just by feeding them subtle clues, and they’ll think it was their idea all along..

  • Urban 18:16 on 7 Mar. 2010 Permalink |  


    Brskam po sveže digitaliziranem arhivu revije Popular Science1 na Google Books in sem opazil, da se oglasi ob strani prilagajajo na vsebino strani: ko listaš po reviji, se oglasi osvežujejo (glej sliko: pravi oglas iz leta 1988 je na temo avtomobilskega radar detektorja, na levi pa so Googlovi oglasi za radarje).

    Fascinantno, če pomislimo, da je treba po digitalizaciji vse knjige spustiti čez OCR, najbolj trdovratne besede pa ponuditi ljudem, da jih razpoznajo v okviru projekta ReCaptcha2.


    Oglasi pa pomenijo, da lahko Google dejansko služi s tujimi knjigami in revijami.

    In branje knjig na zaslonu bo kmalu korak bližje branju knjig na papirju. Kljub začetnemu nenavdušenju (tudi mojemu) in šalam na račun iPada, češ da gre samo za povečan iPhone, postaja vse bolj jasno, da bo to “game changer” za surfanje in branje knjig na kavču.

    Poglejte recimo Wiredov prototip e-revije, ki se ga lahko nalepi na vsak tablet, in pa inovativne elemente uporabniškega vmesnika na iPadu (“izgleda kot pregledovalnik, deluje kot urejevalnik”, ipd.)

    Idealen par za tako tablico bo aplikacija v stilu Google Books: digitalizirane knjige in obsežni arhivi revij, po katerih bomo lahko listali brez laptopa v naročju. Komaj čakam.

    Naslednja stvar, ki jo pričakujem je pa tale. Že danes lahko vse knjige, ki jih imamo, preko ISBN vnesemo v svojo Google Books knjižno polico. In potem recimo iščemo po njih. To je silno uporabno, če vemo, da neko zadevo imamo, ne vemo pa točno v kateri knjigi ali na kateri strani. Trenutno iskanje omogoča samo prikaz izseka strani, kjer se nahaja zadetek. Če pa bi zadeve dobro prepojili z reklamami (à la Hulu), bi kar naenkrat dobili dostop do večine svetovnih knjig. Največja knjižnica na svetu na domačem kavču. It’s closer than you think.

    1. 137 letnikov revije, http://www.popsci.com/archives []
    2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recaptcha, Google jih je prevzel septembra lani []
    • Roman 18:10 on 9 Mar. 2010 Permalink

      Si me spomnil kako hudo je stare sci revije brat. 🙂
      Na racun res neskoncnih arhivov knjig sem pripravljen zamenjat obcutek papirja v rokah. Verjetno se bo pa tud to hitro simuliralo 🙂
      Ze dolgo nisem tvojega bloga gledal. cool …

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