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Reddit post about colors

I once got 12 golds on reddit for post about colors. Here is the post:

The RGB colorspace doesn't include every color, as shown here
Why not 😭😭

Oh, yeah. This is one of my favorite topics. Not the colors, but the soul-crushing deepness of concepts which are commonly considered simple.

Good start point article about colors:

It reminds me when I was young and naive and thought that I will just learn programming and it will be simple as that. Then I discovered theories behind it, computer science and how it is all connected to math and also history of the entire scientific world. Soon, I was trying to understand GEB, knowledge bases and other deep philosophical bottomless pits full of interconnected topics, so wast you can not even imagine where they end, even if they are not for the moment expanding at scary pace.

Then I discovered, that this applies to every topic I work with as a programmer. For example there is great series of articles called "falsehoods programmers believe in": where it is nicely documented like even the simplest things like phone numbers hide enormous complexity.

Color is great topic, because of how subjective it can be, how much our eyes do, our brain adds in post-processing and how much is really going on in the underlying physical substrate of our reality. You start thinking about colors and suddenly you are thinking about photons and energy levels of particles and wave propagation through curved spacetime..

And then there is subjectivity of colors. Did you know that there are people who can see into the ultra-violet spectrum? Check it out: How awesome is that?

There is whole range of colors our displays can't emit. I have not much aesthetic appreciation for flowers, but when I see flowers with violet colors, which are scaled so that they smoothly go into the ultraviolet spectrum, which I can't see, but I still love to marvel at the boundary where it happens, where I can see things our displays can not ever hope to show us. Other things include stuff like Diffuse reflection, which you can imitate, but not ever show on display in its full glory.

Did you know, that there is not just RGB, but also CMYKHSV, HSLYCbCrxvYCCYIQ and XYZ commonly used color spaces? How crazy is that?

And the color of a mirror is green?

I've begun to pay attention to colors when my colleague in czech national library showed us hundreds of years old books created by hand by monks. Colors in that hundred of years old books were so awesome! Like nothing, I've ever seen before. They were so bright, so intense, so .. live. And when I later looked at the scans of the books she showed us that day, I couldn't believe what am I seeing:

They look so boringly gray. Yellow for example, is made with actual gold plates. It shines and shimmers and reflects light like polished gold does. And the blue .. blue is just surreal. So deep, so true. There is just simply not enough blue pixels in our LCD and CCD chips to capture it in its full glory. It is like mother of all blue colors you've ever seen.

I've began to think about all of that and I concluded, that this also breaks perfect virtual reality. No display will be ever able to accurately capture this, because it works just with color emitters, which can't even output colors directly, but have to mix it from RGB. How do you want to make things like metalic difuse, or butterfly wings oily and trippy color mixes? We will have to wait for brain implants for perfect color simulation.

Anyway, I can see that I let myself to turn loose for too long now. If you are interested in seemingly-simple-but-actually-really-deep-topics, checkout books about computer fonts: Font technology. Or about design: The Design of Everyday Things. Or about quality: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Or nature of the consciousness: I Am a Strange Loop. Oh, and also time! Time is super deep pit of standards, problems and planet rotations, moving thru space and relativity of frames of reference. Everytime someone just counts seconds in his program, it breaks spectacularly on greater distances.

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