Chapter Two

The Environment, Optics, Resolution, and the Display

We can think of the world itself as an information display. Each object by its shape suggests uses, such as a tool or construction material, or it may be seen as an obstacle to be avoided. Every intricate surface reveals the properties of the material from which it is made. Creatures signal their intentions inadvertently or deliberately through movement. There are almost infinite levels of detail in nature, and we must be responsive to both small and large things, but in different ways: Large things, such as logs, may be seats or tables; smaller things, such as hand-sized rocks, can be used as tools; still smaller things, such as grains of sand, are useful by the handful. In an ...

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