reengineering was one of the Change flagbearers with multiple, not always compatible, lines pursued by competing groups — to this day vision is more patchy than anything else in the human genome: expanding the light-gathering aperture (with and without enlarging the eyeball), wider stereo base and field of view; higher resolution, tetrachromatism, greater spectral range; focus speed and depth, volitional defocusing; adaptations for high-light environments such as darkening the optics without diaphragming. A second wave of projects added tele and macro capabilities, with consciously controllable field of view and a biological equivalent of hardware anti-shake; this relieved the brain from part of its work but flooded it with data, so nerve wiring had to be upgraded as well (more bandwidth, new preprocessing circuitry). As a bonus, the outward cosmetic result of these changes largely agreed with the instinctive notions of human beauty. ■    “Movies, television, photography dominated the ages visuality: the professionally crafted worldview used powerful zooms and shallow depths of field to single out the subject — so an urbanite on an infrequent hike in the country was discomfited by how noisy, unstaged, overwhelming the real world can be”; such forced modes of seeing came to be perceived as natural and influenced the pioneer eye evolvers. ■    Vision is where its easiest to augment your world — or to break it and not notice the difference. A humans visible world became larger and more detailed but also more subjective: its nothing special for two people to look at the same thing but see it entirely differently. Before, a humans face was indistinct from just a stone throw distance — wars have been facilitated by the enemy being a far-off faceless figure; now eye contact, face reading, even talk (hearing has improved also) are strainless “across half the sky.” A persons private bubble inflated, especially after flight gave it a third dimension: switching between alone and effortlessly communicating no longer takes a physical move — all you do is refocus; like intonation or mimics, the distance at which you say something adds a dimension of meaning to the words. Talking to a stranger lost some of its awkwardness: to initiate, you dont come up blocking the persons view (being close is felt as something much more intimate than before) — to finish, no need to clumsily turn and walk away. ■    At one time, light pollution and automated instruments killed much of the incentive for skygazing: why squint at a couple galaxies close by when you can download tons of magnificent photos of the whole Universe? The night sky loomed impenetrably dark, even discerning the Milky Way took effort; the new vision didnt bring any naked-eye discoveries but rekindled the joy of looking up: feel the presence of an immense — and no longer black (one can read by starlight, the moon is always round) — world above.

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