2660. I posed this question to myself, “At what point away from my eye will the hat band be the same size as, and line up top and bottom with the Colosseum?” To answer this question I stood up from my chair went quietly over behind the man and discovered that if I put my head just behind his, about ten inches from his shirt collar, then his hat band at that point was exactly the same height as the Colosseum.
To line up my eye perfectly with his hat band it was necessary to
support myself, and as I was bending over I unconsciously put my hands
onto the back of his chair, and as ill luck would have it he suddenly
leaned back, trapping my hands between the chair and his back. I stood
there, or rather crouched there for the longest moment, frozen in time.
The waiter came and went giving me the strangest look. Finally he leaned
forward releasing my fingers, and I fled.
That experience in Rome made me aware of the significance of this
defect of our mechanism of perception and yet the more I thought about
it the more I realized that this was a problem with serious
2663. Just imagine, as an example, a salesman who is staying overnight in a hotel in a small town in Nevada. It is early evening and not quite dark and the man who is bored is standing at the hotel window and looking down into the street. He is staying in one of those downtown hotels and so his view out his window is of the main street which is very quiet at this time of day.