- Samantha B. Fortune, The Bricklyn Eagle’s Health & Science correspondent & Duane Sandville, Outland correspondent
- July 3, 2021; updated Feb. 1, 2023
Summary of article ➤ One of the great scientific mysteries of Bricklyn is explaining why its’ citizens cannot see beyond the city’s borders. An update on research and leading theories.
One of the most significant questions that has long baffled those Bricklynites aware of the existence of Outland Communities (such as Burlington and South Burlington, Vermont) is why Bricklynites cannot typically “see” beyond the borders / edges of Bricklyn?
If they did, they might be shocked to see that they are inhabiting a world located within a Burlington (and now South Burlington) basement!📍
📍As we’ve previously noted, a number of Bricklynites, because of their position in government; their role in several select organizations; or for several other reasons are Kyndige, and made aware of the existence of Outland Cities. While mental health counseling is often needed to overcome the shock of realizing that they may be living and working within a simulation, most do adjust. Remarkably, they can then (suddenly) see beyond the edges of Bricklyn.
Expert Team Seeks to Explain the Phenomenon
Bricklyn Chief Scientist Mike Strassbrick last year put together an expert team to try to finally explain this phenomenon. Team members included such reputed figures as Chief Cosmologist O’Neal DeGas Brickson; Principal Psychologist Pritchard Tiler Stein, along with scientists in fields as varied as photonics, holography, and structural mechanics.
The team honed in on a theory that would at least piece together one part of the puzzle: It posits that a giant unseen (at least to LEGO eyes) concave structure wraps around Bricklyn, essentially precluding a view beyond the structure itself. LEGO brains seem to be wired to accept this, finding as real the fact that, for example, the South side of Bricklyn simply ends six studs beyond the railroad tracks.
Psychologist Tiler Stein points to recent research by psychologists on visual perception and concavity. As an article in NeuroImage notes:
“Intuitively, we are always inside a scene, while interacting with the outside of objects; hence, we hypothesize that a potential diagnostic feature of a scene is concavity — a visual feature that conveys a viewer’s state of being inside a space. … the cortical scene-processing system will respond more to concave images than to convex images. As predicted, participants categorized concave objects as scenes more often than convex objects, and, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), two scene-selective cortical regions (the parahippocampal place area, PPA, and the occipital place area, OPA) responded significantly more to concave than convex objects.”📍
📍Anne Cheng, et al, “Concavity as a diagnostic feature of visual scenes,” NeuroImage, Vol. 232, 15 May 2021, 117920.
The “Truman Effect”?
In assessing the research to date, Chief Scientist Strassbrick suggests the possibility that the concave structure wrapping around Bricklyn creates a visual illusion of completeness, leading Bricklynites to not question their “reality.”
“In some interesting ways,” Strassbrick adds, “this is a less threatening view of the world that many humans held for centuries, where you could simply sail West and then drop off the face of the Earth!”
Psychologist Tiler Stein also draws parallels in the so-called “Truman Effect,” named for a movie where the principal character does not realize his reality has been artificially delimited.📍
📍See The Truman Show, written by Andrew Niccol, directed by Peter Weir, starring Jim Carrey.
As Tiler Stein cautions, “we have complex psychological issues to deal with when raising topics related to the concept that Bricklyn may be a simulated world,” adding that “we need to avoid making even the slightest mention of this new theory to the general Bricklyn population, given the impact it could have on their mental health.”
Mass Delusions, Myopia?
Of course, there remain other possibilities that have been bruited about to explain why Bricklynites cannot see beyond the edge of the Realm, ranging from mass delusions to a variant of genetically transmitted myopia.
In some ways, the more the scientific community has learned, the more baffling the problem with understanding reality in Bricklyn and beyond has become. ✥
➤ Editor’s Note: We’re pleased that Duane Sandville has agreed to join The Bricklyn Eagle as our first Outlander correspondent. He co-wrote this article with Samantha B. Fortune of our staff. Sandville, not being a LEGO and coming from our twinned city of Burlington, Vermont, will periodically join in articles with our regular correspondents, ensuring readers get a more complete perspective on stories that bear on the special relationship between Inland and Outland communities. Please note that “Duane Sandville” is a pseudonym we’re using as a precaution, but be assured, Sandville is a real Outlander!
➤ Editor’s Follow Up Note: After reading this post, Bricklyn Chief Scientist Mike Strassbrick emailed our offices saying “Watch this and be amazed!!!” We’re inserting below the video Strassbrick told us about — and were also amazed! It reinforces the point reporters Fortune and Sandville made about the power of illusions!