Some people could only hear Yanny. Others could only hear Laurel. Yet, they were listening to the same exact sound waves. The only distinction was how their brains treated different frequencies.
The New York Times added a new feature that lets you adjust the frequency of the recording\ to determine at what point Laurel switches to Yanny. It warped my mind. When I start off playing a clear “Yanny,” I hear “Yanny” at virtually all of the frequencies. When I start off playing a clear “Laurel,” I hear “Laurel” at virtually all of the frequencies. The same exact sounds waves that enter my ear register as completely different words, based on what information I primed myself with beforehand.
This meme afforded me an opportunity to reconsider broader debates about politics, constitutional theory, and legal interpretation. Two people can be confronted with the same exact situation, yet perceive totally different realities. Neither approach is necessarily right or wrong, but is premised on certain hard-wired assumptions that they are not even aware of. Indeed, in my case, I can perceive two totally different realities based on the same fact, based on what is on my mind at a given moment!