This archived forum used to be called 'Peatarian' (in reference to Ray Peat).

No one saw the color blue till recently

"Until relatively recently in human history, "blue" didn't exist, not in the way we think of it."

"As the delightful Radiolab episode "Colors" describes, ancient languages didn't have a word for blue — not Greek, not Chinese, not Japanese, not Hebrew. And without a word for the color, there is evidence that they may not have seen it at all."

According to the article, the color blue was not a generally known idea except to the Egyptians:

"The only ancient culture to develop a word for blue was the Egyptians — and as it happens, they were also the only culture that had a way to produce a blue dye."

Why didn't other cultures have a word for blue?  Is it that they didn't have the word for it or that they couldn't see it?  Where did the Egyptians get the idea?  If ancient cultures had a word for the sky, then wouldn't they have noticed it was blue and then developed the word?  How would it be possible to not be aware of something like the sky?

This would seem to legitimize Peat's ideas of consciousness being influenced by one's environment.
asked Apr 20, 2015 by raintree

2 Answers

You need more progesterone.
answered Apr 20, 2015 by Westside PUFAs
Are you homosexual?
The company I ordered the drops from didn't process it.  I'll limp along with the cream till fall.

blue (1)    *c. 1300*

Sounds like an obvious crock of shit to me, unless you consider 1300 recent.

> Greek, not Chinese, not Japanese, not Hebrew

If you ever study non-Western languages you'll find they're short on all kinds of words. A comprehensive Japanese or Chinese to English dictionary is stunningly thin. They just don't bother with specific words for ideas or phenomenon in cases where English or German will have a half dozen distinct but related terms. Chinese and Japanese often use allusions to folk sayings to express ideas.

Anyway, my point here is this idea that people couldn't see blue is obvious bullshit and I wouldn't read too much into the fact that ancient Hebrews never bothered to come up with a specific word for "blue".
answered Apr 20, 2015 by 4a552f55cbb9
edited Apr 20, 2015 by 4a552f55cbb9
It's not hard for me to believe that many cultures considered blue to be within the range of another named color such as "green." When I was a kid I used to call violet things purple and saw no distinction, but when I learned of the concept of violet it seems very distinct to me now. Of course people saw objects we would consider blue, but that doesn't mean they attached a distinct label to it in the way we would.

The color spectrum is continuous, colors with specific names are a cultural construct. More specific vocabulary changes how we see the world- when a culture has an identical word for several things, the distinctions are often less consciously considered.
Homer called the ocean wine colored.  They didn't know what blue was.