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Poll: What's in a dress color?

Let's clear up one thing right away: Science says the dress is blue and black.

That's what Wired says of the textile-based perception test that consumed the Internet on Thursday. And if I scroll down until the picture is at the upper reaches of my monitor, I can see that. Otherwise, like many of you, the thing looks white and gold to me.

It's funny and random that so many people were drawn to #dressgate, which didn't seem to have the makings of a viral phenomenon. For starters, it wasn't a list, there were no cute animals nor depictions of epic failure. No celebrities were heard uttering something racist, politically incorrect, moronic or bat-guano crazy.

Instead, the dress played to something else we're fascinated with as a culture: the magic of two people looking at one picture and seeing very different things. It's more than just an optical illusion, it's an honest-to-goodness difference in experience.

And for those who don't see the blue in that dress, there's the hint of doubt: "Maybe there's something wrong with me." They may blame their monitor (and yes, digital images will vary from screen to screen, so that muddies the waters a bit). They may chalk it up to ambient lighting. They may even conclude that the dress isn't really blue. But the doubt clings like lint on a (blue) dress.

One thing they probably won't do is say that those who say they see blue are lying, Emperor's New Clothes-style. Judging from the chatter online, people seem to recognize that some folks really do see a different dress than they do. Again, that's why this whole thing went viral. That plus the jokes.

One can only imagine what politics would be like if each side accepted that the other had a valid point of view, if not necessarily the right one. On the other hand, maybe everyone who sees a blue dress is a moron who doesn't really love America.

But enough philosophizing. What color dress did you see? Take our unreliability-embued poll, leave a comment, or do both!

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