“If a mirror reverses right and left, why doesn’t it reverse up and down?” asked Roger of his companion.
The two of them were sitting at a back table, away from the bar. It was late; few customers remained.
Bill sipped his scotch, pondering Roger’s question. After a moment’s thought, he replied: “Mirrors really do reverse up and down. But the brain compensates and we think we’re seeing the image right side up. It’s a survival trait. The brain doesn’t correct on the right-left axis because it’s not as important to do so.”
Roger took a gulp of his drink, considered this for a little while, then said: “I’d think it would be important if you wanted to read some writing in a mirror. But when you look at writing in a mirror, it appears backwards. Not upside down, just backwards. So why don’t we compensate for the left-right reversal too?”
“Have you ever read any of the results of brain research?” Bill asked him. “Reading is processed by an entirely different and much newer part of the brain, evolution-wise, than is recognition of people and other objects. In a few hundred thousand years, this new part of the brain will evolve and become more versatile, like the older part already is, and will able to do all kinds of compensatory tricks that it can’t do now because it’s so new. So just give it time, give it time.”
“Yeah, but I don’t expect to be around in a few hundred thousand years. Do you?”
“I’m working on it,” Bill replied.