Showing posts from May, 2018

Yanny and Laurel on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

The internet phenomenon of the hour is a mysterious computer voice that some people hear unmistakably saying the word “Laurel,” while other people hear the same voice saying the word(?) “Yanny.” Is the voice actually saying “Yanny” or “Laurel”? Like so much else in the world, it depends on your prior context and what you are primed to hear -- and it also depends on what audio frequencies you are hearing most strongly. Thanks to a quirk of audio processing, the higher frequencies in this audio clip incline a person to hear the voice saying “Yanny,” while the lower frequencies make a person more likely to hear “Laurel.” And a particular person’s balance of low and high frequencies will be determined by various factors, including the audio equipment one is using, the quality of one’s hearing, and one’s psychological expectations. Two people can listen to the exact same voice at the same time and hear that voice saying different words. (There is even a tool that one can use to ad