Light and color are closely linked. The colors can make a crucial change in nature, if you switch from daylight to artificial light or just from strong to weak illumination. In addition, color perception is affected by the material structure. Even if a piece of textile can have the same color as a shiny enamel plate, then they will act completely different.
Louis B. Mayer is one of those with a claim to posessing the equation... he began to buy up nickelodeon arcades in the years before the First World War in and around Boston. He had noticed that people liked going into the dark to see the light... the appeal of the movies is beyond the sensible, rational or the hard-working. Going into the dark, afte centuries of progress in which mankind has staggered toward artificial light, smacks of delicious perversity.
There is no chance of night baseball ever being popular in the bigger cities. People there are educated to see the best there is and will stand for only the best. High-class baseball cannot be played at night under artificial light.
In years to come cities will stretch out horizontally and will be non-urban (Los Angeles). After that, they will bury themselves in the ground and will no longer have names. Everything will become infrastructure bathed in artificial light and energy. The brilliant superstructure, the crazy verticality will have disappeared. New York is the final fling of this baroque verticality, this centrifugal excentricity, before the horizontal dismantling arrives, and the subterranean implosion that will follow.
Then your fingers moved down to my chin. You pushed it up with your thumb to look at me, almost like you were studying me in the artificial lights above my head. And, I mean, you really looked at me … with eyes like two stars. [...] And I had wings fluttering away inside me all right. Big fat moth wings. You trapped me easily, drew me toward you like I was already in the net.
To ensure that no one gained an advantage over anyone else, commercial law [in the 14th century] prohibited innovation in tools or techniques, underselling below a fixed price, working late by artificial light, employing extra apprentices or wife and underage children, and advertising of wares or praising them to the detriment of others.
Before we invented civilization our ancestors lived mainly in the open out under the sky. Before we devised artificial lights and atmospheric pollution and modern forms of nocturnal entertainment we watched the stars. There were practical calendar reasons of course but there was more to it than that. Even today the most jaded city dweller can be unexpectedly moved upon encountering a clear night sky studded with thousands of twinkling stars. When it happens to me after all these years it still takes my breath away.
The skylines lit up at dead of night, the air-conditioning systems cooling empty hotels in the desert and artificial light in the middle of the day all have something both demented and admirable about them. The mindless luxury of a rich civilization, and yet of a civilization perhaps as scared to see the lights go out as was the hunter in his primitive night.