For Our Consideration: Red, green, blue: Halt And Catch Fire plays with RGB color on a human scale

The screen in front of you is an ocean of tiny gleaming dots colored red, green, and blue. Maybe you already understand this on an intellectual level—you are reading The A.V. Club, after all—but the tangible reality of a red-green-blue display still inspires awe. This is what an iPhone 4 screen looks like under a microscope:

The red, green, and blue subpixels of an iPhone 4 “Retina Display” under intense magnification (Photo: Bryan William Jones/University Of Utah)

Practically any modern smartphone, computer display, or flat-screen TV would look about the same if you zoomed in close enough. At that scale, it seems impossible that those puny rectangles, surrounded by obtrusive voids of darkness, could produce a convincing picture. Yet the trick works. We love to stare at screens filled with these glowing jujubes—we cause traffic accidents because we’re so busy admiring them.

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