I was immediately interested as I backpacked around Spain years ago and Madrid is a great place to spend time, but I digress...
I scanned the programme (top-down), got to the bottom and started to scan bottom-up and immediately saw an inconsistency. Then I started wondering why/how I'd found it. Was it a particular type of observation, test even?
I realised that when I started scanning upwards I had some extra information and that was why it popped out. I twittered a challenge to see if anyone else spotted anything - at the time I added the hashtag #BlinkTest. After further reflection I wasn't so sure that was correct - I started thinking about the blink comparator technique that astronomers used once upon a time.
It seemed like a blink test (that I've seen described and demonstrated) - but after some thought it seemed closer to a blink comparator test. Was there a distinction, what was lying behind why I'd spotted the inconsistency? Was one a form or subset of the other?
Could Blink Testing be a general form of information intake (and subsequent decoding) and Blink Comparator Testing being a special form where the pattern, legend or syntax is specified and the scanning is aimed at spotting an inconsistency. Maybe. Hmm...
Blink vs Blink Comparator?
I'm going to think of a Blink Comparator Test as being one that takes a particular type of priming (concious) - here's a pattern (or patterns) and this is used to compare against the observation - maybe for the absence or presence of the pattern/s.
I'll think of a Blink Test as being an observation without priming (subconcious) - although there will always be some priming (from your experience), but that's a different philosophical discussion - and it's the subconcious that waves the flag to investigate an anomaly.
Of course, both can be used at the same time.
It's about examining why I spot an inconsistency and trying to understand and explain (at least to myself) what process is going on. So, why the interest in understanding the difference? For me, that's what helps get to the bottom of the usefulness and potential application, and indeed recognising the technique 'out in the wild'.
This started out as looking at an anomaly (maybe even a typo) in an article, and now I have an addition to my toolkit - I probably already had it, but now I'm aware of it - and that means I have a better chance of putting it to good use. I can see uses in documentation, test observations and script design (to aid observation/result analysis). Cool!
Oh, the inconsistancy I spotted was the use of (Sp)* in the time schedule, which wasn't in the legend. Simple stuff really producing all that thinking...