JF Ptak Science Books Post 1850
"We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men".-- George Orwell
"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact."--Arthur Conan Doyle
The obvious thing about the full sense of obviousness is that it isn't obvious. Sure, there are plenty of aspects and bits of obviousness that are obvious, but like reverse plasma flashes of lightning, and the great bulk of icebergs, and the tops of clouds and the interiors of mountains, there is much more to the state of Being Obvious than necessarily meets the eye, even when the clues are all visual.
What is it that makes something "obvious"? There must be hundreds of reasons to label something so, yet the cause of the labeling is much fuller than the label it wears. There can be a rich and varied life in the obvious and its different stages, as rich and varied as snow and fog and clouds, though those examples seem to have more qualifiers and descriptors than the obvious does. "Painfully"and "woefully" obvious are certainly two qualifiers for different states of obviousness, though at this level of inspection the different levels of obviousness seem to be a little oblivious. And yet there seems to be great depth in so many different aspects of The Obvious.
It would be easy to assume that the visual assumption for the Aspect of Obvious would be the center of the image, though it is not necessarily so, even in this imaginary compilation of defining the obvious aspect of the photo. The stuff that makes something obvious can be anywhere.
And so to lay the groundwork for an Alphabet of The Obvious I've made a few selections, below--suggestions really for what the categories and assignments to letters might be.
For example,this would be a fine example of:
A The Absurd & Doubly Out of Place Obviousness--the horse seems to be the one with a sense of irony for the surroundings its quiet semi-absurdiy:
D Here is an example of great detrimental obviousness for its own sake, an obviousness with no connection to its portrayal:
H David-Byrne-How-Did-I-Get-Here Obviousness:
I This image shows a series of postures in which the invisible reasons for their unexpected absurdity has a very quick but invisibly obvious explanation (via Modern Mechanix, here):