Decoder Ring: The Truth About #TheDress

An episode from Slate’s Decoder Ring about the dress whose color the internet couldn’t agree on.


Episode Notes

On today’s episode, we’re excited to share an episode from Slate’s Decoder Ring podcast that we think you’re going to love.

In the history of viral images, #TheDress has got to be in the top 10. This unassuming photo of a party dress kicked off a global debate when people realized they were seeing it completely differently. Is it black and blue, or white and gold? In today’s episode, we’ll talk to someone who was there when the photo was first taken, and the BuzzFeed writer whose post briefly broke the internet. Then we go down the optical rabbit hole with a neuroscientist who’s been studying the The Dress for years. What does it reveal about the nature of truth?

This podcast was written by Willa Paskin, who produces Decoder Ring with Katie Shepherd. This episode was edited by Andrew Adam Newman. Derek John is Slate’s senior supervising producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is senior technical director.

We’ll hear from Paul JinksCates HoldernessPascal Wallisch, and David McRaney author of the book How Minds Change. Here’s the optical illusion of the strawberries mentioned in the episode and created by Professor Akiyoshi Kitaoka.


About the Show

Join Rachelle Hampton twice a week as we gaze deep into the online abyss—and tell you what’s gazing back.

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  • Rachelle Hampton is a culture writer and reporter at Slate and co-host of ICYMI. Her work has appeared in the New Republic, Pacific Standard, Smithsonian Magazine, and In These Times. She still hasn't recovered from Tumblr’s demise.