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The Dress: America is split at the seams, says survey

Technically Incorrect: A survey conducted to discern a consensus about the world's most famous piece of clothing shows that America is divided as to what color it is.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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Surely everyone sees white and a dirty gold, no? BBC; YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

We live in divisive times.

Republicans and Democrats show just what is achieved when you disagree on principle. By that I mean, of course, that your principle is to disagree with everything the other side says.

I had hoped, though, that there might be a consensus as to what color that dress was. Or rather #TheDress.

You can only have been arrested by rodents and charged with infiltrating your home town's sewer system if you haven't heard of this item of clothing.

A hashtag appeared. It was #whatcoloristhisdress. To many it seemed white and a dirty gold color. It turned out to be black and blue. Science weighed in to explain how our brains trick us into seeing colors that aren't the true colors at all.

Since when, though, has science ever delivered us truth? However, now I have before my eyes a survey that shows America's eyes are as deeply divided as its souls.

The survey, performed by Survata, asked a simple question: What are the colors of this dress? The results provide only distress.

42 percent saw black and blue. 40 percent saw white and gold. An astounding, confounding 18 percent said they saw neither color combination.

I fear that the Supreme Court may have to get involved.

Survata's CEO, Chris Kelly, told me: "This question truly has America split right down the middle, with neither color combination being a clear winner. The only clear winner seems to be British retailer Roman Originals, the maker of the infamous dress."

Oh, those writing about it have done all right by it too.

Survata surveyed 430 Americans yesterday across all ages. This is the sort of thing the company regularly does. The results, I am promised, are within the margin of error. My own margin of error was vast, as all I saw was white and dirty gold.

I delved deeper into the statistics, though.

The age groups that saw more black and blue were 13-17, 18-24 and 45-54. White and gold was dominant in the 25-34, 35-44 and 55-64 groups. "Neither" was the dominant choice for the 65 and overs. Perhaps they just couldn't stop guffawing at being asked such a ridiculous question.

I fear, though, that too many will be judged -- and, worse, will judge themselves -- on their response to this controversy of global significance.

I am currently wearing a blue and gold Golden State Warriors shirt. At least I think I am.

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