*Paul Klee (1879-1940). Above: his “Harmony of the northern flora” (1927).
John Brubaker wrote at entrepreneur.com on 18.2.15:
“With eyes on the sides of their heads, horses obviously have great peripheral vision, and in the wild it can serve them well for survival purposes. With race horses, on the other hand, it’s a detriment and means they can end up running off course unless they are made to remain on focus. Sound familiar, entrepreneurs?
This is why trainers place blinders on race horses’ bridles so the horse doesn’t get distracted by what’s next to or behind them and stay focused on what’s in front of them. The blinders also prevent the horse from getting spooked too easily. (We should all invest in a good set of blinders to wear for the same reasons.)”
Lucy writes at brilliantbusinessthings.com:
“Being distracted is something I am very good at—pretty impressively good at, actually (see previous note about being a creative type). But I put blinkers on—actually, for me, the blinkers are my coach and my own will power to get focused. If I want to fill an event, I’ll focus on that. If I want to launch a new group programme, I’ll focus on that. If I want some more one-to-one clients, I’ll focus on that.”
“Both “blinker” and “blinder” are also used metaphorically to refer to people with an overly narrow focus or inability to see the larger picture. The term can be seen as implying “a limitation or obstruction to sight or discernment”.”
From Online Etymology Dictionary:
1580s, perhaps from Middle Dutch blinken “to glitter,” which is of uncertain origin, possibly, with German blinken “to gleam, sparkle, twinkle,” from a nasalized form of base found in Old English blican “to shine, glitter” (from PIE root *bhel– (1) “to shine, flash, burn”).
Middle English had blynke (c. 1300) in the sense “a brief gleam or spark,” perhaps a variant of blench “to move suddenly or sharply; to raise one’s eyelids” (c. 1200), perhaps from the rare Old English blencan “deceive.”
Originally with a vague and shifting set of meanings, many now obsolete, having to do with motion of the eyes; in earlier use “the notion of ‘glancing’ predominates; in the latter, that of ‘winking'” [OED]. Blink as “to wink” is attested by 1761. Meaning “cast a sudden, fleeting light” is from 1786; that of “shut the eyes momentarily and involuntarily” is from 1858. Related: Blinked; blinking. The last, as a euphemism for a stronger word, is attested by 1914.”
1590s, “a glance,” of uncertain origin, perhaps from a continental Germanic language; see blink (v.). As is the case with the verb, there is a similar noun in Middle English, from c. 1300, that might represent a native form of the same root. Meaning “action of blinking” is from 1924. From the sense “a flicker, a spark,” comes on the blink “nearly extinguished,” hence “not functioning” (1901).