[bct] Re: more thoughts on hearing

  • From: "Neal Ewers" <neal.ewers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2006 12:53:21 -0600

Good points all.  That's how people learn about how it is to be blind.
One can't expect them to know unless they ask.  I simply meant that it
is curious what people ask sometimes.  But I would rather they ask than
just assume.  What I find sad is represented by the story below.  This
recently happened to me.

I was standing at the bus stop when a little girl came up to me and
said, "Hi Mister, are you blind?"

I said that I was.  "Wow" she said, that's cool" and she started asking
me questions.  Just then her mother came out of a nearby store and said
to her daughter, "Honey, let's go, you shouldn't bother that man."  "But
mother", I heard her say as they moved away, "I was just asking
questions."  "Well," said her mother, "you shouldn't go bothering people
like that."

I am often impressed at the canter that little children have.  They want
to know everything.  It's only when the adult comes along, that this
willingness to learn sometimes becomes a lesson in how not to learn
anything at all because one shouldn't ask questions of people who are
different.  Let's hear it for children and their desire to know.


-----Original Message-----
From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of lance
Sent: Friday, March 17, 2006 12:49 PM
To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [bct] Re: more thoughts on hearing

Totally logical!! Lance

-----Original Message-----
From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of M. Dimitt
Sent: Friday, March 17, 2006 8:25 AM
To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [bct] Re: more thoughts on hearing

I don't find sighted people asking me questions annoying. in fact, I'd 
rather they ask whatever they want too, rather than simply wondering and

being afraid to ask.
Curiosity is a natural part of humanity. Oh boy, did I just sound like

from Star Trek? Haha!
Jamie D.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "J Garcia" <j.garcia235@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Friday, March 17, 2006 11:18 AM
Subject: [bct] Re: more thoughts on hearing

> Regarding what people hear, its true that some of us hear better and 
> more than others, but you are really asking a sensation or perception 
> question. You can get an entire group of subjects and give them all 
> the same auditory sensation with the same tone and amplitude, and they

> will hear the sound within a certain human range. On the other hand, 
> you will probably get different perceptions of this sound from these 
> subjects--its sounds good, it
> sounds, bad, it sounds like screeching, it reminds me of my mother in
> and so on. Basically, with various sensation measuring devices most of
> with normal senses can convey exactly what we and other normal people
> us hear, its what these perceptions mean to us that walls begin to
> themselves. What is fundamental about human hearing is that we can
> potentially hear sound ranging from 20 db to 20,000 db but most
> hearing is not always that sensitive or able to put up with such an 
> assault.
> The notion of subjective sensitivity and invariable ranges is also
seen in
> vision. For example, most sighted people on the average only see about

> 1000
> colors per day from a possible pool of millions of colors in the
> NM
> visual range. We can also increase what we sense by being more
> to
> subtle details as is the case for musicians. For those who didn't
> musicians Have Larger Auditory Areas in the human brain. That is,
> response of the auditory cortex to piano tones is greater for them
than in
> nonmusicians. Attending to stimuli is the key phrase. You might also
> to
> know that the human brain is very malleable and very resilient so when

> there
> is a deficit in a sensation, the human brain will make up for its
> by allocating more processing power or neural tissue to the deficient 
> parts
> of your brain. In other words, if you can't see, your auditory cortex
> rearrange itself and increase its sensitivity to subtle sounds to make
> for the visual deficit. I remember once I dropped some change on a
> floor and was able to tell my buddy the exact coins I dropped. He was 
> amazed
> at this because he couldn't do it because he had absolutely no need to
> so. I on the other hand did because when dropping something on the
> it
> helps out a blind person to focus on the sound to determine where
> the
> item fell. The neural restructuring also happens for missing limbs as
> case for phantom limbs. Phantom limbs happen to people with missing
> or
> arms and often complain that their missing arm or leg is hurting or 
> itching.
> This is due to the rearranging of neural tissue in the parietal lobe
> the
> brain--this is right at the very top of your head. This is a
> negative result of restructuring of neural tissue.
> The question about sighted people asking us blind people what we can 
> and cannot hear is not a dumb question at all. In fact its an 
> opportunity for us to break down walls between the sighted world and 
> ourselves, so such questions shouldn't be seen as a nuisance but more 
> like a natural curiosity
> of all our human minds and its incessant hunger for information.
> J Garcia
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Sam Bushman" <sam@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Friday, March 17, 2006 8:54 AM
> Subject: [bct] Re: more thoughts on hearing
>> Hi Neal,
>> That sounds interesting.
>> But, keep in mind ... they will only be able to hear as well as they 
>> can hear. Meaning that if you can hear great, and I can't hear to 
>> well, then if they
>> created a way for me to hear what you hear ... it may not work since
> can't
>> hear all they are representing.
>> Sam
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Neal Ewers" <neal.ewers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> Sent: Friday, March 17, 2006 9:48 AM
>> Subject: [bct] Re: more thoughts on hearing
>> >I have often wondered about how much or little people think before 
>> >they  ask certain questions.  Not long ago, I got it again.  "What 
>> >can you  hear that I don't hear?"  A bit too much scotch perhaps.  
>> >How do I  really know what someone else is hearing.  However, there 
>> >is a research  project at the University of Wisconsin that looks at 
>> >a person's very  sophisticated hearing tests and then tries to 
>> >replicate what they might  hear in a given situation.  So, you can 
>> >actually put on headphones and  hear what someone else might hear in

>> >a given situation.  It's  fascinating.  I often have to stop and 
>> >realize how lucky I have been to  be able to work at Trace and 
>> >consult with other researchers here.  There  is a lot to learn out 
>> >there.
>> >
>> > Neal
>> >
>> > -----Original Message-----
>> > From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> > [mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of M. Dimitt
>> > Sent: Friday, March 17, 2006 10:42 AM
>> > To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> > Subject: [bct] Re: more thoughts on hearing
>> >
>> >
>> > Pam:
>> > I really liked that observation you said, that for each of us due 
>> > to
>> > our
>> >
>> > lack of vision and hearing, we will perceive things differently. 
>> > We're not all cut out of the same cloth so to speak. when sighted 
>> > people ask what it's
>> > like to be blind, you can give them a generic response, but for
each of
>> > us,
>> > it's a little bit different.
>> > Jamie D.
>> > ----- Original Message ----- 
>> > From: "Pam Quinn" <quinn.family@xxxxxxxxx>
>> > To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> > Sent: Friday, March 17, 2006 7:52 AM
>> > Subject: [bct] more thoughts on hearing
>> >
>> >
>> > Talking about this, individual realities for each of us depending 
>> > on
>> > the
>> > normalcy of our hearing and vision and what not, brings a few more
>> > things to mind. I'm sure we've all been questioned by sighted
>> > and have been asked such things as, "Aren't you afraid of the
>> > When I had an attack of severe hearing loss once and was terrified
>> > beyond anything I've ever experienced, I thought about that and
>> > realized, "My God! For us as blind people, the lights are always
>> > Only when hearing is gone are we plunged into true darkness, and
>> > is
>> > a scary thing.
>> >
>> > I also wanted to mention that I am constantly in awe of these 
>> > stereo podcasts, and am so thankful that whatever happens down the 
>> > road for me, I've had the opportunity to enjoy them. I just can't 
>> > get over the wonder
>> > of the feeling of actually being right there when listening with
>> > headphones especially. I think these stereo digital recordings are
to a
>> > blind person what high definition TV is to a sighted person.
>> > told me that on high definition TV, you can actually see each blade
>> > grass and such. That's the type of high definition picture I get in
>> > mind when listening to these awesome podcasts. So thanks again to
>> > everyone who is a part of the wonder that is blindcooltech.
>> >
>> > Pam
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
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