[bookshare-discuss] Re: about the optacan

  • From: "Evan Reese" <mentat1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <bookshare-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2006 19:21:48 -0800

Wow, that's really interesting.  I never thought of doing something like that 
to learn chess - mainly I guess because I don't have any trouble visualizing 
the board.

But your message reminds me that I bought a Radio Shack calculator back in 
something like 1980 that emitted different tones for each number you hit.  It 
would also give the answer in the tones, so you could listen to the answer.  It 
was a good idea, but the answer tones went by so fast that I could never use it 
very well.  Still, it was kind of neat.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Pratik patel 
  To: bookshare-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
  Sent: Saturday, February 11, 2006 10:40 AM
  Subject: [bookshare-discuss] Re: about the optacan


  I've found that learning is often a matter of transliterating when necessary. 
 If you're able to comprehend large pieces of music and remember them, there 
may be hope for you yet.  Visualization is often over-rated.  Learning and 
comprehension methods can be transferedd from one medium to another if one can 
find a willing imagination in the teacher.  Take chess, for example:  You can 
view the chess board as a musical scale.  Combine multiple instruments, 
multiple scales, or differentiate pieces and their moves by notes from 
different octives.  you can learn chess as easily as someone who is a visual 
lerner.  You only have to get used to the learning style and may even need to 
create your own.  I can volunteer to teach you chess and its strategies in 
terms of music.

  I have a cold too but don't think I'm wasting my time.


  From: Kellie Hartmann [mailto:hart0421@xxxxxxx] 
  Sent: Saturday, February 11, 2006 1:14 PM
  To: bookshare-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Subject: [bookshare-discuss] Re: about the optacan

  I'm really amazed by people's ability to look at a diagram using an opticon 
one piece at a time and mentally synthesize it. I've never been able to look at 
something in pieces and imagine the whole. This inability sometimes hampers my 
Scrabble playing. Incidentally, I was born totally blind. I won't even let 
anyone teach me chess because I know that my inability to imagine the board and 
the consequences of future moves would make me a terrible player, and who wants 
to learn a game just so they can lose? <lol> 

  I do know one totally sighted person who says she can't visualize anything in 
her head. I think it's a worse handicap when you're blind though because if 
you're sighted you can actually look at something, such as a chessboard or 
diagram, all in one piece instead of trying to take it in one little bit at a 

  I am completely hopeless at looking at tactile 2/-d drawings and 
understanding how they would be in 3-d. It was a big problem in middle school 
math. I also can't make mental maps, although I can use tactile ones 
meaningfully. I like tactile tables and bar graphs, but more complicated 
representations are completely incomprehensible to me. I can't even visualize a 
simple object in my mind and think at the same time. <lol> I've come to the 
conclusion that this ability, or lack there of as the case may be, isn't 
necessarily related to how much vision the person has, although it seems from 
discussions on the subject that having more vision or having had more vision 
even in early life does help. 

  On the other hand, I can hear music in my mind in great detail, either things 
I've heard before or things I mentally compose myself. I thought that everyone 
could do this, until a really interesting discussion I had with a group of 
people on the subject. One of the people definitely has much greater musical 
ability than me, but he says that when he hears music in his mind it's 
basically the sound of himself humming and that's all. I've heard one piece 
that he composed, and it was incredibly complex--I really wonder how he can do 

  Okay, enough of my ranting--I have a cold and am just sitting here at the 
computer trying to distract myself.

Other related posts: