Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tongue As Navigational Tool

Normally I avoid stories like this as if they will contaminate me with The Plague. This one, however, avoids being either "amazing blind man climbs a mountain" or "blind man proves sight doesn't matter." There's a fine line and this story walks it well.
I had about six reactions, one on the heels of the next. First, at the title, I thought, "Oh, god, I'm going to want to throw my keyboard." Didn't happen. Then, I started betting myself how long until they used a word like tragic, brave, amazing, or overcome. Lost the bet to myself. Next I kept waiting for the heart-string-tugging story of how Eric lost his vision. They restrained themselves to a single sentence about blindness occurring three decades previously.
I have to admit that, since everything is about me, I immediately realized I'd have trouble breathing around something in my mouth, so I would be deprived of any every day applications. Those possible applications, however, are interesting. Once technology like this exists, it tends to be improved upon, so I can easily see a time in the next five years where this device helps you navigate down a sidewalk or is integrated into the car they are developing for blind people to drive. I might actually regret the existence of a nasal airway if I can't take advantage of such tech.
Last but not least, I liked the matter-a-fact way Eric presented himself. He just goes about climbing using what is available to accomplish what he wants. That's the ideal. That's my goal. I want to appear that way to other people. I turn myself into a pretzel trying to give that impression.
Okay, I lied. It's only 5 thoughts.

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