I write about technology and design, mostly mobile and web.
Sometimes I write about people and places I visit.
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About two months ago I did a “blind for a day” experiment and
the feedback I got afterwards was overwhelmingly positive. A
quick online search shows that I wasn’t the first person to do
it, which was expected, but it also points to the other side
of the experience—negative reactions to the experiment from
the visually impaired or reasons why sighted people should not
do it. It boils down to comments like this:
I really find these whatever for a day experiments really
patronizing and irritating. People tend to walk away with a
smug satisfaction that they know how it is to be blind/deaf/in
a chair, but they can take off the blindfold whenever.
I was fortunate to spend a recent vacation on
Maldives. Sandy beaches in warm
lagoons were a welcome escape from cold European winter, but
it was impossible to run away from modern life. Let me
tell you about two things that dominated my exploration of
local settlements: technology and politics.
Sebastian Frederick Müller and I had a chat about technology
recently, mostly about future user interfaces. When we
discussed a brain-computer interface, a specific scenario came
to his mind which he recorded in a comic. You can check the
comic on 190 Pages website or on Tumblr.
I just spent a week of complete isolation and relaxation on a
couple of sandy patches of land in the Indian ocean. The
landscape and the climate are amazing, just like on a
The smell of scrambled eggs filled the kitchen. I was starving
and it felt like a torture. The creamy eggs hit the plate soon
and I was ready. I grabbed a fork and stabbed at them. “I got
it” I thought to myself. I lifted a fork to my mouth
anticipating the first contact with a smile. And then I bit
the metal. That can happen when you’re blind.
I’m a nerd and I make lists. Some last a day, some a bit
longer. There is one that is a decade old and it contains an
entry “be blind for a day”. It’s from a time I first got
interested in human psychology and especially how human brain
works—how it learns and how it adapts. Will my perception
drastically change? Will I adapt to new surroundings quickly
or fail miserably? How is my environment prepared for my new
state? Will I gain even more empathy for people with eyesight
problems? A lot of questions formed in my mind.
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