January 10, 2009

It's the bicentary of Louis Braille inventor of the writing system for the blind. But does it matter?
  • That was fascinating. I have closed my eyes and tried to touch the Braille lettering in an elevator. I couldn't really sense anything. Never mind the positioning of the dots -- I couldn't even tell how many there were per character without using my fingernail. I imagine that it would be something that I would be able to get more sensitive to with practice. I think it is fascinating the Napoleon was the inspiration for Louis Braille. It also makes sense to me that he invented this when he was fifteen. When I was fifteen and bored taking notes in class, I worked on writing left-handed, upside-down, and writing each letter backwards (to hide my handwriting if I ever became some sort of criminal). I also tried to invent stupid abbreviations. It is in college that the groups of friends try to come up with their own language. There seems to be something about being young (text abbreviations, hip-hop language, etc) that makes people want to be able to communicate without adults knowing what the hell they are saying. So Braille's being fifteen at the time sort of makes him less of a genius to me and more of a typical fifteen year old trying to find a new way to communicate.
  • I had no idea that Braille was 'under threat' and not taught as widely any more; seems like that would be a great great shame. Grand links, thanks pleggy. Fascinating point about teenagers and their need to invent ways to communicate, bernockle, I think you're entirely right about that.