Lipstick as synaesthesia accessibility hack.

This afternoon at a gather I had chance to speak with Tarah Wheeler at some length, and she noticed that I spent most of the discussion reading her lips. As part of the discussion it came out that I'm a synaesthete and was having great difficulty understanding her because I was unable to pick her voice out of all of the distracting visual phenomena due to all of the other discussions happening around me, but I was able to focus on her lipstick and pick her voice out of all of the static. The discussion turned to synaesthesia as I …

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Synaesthesia and noise-cancelling headphones.

I've never really gone out of my way to publicize the fact that I'm a synesthete - my senses are cross-wired in ways that aren't within the middle of the bell curve. In particular, my sense of hearing is directly linked to my senses of sight, touch, proprioception, and emotional state. As one might expect, this causes a few problems in day to day life - I can't go to concerts without wearing earplugs because I shut down from sensory overload, and too much noise makes it nearly impossible to see (and thus, get anything done). The new office at work poses …

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Prosthetic synaesthesia and cortical implants.

The human brain is a remarkably complex and flexible organ, with as many possible failure modes and glitches as there are emergent and surprising properties. Take something away, and sometimes you can coax another part of the brain to take up the slack in some other way. Case in point, artist Neil Harbisson. Harbisson was born with a condition called achromatopsia, which is the name for a group of disorders which collectively result in the same phenomenon - he cannot see colors, only shades of greyscale. Sometimes it's a neurological dysfunction, sometimes it's a defect in the retina, and sometimes it's …

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Busy times, crazy life.

It's been a really busy week or two so I haven't had time to write much. I realize that it's only common sense, but I still find it amusing that I have the least time to write about what's going on when the most is happening. Funny, how that happens. Anyway, once the opportunity presents itself I like sitting down to make an attempt at describing everything that's been happening. I've mostly been posting hit and run messages to Twitter lately (like everybody else on the planet these days) because I can do that without looking up from everything else …

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