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 Post subject: What would change if you weren't able? (Heavy Subject!!)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:29 am 
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So as the title reads, "What would change if you weren't able?" When I refer to "able", I mean capable. And I'm sure some of you have wondered the same at some point. "What would it be like if I couldn't do this?" Being a person that solves, collects, and designs puzzles, I often ask this to myself. I sometimes imagine what I would do if I had to lose an arm, or leg. I solve puzzles competitively, and would have to give up normal solves if I lost an arm. Not only that, but a lot of common things like writing, video games, making food that requires cutting stuff, open bottles, use scissors, get dressed, carry heavy objects, tie shoe laces, set my alarm clock, opening and holding place in books would be harder, etc. But I don't know how it would change me as a person. There are numerous things we do because we have the capabilities, but those less fortunate have it rough. Whether you are born without the capability, or had to give it up, it can strengthen you. I know this is a heavy topic, but I look up to those that aren't as able as most of us. May it be colourblindness, blindness, inability to walk, touch, smell, taste, hear, speak, etc. Those individuals have surpassed what most people would be unable to do, even if we are capable.

So, whether it be a limb, a sense, or anything you can think of, imagine what you would have to give up, or change in order to live life daily.
Post what you wouldn't be able to do, easily or at all, if you weren't as "able".

***I would give up my dominant arm to live a day like those who aren't as lucky.***

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 Post subject: Re: What would change if you weren't able? (Heavy Subject!!)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:55 am 
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I mean, if I lost my legs, from the puzzle designing and solving aspect, not much would happen. But I would never know unless it actually happened (I hope it never does.)

Arms would probably have a larger effect. I would have a 'great' incentive to learn OH solving! Or feet solving... :shock:

Sight would be a big factor in solving. But there is always textured stickers to help the visually impaired. Not sure about puzzle design though.

Loss of hearing... Any thoughts?

Loss of touch would be very interesting. You can turn the cube, but you can't feel the cube :shock: If technology were developed that could induce this that would be really cool to try.

Taste and smell wouldn't affect it much, would it?

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 Post subject: Re: What would change if you weren't able? (Heavy Subject!!)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:10 am 
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Well, it's more from an every day, practical stand point. Not just puzzling related stuff. But puzzling comes to mind first for me, but once it was explored in thoughts, my every day routine would be challenging. For example, my dominant arm/hand is my right, if I lost it suddenly, I wouldn't be able to write, carry stuff, and even if it's a force of habit to use my right, shaking hands would take time to get used to.

And honestly, there are times I wish I knew what it was like. And if I could voluntarily lose an arm, I would. Yes, it's a bit odd/shocking to hear that, but I think it could improve me in certain areas of my life.

But still, I feel very lucky to be fortunate enough to have 2 arms and legs. And voluntarily giving one up would be hard. All the things that I would miss if that happened are limitless.

I actually have a partial idea of what it would physically feel like, due to a story, but it scares me to think how it would be. I went to bed at one point, and I woke up but couldn't feel/move my arm. I had slept on it for 10 hours, and once I awoke, I had no control over my arm (I couldn't move it unless I used something to) and this lasted for 10-20 minutes. I actually thought I had waken up from a coma, and surgery had been done to save my life. (there was a lot more screaming involved though)

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 Post subject: Re: What would change if you weren't able? (Heavy Subject!!)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:17 am 
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I don't know what I would do if I lost my sight, I can't imagine what that would be really like. Oh yes you can close your eyes (I do this sometimes when I am walking along a corridor, and it amazing how short a distance you travel before becoming uneasy), but to know you can never "open" them again, that must be terrible.

I once did an exercise on a team building weekend where we had to navigate a long route across rough ground (including crossing a stream using a tree trunk) while blindfolded. In our 10 member team, we each had to memorise a small part of the route so we could walk it with our eyes shut. Then each member in turn could lead the others along their section, but as you only knew your part, you were completely dependent on the leader. It was all too simple, until that blindfold went on. We were doing OK until it came to my part, when I got everybody lost :( I will never forget that feeling of helplessness - I was frozen with fear. The urge to remove the blindfold was incredible. The tutors took a video, and when I saw it I realised that I was actually only a few feet from where I should have been, but that was enough.

And as to how deaf-blind people cope ...
NXTgen wrote:
And honestly, there are times I wish I knew what it was like. And if I could voluntarily lose an arm, I would. Yes, it's a bit odd/shocking to hear that, but I think it could improve me in certain areas of my life.
This sounds a lot like Body dysmorphic disorder.

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 Post subject: Re: What would change if you weren't able? (Heavy Subject!!)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:26 am 
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I don't have to imagine, for the last year, I have been living such an experience.

My right retina detached in infancy and I was born with glaucoma in my left. At its best, my vision was only 20/100 in my left eye and no useable vision in my right. This required me to read with my nose almost pressed to the surface I was reading from and I needed a pocket telescope to see any detail at a distance, but I really wasn't handicapped that much.

Last summer, my left retina detached. While some might think that retinal detachment is like a light being switched off, the actual degradation of vision is slower and more unsettling. I developed a photosensitivity such that I had to configure my computer to display everything as white text on a black background, I had to start wearing sunglasses even under artificial light. I lost the ability to read printed materials, I became reliant on memorisation of menus to play RPGs and could no longer play more action-oriented video games, I couldn't read manga, not even in scanlations, and that was just the first two months.

Underwent Retinal retachment surgery in October, and they had to remove my lens to gain access to my retina, and with the lost of my lens, I lost the focused need to make out even still images or the largest of on-screen text. I was forced to take a sabbatical from the Internet for more than a month before I found the Adriane variant of Knoppix, which provided me with a set-up that allowed me to use my computer without need of my eyesight. Also had to undergo a second retinal retachment surgery in December, and while all indicators say I am recovery about as well as can be expected, I am still without a lens to focus with.

On a good day, I can distinguish colors and even make out the text in cereal box logos, but even at my best I can't focus well enough to distinguish indiviual stickers on a twisty puzzle. I am prone to experiencing what I would describe as my own personal fog cloud, though it follows me even into the darkest of rooms and sometimes shifts from being like fog to be more like a blinding white light. I need sunglasses except when locked away in my office or bedroom or late at night when all light in the house has been extinguished. Browsing the Internet is one of the few past-time still available to me, and it only remains due to screenreader software, and has been diminished somewhat since only text is available to me. I haven't played a video game since october, I haven't read any printed material beyond a cereal box since last August, I have been completely reliant on a screenreader to use a comput since November, navigating by sight is something I can do on only the best of days, and it is tiring to the point that its easier to just navigate by touch or have someone guide me. The sun bothers me to the point that I wish I had sunglasses with completely opague lens for going outside, I can't listen to Music while browsing the net as it would drown out my screen reader.

In short, its a fate I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy. I hope that the photsensitivity and fog will eventual go way and that once a new lens is installed that I will at least be able to focus enough for some printed materials.

Though, if there is a silver lining to my ordeal, it is the fact that Light and color perception has been confirmed in my right eye, and might translate to some useable vision if my clouded right cornea is corrected. That, and with no incentive to buy things related to my more visually oriented hobbies, I have been able to pay more attention to my long neglected love of construction toys, having finally added both some polydron and Zome tool to my collection.

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 Post subject: Re: What would change if you weren't able? (Heavy Subject!!)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:57 am 
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Wow, Jeffery, that's a lot of bad stuff to go through. I can't imagine how that must have affected every part of your life. Sometimes, if I use the computer too much (7.5hrs at work and then 5+hrs at home) I get what I have been told is a "visual migraine" which is overload of the visual cortex. This manifests itself as a flashing, wobbling, spinning crystal like area right in the middle of my vision, which means I can't read or see very well. I just have to close my eyes for 15 minutes until it goes away. And every time this happens, I always think "But what if it doesn't go away this time?" and it scares the hell out of me. So I really try to limit the time I stare at the screen, take short breaks etc. which helps a lot.

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 Post subject: Re: What would change if you weren't able? (Heavy Subject!!)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:13 am 
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I do come close the surface of experiencing a visual disability. Sometimes all of a sudden I will notice a small whitish purplish bluish spot in my vision which will get bigger over the course of maybe an hour until my entire left or right (it changes ?randomly? each episode) eye has nothing but whitish blotches, which lasts for maybe 15 minutes.

Then come the headaches that start minor and worsen until it hurts to the extent of nauseating me, and this lasts for 3 hours and goes away. I feel terrible for the rest of the day.

Research (that is, google :lol: ) suggests "migraine with aura".

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 Post subject: Re: What would change if you weren't able? (Heavy Subject!!)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:27 am 
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I just looked up Scintillating scotoma (why have I not done this before?) and the bottom picture on the right is almost exactly what I experience. But strangely, I never have the headaches.

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 Post subject: Re: What would change if you weren't able? (Heavy Subject!!)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:25 am 
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Of course all of this depends on whether we can actually change anything...

Isn't everything that happens, including our own decisions and thought processes, based only on a combination of deterministic and random processes over which we have no real control, just the illusion of control?

On that basis, I would change whatever it is that happens to change, which I will believe to have changed.

How's that for a heavy answer to such a heavy subject/question? :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: What would change if you weren't able? (Heavy Subject!!)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:28 pm 
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To be honest I don't really understand the question. If I lost my legs I would have to give up scratching my feet but I guess that's not what you meant. As with your post- viewtopic.php?f=7&t=25661 it feels like there is an underlying issue you are trying to address. What's on your mind?

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 Post subject: Re: What would change if you weren't able? (Heavy Subject!!)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:06 pm 
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Well, there isn't anything I'm trying to address when I think about it. I was more wondering what others would have to change in order for them to live life if something did happen.

@Jeffery Mewtamer, Your position is a great example to use, as unfortunate as it is. You are able to overcome the challenges that came about after your left retina detached and underwent surgery. And even though you still can't see the best, you adapted to work with what you had left.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that, as humans, we have the possibility of adapting to loss. Adapting to something is hard, but it can show how capable we are.

I think of the Olympics as a great way to show how well someone can do. And then I watch the Special Olympics, I find it more amazing than the Olympics because they can do the same events, but those that aren't as able overcame whatever challenge they had that the already able could do with ease.

And I have some experience of how impressive it is, although as big as those events. I worked for a Track & Field event for 12 hours in a day, just for others that weren't as able. And until that day, I had only worked with those who were able. And it ranged from javelin throw to hammer toss, and 100 meters to 5 kilometers. And it was a heart moving day.

(I'm trying my best to keep religion and politics out of this, so forgive me if I slip up on that)

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 Post subject: Re: What would change if you weren't able? (Heavy Subject!!)
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:01 am 
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Relevant?

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 Post subject: Re: What would change if you weren't able? (Heavy Subject!!)
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:16 am 
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Well, I assume so, to some degree. But I don't think that I fit that completely. I'm off to bed, so I can be ready for school tomorrow.

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 Post subject: Re: What would change if you weren't able? (Heavy Subject!!)
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:09 am 
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You might enjoy this. David Rakoff discusses specific mundane details of coping with the loss of ability (control of his arm).
*Very* mild adult themes for those who might be concerned.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: What would change if you weren't able? (Heavy Subject!!)
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:49 pm 
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This just say if this happen to me I'd be dead.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Keller

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