Wednesday, January 28, 2009

You Will Be Assimilated. Your Culture Will Be Adapted...

It was interesting to read Shel: A Deaf Canadian's Thoughts blog post on the Borg metaphor (post 1 / post 2).

"We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. Resistance is futile."

This particular Star Trek character is well-known for its assimilation of cultures and worlds rather than learning by experience. In a way, the nondisabled hearing world is like the Borg, attempting to "cure" disabled people. Some don't want to be helped, since they're satisfied the way they are. So far, we've got CIs, joint replacements, robotic walking assistance, to name a few technological advances.

"We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own."

Some other modern day cultures are like this. I wrote something like this for a class, inserting Borg quotes. Some cultures have stayed with the old traditions. Can we preserve and move a culture into current technologies at the same time? As someone says, they become "westernized" upon the introduction of techology. Are we forcing people to give up something in order to "live better?"

"Your culture will adapt to service us."

But then there's those who still have to give up something. Some cultures only have a spoken or visual history, and could be lost if it's not passed it on. Technology can only go so far when it comes to documenting and/or preserving cultural history.

"Resistance is futile."

...or is it?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rube Goldberg + Architect + Home = A-maze-ing / Inauguration

The New York Times has an interesting story titled Mystery on Fifth Avenue. In short, an architect remodeled a living area and turned it into a Rube Goldberg style game, having them go different places in the house to find different clues.

Be careful what you ask for when you talk to the renovator and make sure they don't have any practical jokes or brainbuster ideas in mind... You may may get a headache trying to figure out the clues and hope you don't have to dismantle the entire house to get to the last one.

Obama's inauguration was interesting to watch, but in some cases, security was overkill. I mean, seriously, closing 395 except to local traffic? Close it further up the road before it gets to the bridge. Close 3-4 metro stations, make some exit-only, entrance-only? Good grief... The only thing I can applaud them for is the placement of the Jumbotrons, displaying captions on them.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Seeing the Knee Doctor

I had a recent appointment with the knee surgeon. One question I asked confirmed what I had thought the entire time. He agreed with me that the knee would have fused itself at an angle within 1-2 years. In short, I did this at a good time, despite having to put my classes and other things on hold. This could be a good thing with this recession.

While at the office, they did three x-rays and it was quite interesting seeing the new knee setup. It helped that I talked with people and done research on what I was getting myself into. That pretty much makes it easier to talk with the doctor on his level to an extent.

One thing with the home therapy people... It'll be straight exercises, and I won't be using the CPM (Continuous Pulsing Motion) machine since I don't quite have the full range of motion on the knee, currently 10 to about 75-80 degrees. This can be good, especially with a few tight muscles I have, one of which is in the back of the knee. They'll be here 3-4 times a week, with me doing exercises on my own when they're not.

Most of the strips across the incision have fallen off and it looks quite good. I've not needed pain meds at all. Before the surgery, it was painful going up the steps, getting in and out of the car, etc. Today, almost *NO* pain.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

We Need Net Neutrality!

I came across this article while cleaning up my inbox post-surgery and came across this article titled Google Wants Its Own Fast Track on the Web.

There's good reason for having net neutrality. We don't want to be slowed down to a crawl. How fast this crawl would be could be dependent on the provider. We do not want landline modem speeds (14.4K to 56K) while major companies with deep pockets get the higher speeds.

For example, a T-1 line is 1.5 mbps, OC1 is 51.85mbps, and OC24 is 1.244gbps. One DSL line is about the speed of a T1 line. A normal NIC card can do upwards of 100mbps, while a gigabit card, essentially a fiber optic line, may be the equivalent of an OC24 line. I may be a bit off on these figures, though.

Putting this in perspective... A CD can hold 700 megs. Downloading this on a 56K line would take 2-3 days. On a normal cable line, it can be 20-30 minutes. On an OC line, about several minutes. All this depends on line conditions.

Obama said "Once providers start to give privilege to some Web sites and applications over others, then the smaller voices get squeezed out, and then we all lose." Check this...

Obama's Broadband Plan

A president that understands the internet! We need that. He's absolutely right. This essentially means that any small website may never get the chance to show itself off, especially when it starts selling items and/or add advertisements. This means that only the major companies will be the winners, possibly locking out the smaller users. This can also affect how well our VPs can be used. Too slow a speed, and you'll get the equivalent of a slideshow or unusable video.

We don't want that, do we?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

More on the Knees and Surgery - Final

After much anticipation, I got home Saturday afternoon after I signed some paperwork and Jamie took me home. With some difficulty, I managed to get up the stairs. The steps will get easier in time.

The interpreters did a good job despite the somewhat crowded rehab room throughout my stay at the rehab facility. I did manage to meet a few of the residents. One resident in particular that stands out is one who appears to be a little younger than I am, and is working on her body strength. We talked about total knee replacements as well, which could help her some. Another resident had a combination hip and knee replacement.

One interesting thing was my transport from the hospital to rehab center. There was a transport team of two people, one who was deaf, that was assigned to me. While his partner drove the short distance to the facility, we managed to talk the entire way. They did a rather good job with communications and humor, particularly when I nearly managed to move myself. The deaf fellow said he had been on the job for 3 years, and it was only this year that he encountered two other deaf before me.

Other than that, I've got an appointment after this weekend with the surgeon and will be having a home therapist help out with things.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

More on the Knees and Surgery - Part 6

Well, it's been a few days since I last posted, but things have been changing quite a bit here. I've still got the interpreters, and physical and occupational therapy have been working with me to get me to go home...

Not Tuesday... Not Thursday... But Saturday.

Seems it was due to insurance reasons. Don't ask me why.

That plus occupational therapy has been putting me through the motions of seeing what I can do at home. They watched me take a shower using a bath seat, make something in the kitchen, go up and down steps (I'm still doing it sideways due to my other knee needing a replacement), and some other things. I'll probably be taking a couple items home to help out with recovery. Seems I'm pretty much an independent guy.

I'm actually walking much further with the help of a walker. Not sure when I'll be able to graduate to a cane and when I'll be able to fully straighten out the knee. I'll be having that CPM machine and home therapy as well. A hearing blog, Booktoots's Weblog, has been my source of information about someone else who went through the same thing.

Sherlock says I'll be having some future posts about my experiences in his Deaf Anthology's post of the Deaf Sherlock post. He's right. I'll be posting some thoughts about what I went through. It's not all negative, rather, mostly positive. Give me a little time to do a writeup.