Tuesday, November 6

The Blind Man Who Taught Himself to See

One of the fears I have, son, is of going blind. Mainly because I would find it difficult to read and use computers. It's one of those generalised fears we all have. 

But after reading this article, I think I've managed to ignore and conquer that fear. Echolocation is just a tool and its the mental attitude that's more important. Fascinating indeed. 

People like him are noteworthy. Who don't give a shit about what people think and do their own things. Never let anybody dictate your shortcomings son. Or let your fears overpower you. One of your biggest enemies are those who tell you that you cannot do something. Frequently, that's you yourself. Don't listen to them or yourself when they say you cannot do something. 



The Blind Man Who Taught Himself to See

The Blind Man Who Taught Himself To See

Daniel Kish has been sightless since he was a year old. Yet he can mountain bike. And navigate the wilderness alone. And recognize a building as far away as 1,000 feet. How? The same way bats can see in the dark.

by Michael Finkel
photograph by Steve Pyke

The first thing Daniel Kish does, when I pull up to his tidy gray bungalow in Long Beach, California, is make fun of my driving. “You’re going to leave it that far from the curb?” he asks. He’s standing on his stoop, a good 10 paces from my car. I glance behind me as I walk up to him. I am, indeed, parked about a foot and a half from the curb.

The second thing Kish does, in his living room a few minutes later, is remove his prosthetic eyeballs. He does this casually, like a person taking off a smudged pair of glasses. The prosthetics are thin convex shells, made of acrylic plastic, with light brown irises. A couple of times a day they need to be cleaned. “They get gummy,” he explains. Behind them is mostly scar tissue. He wipes them gently with a white cloth and places them back in.

Kish was born with an aggressive form of cancer called retinoblastoma, which attacks the retinas. To save his life, both of his eyes were removed by the time he was 13 months old. Since his infancy — Kish is now 44 — he has been adapting to his blindness in such remarkable ways that some people have wondered if he’s playing a grand practical joke. But Kish, I can confirm, is completely blind.

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