Avast! Here Be a Blindsightinator for Ye!

Aye me hearties, be ye rememberin’ that time in Blindsight when Rorschach, she be putting the sun in scurvy Szpindel’s eyes?

“Argh, I be seein’ naught,” Szpindel be sayin’, his timbers a’shiver.

“It be the EM fields,” James be barking. “That be how they signal. The briney deep, she be fulla words, she be—”

“I be seeing naught,” Szpindel be saying. “I be blind as the skipper with his patch on the wrong eye!”

“Yar,” Bates be lassooing the capstain. “That be a pretty mess— blast those scurvy rads…”

And then when they be hiding below decks, Szpindel be putting words to it…

“Ya reached for it, ya scurvy dog. You near be catchin’ it. That not be blind chance.”

“Argh, not blind chance. Blindsight. Amanda? Where be ye, wench?”

“Blindsight?”

“Aye. Nothing be wrong with ye receptors,” he be saying. “Eye be working right enough, brain not be seein’ the signal. Brain stem, he be mutineer. Arrgh.”

Now those buggering cabin-boys from Denmark, they be laying claim to me booty. They be putting out “Action-blindsight in two-legged landlubbers that be having compasses on their skulls, Arggh“, and they be staking their claim last winter in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

They be asking me to be hanging their guts from the crowsnest, they e’er be blackening my horizon.

This entry was written by Peter Watts , posted on Friday September 19 2008at 03:09 pm , filed under biology, blindsight, neuro, science . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

5 Responses to “Avast! Here Be a Blindsightinator for Ye!”

  1. (squeaking)

  2. Hee!

    anonypost by razorsmile

  3. I am patiently awaiting the rest of the Piratespeech translation of Blindsight … although I’ll probably have to wait another year for its release.

  4. That’s an amazing study, PW. I don’t know what the hell it has to do with pirates–I do appreciate the Blindsight conversion however.

    As I see it, cases like this make a really strong case in favor of the eliminative materialism case. A popular view among philosophers is that there is something special and non-reducible about mind. And it’s often argued that introspection gives us special access to a realm of irreducible essences that cannot be translated into materially explained phenomena. But blindsight cases–and this study shows that they are more common than we thought–show that introspection is highly unreliable. It’s possible for someone to be blind and yet not know it, or for them to think that they are blind and not really be. So much for privileged first person access.

    So are you going to dress up as a pirate for your next book jacket photo?

    Matt McCormick

  5. International speak like a pirate day.. and you guys call yourselves geeks. (and didn’t know this?).

    Shameful. Cheers to PW though, it’s tougher than it looks !

    Jason