After writing We All See, Smell, Hear, Taste, and Feel the World Differently, I have been running different exercises and simulations in my life to add to my knowledge of other people’s perspectives; how they go through the world and how those input filters influence cognition. One of the tools has been image filters to see websites and photographs as approximately 1 out of every 12.5 white men sees them.
It’s just too depressing. The post I put up a few seconds ago about the Elder Scrolls Skyrim pickaxes and flowers? The images on the left are how normal eyesight sees the flowers. The images on the right are filtered through a lens that simulates Deuteranope colorblindness, which is a form of red/green color deficit or colorblindness. To a colorblind person, they should appear nearly identical depending upon the severity of the deficit in their personal genetics.
Here I am, debating which shades of flowers, plants, and furniture cushions to introduce and cross-referencing them with psychology studies that show how various colors influence mood, and a lot of people on this planet can’t even see the difference. I look at the images on the left – the vibrancy, the bursts of oranges, pinks, purples, and reds, and to think that someone with color deficit color blindness has never seen – not even once – these colors? They have no frame of reference; no understanding of what the rest of us are seeing. It just sucks.
Maybe it makes me upset for them because I’m hypersensitive to sensory inputs such as colors, scents, tactile exposures (e.g., my passion for certain shirting fabrics) so to be deprived of something that brings me so much joy is unthinkable.
Couldn’t we fix this with stem cells? If the problem isn’t in the brain, but rather in the sensory input mechanism (in this case, the retina), couldn’t we create eyes with fully functioning color sensors to cure colorblindness? Shouldn’t we be working on this? As far as disabilities go, it would suck big time but then you get into the paradox that you don’t know any differently, so would you not care because you have no idea the wonder you are missing?
As everyone has seen the images and the stark difference between them, an informal poll started around the office that had everyone evenly split between whether they would rather be born without one of their hands or be born with colorblindness. No one has answered quickly, but deliberated about it for some time then declared their preference. The deciding factor seems to be whether you were aware of the colors you were missing or had never known any better …