Blind people can sometimes sense surroundings with clicking sounds
They listen to the returning echoes to make sense of their environment
Brain scans show how region called parahippocampal cortex lights up
This is the same region activated in sighted people when seeing objects
When Matt Murdock in the film Daredevil was blinded, his other senses were sharpened allowing him to ‘see’ via sonic vibrations.
Now, a new study has discovered how this happens in real life when some blind people find a way to ‘see’ objects using echoes.
See? (No; for real; do you see?) See, Mister Saunders? Everyone’s been scratching their heads over precisely how I see the things that I do without a single person’s ever having acknowledged a word I’ve ever spoken. It’s a helluva way to speak to your audience when not a single person will acknowledge your existence. And it vexes me to no end that I have to send bomb threats and death threats to get my own audience to stop ignoring me. I’ve lost an entire decade of my career as we all play the touch pee pee game. Now I’m a decade older and I’ve got a face for radio.
Saunders and his buddies think they’re investigating me. But look at it from this professional stage performer’s point of view: I’m up on my stage speaking to my audience, leaning over the edge of the stage to snap my fingers under my audience members’ noses and clap my hands in their faces, tryin’ to wake ’em up. They gotta be quiet so they can catch me doing terror, I guess. But what these esteemed fans don’t understand is that they were my audience members before I was their terrorist.
But anyway, for ten years now I have had to rely upon echolocation to map out my own audience. And whereas I do a distinctly dangerous brand of political stand-up, it is an urgent matter of physical safety that I ensure that there are adequate numbers of cops in my theater. As I’ve said, being in the middle of a room full of cops is the absolute safest place for me to be. Not to mention that we’ve got training to cover. Cops are a segment of my target audience.
In my brand of stand-up, which is delivered principally in a textual form on the internet, transmitted completely in the blind, the one and only means that I have of verifying receipt of my message is for me to speak and then remain silent for a time. I produce a click and then I listen. I found, back in 2005, that if I were to use an appealing and archaic term, or an especially mellifluous turn of a phrase, that sometimes these rare turns of phrase would then emerge out there in the infosphere. There can be false positives –false returns, that is, that may have been organically generated. Or they may be second-order echoes. But I found that if I performed a verification ping, I could conclude with a fair degree of certainty that certain people were in my audience. It has taken me an entire decade to determine the size and composition of my audience. And since I intended to leverage my informational primacy to the betterment of all, it was necessary to precisely determine the composition of my audience.
Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say. And because I’m a terrorist moonlighting as a professional comedian who no one will speak to, it was necessary to develop these skills of echolocation. It truly is like driving a submarine. I’m blind. But I gotta get from here to there. And I have to evade torpedos.
I am now quite good at echolocation. And I have long maintained that I have developed the ability to process in the visual cortex of my brain these echoes in the infosphere. All I have to do is read the papers in the morning to judge the propagation of my transmission and to see my position relative to informational structures in my environment. I see by interpreting informational echoes. These echoes are processed in my visual cortex to form a mental map.
I truly can see you. And now that I’ve caught you and shamed you, go buy your tickets. You’re not investigating anything. Or if you are, you’re investigating the precise degree to which you enjoy my show.
I am America’s Senior Comedian. Thank you for your kind attention in this matter.